Shropshire Routes to Roots
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The local infrastructure: Savin's Railway
A tale of two bridges
The line started at the Coed-y-Go pit and travelled in a curve west, then south, to the bridge at Brook House. The old rail bridge at this point is still a fine monument to the line, and was high arched to take the tall stacks of the light locomotive used by Savin.
It was well known that there were two bridges at Brook House. The one above, and one that was believed to be a decorative "Garden" bridge. It was long thought of as a "Folly" because it only had pedestrian access up a small flight of steps.
An investigation showed that the small walls across the ends of the "Garden Bridge" were a later addition to the original construction. A track could also be followed to the west of Brook House.
It then became clear that what in fact had happened, was that the railway had been constructed alongside the brook and that the new bridge had been erected 50 metres to the east. The road was diverted to this new bridge, thus allowing the old road to fall into disrepair. In time, the existence of the old route simply disappeared from local memory.
This is just one example of how tracing old routes can reveal side issues that explain the sometimes strange positioning of bridges, hedges, trackways, etc. It is always worth remembering that nature rarely draws straight lines. Such a line on a map, whether of trees, of earth embankments or just a footpath, is often indicative of man's adaptation of nature to create some form of highway.
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