Steps Bridge

This was still a ford when Leland visited the area in the 1530s. The first bridge was constructed in 1710, replacing the old stepping stones which are still visible in the weir dam above Steps Bridge. Many accidents had occurred, and it was built as a result of “the loss of a man and a woman who were taken downstream and drowned together with their horses”. Financed partly by private subscription, “the miller at Dunsford donating £10”, it needed more repairs almost annually. In 1801 and 1803 the parapet was raised and the foundations repaired. By 1814 a new bridge was needed and at the Quarter Sessions magistrates allocated £2000 for “a new bridge with three arches”. Completion was delayed and money was withheld until 1816, since the contractors had deviated from the contract by building it 2 feet too low and on shallow foundations.  The present Steps Bridge (see above) was the result; see the close-up picture of the date stone on Steps Bridge.’