July 25, 2021
Devil's Bridge can refer to a wide range of places in a wide range of countries. However, it refers to a village as well as the bridge that inspired the village's English name when used in the context of Wales. As for why Devil's Bridge is called Devil's Bridge, well, suffice to say that the structure is a very striking sight.
After all, Devil's Bridge isn't a single bridge. Instead, it consists of three bridges, each of which has been built upon its immediate predecessor. The first bridge seems to have been built at some point in the medieval era. Meanwhile, the second bridge is a product of the mid 18th century while the third bridge is a product of the early 20th century.
It isn't clear how the curious structure came to be. The first bridge is sometimes speculated to have been built by Strata Florida Abbey after a young monk lost his life while seeking to cross the river. This can be seen in how while the Welsh name of Pont y Mynach means "Bridge over the River Mynach," it is possible that it was once something closer to "Monk's Bridge." Having said that, the origins of the second bridge are much better-known. Over time, its predecessor had become unstable, which was a huge problem because of the huge amount of traffic brought about by lead mining. As such, there was a need for something stronger, thus resulting in the second bridge.
Of course, there are more fantastical stories about how the Devil's Bridge came to be as well. To be exact, an old woman is said to have lost her cow, which wandered off to the other side of the river. She couldn't get to the cow, which is why the Devil offered to build a bridge in exchange for the soul of the first being to use it. Once it had been built, the old woman lured a dog over the bridge by throwing a crust of bread, thus preserving her soul while still retrieving her cow.
Regardless, Devil's Bridge has been a site of tourist interest for quite some time. In part, this is because of the structure itself. However, it should also be noted that its surroundings are no less impressive, particularly since people can actually walk down for a better look at the site. As such, it is definitely something that interested individuals should consider for their own visit to Mid Wales.
Such stories are very common. After all, damnation was a rather terrifying prospect, so it made sense that people would prefer stories in which they managed to beat the Devil at his own game. Still, it seems that Mid Wales was particularly enthusiastic in this regard, as shown by the sheer number of stories out there.
Amusingly, the Devil was also very consistent in such stories. He was always either black or at least very dark in coloring. Furthermore, the Devil was fond of taking on either an animal form or the shape of a horned man with cloven hooves. Of course, the only thing that he couldn't turn into was a white sheep, which makes sense because that would've been associated with Christ. Naturally, such stories have inspired a number of local customs, with examples ranging from spitting whenever the Devil's name was mentioned to whitewashing the doorstep to prevent the Devil from entering the home.
August 28, 2023