Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Watchman's House or Mary Brady's House

The ancient stone bridge in Baslow, Derbyshire, is the only bridge across the River Derwent that has never flooded over the centuries. Originally, a wooden bridge spanned the river, but in the early 1600s, it was replaced by the stone bridge we see today. This bridge is a testament to the workmanship of Derbyshire masons.
The little stone building located directly on the bridge was originally a Watchman’s Hut. It was used by villagers who guarded the bridge against merchants carrying too heavy a load. If caught, the merchants had to pay a fine of almost seven shillings. In later years, a homeless woman called Mary Brady took up residence. She spent many nights taking shelter in the tiny hut which bears her name.

Note: The height of the door may have been reduced by road repairs over the centuries.