Our Little Lost Bridge ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 307

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

Today, I want to tell you about one of the first submissions I got for this Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection. The very fact that it has taken until now to write about it gives some indication of  how stunned I was to receive it.

Garrarus Beach, as many of you will know by now, is one of my most deeply treasured haunts and it’s where I go swimming all year round. For years now, I’ve been exchanging waves with a man out walking his dog on the road to the shore and I’d noticed a few times when the sea was maybe a bit on the rough side that he seemed to wait very unobtrusively to be sure that I was back safely on dry land. That was something I really appreciated.

Somehow, it never entered my consciousness that this man,who is such a part of  my precious relationship with Garrarus,  could be a reader of my blog. For one thing, I can never get any signal for phone or internet in that area! Nor, did I think that the Garrarus area could have a more delightful little  stone bridge than the one that stands at the turn off from the ‘main road’ for that last lovely stretch down to the beach.

So imagine my surprise when I received this email from the man whose name I now know is Liam:

Hello Jean,
I just stumbled on your blog Social Bridge recently.
I am enjoying your writing and photos especially the ones of Garrarus Strand.
I am very fortunate to live on the road that leads down to the Strand and the dog and myself  visit at least a couple of times a day.
I am attaching a couple of photos of another bridge in Garrarus.  Sadly it was knocked down about thirty years ago by a cement lorry.
This bridge was directly across the road from our house and was the start of the lane that runs up to the next road.
I just learned recently that our old friend Oliver Cromwell is said to have travelled this lane on his way to attack Dunhill Castle and would have crossed this bridge…..

Garrarus really is a special place and I feel so privileged to live here. I look forward to your treatment of our little lost bridge.



Well, Liam, I can feel Garrarus calling as the clouds have lifted and the sun is pouring down.  Thanks for telling me about ‘our little lost bridge’ and for taking the trouble to meet me on this one!

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

10 thoughts on “Our Little Lost Bridge ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 307”

  1. What a fantastic bridge, and self-supporting by the look of it (a bit like a Jersey arch). How did no one think to rebuild it? Ireland does such great work at times in preserving old buildings, monuments and such but lets other jewels bite the dust. Well done Jean and Liam for this great post.

    1. Roy, many thanks for your kind words. The bridge is truly amazing, isn’t it? You’re so right about the awfulness of it not being rebuilt. It’s great, though, to have these photos, thanks to Liam.

  2. Thanks Jean and all for your comments. The photos were given to me by relatives of a neighbour who passed away a few years ago. I think they were converted from slides. I was here the morning the accident happened and actually saw it happen. There was a house being built at the other side of the bridge so all the emphasis was on the house so quickest solution was the order of the day. Conservation wasn’t a priority in those days unfortunately. If it happened today I think we would ensure it was rebuilt. It was a lovely little bridge and was quite narrow, it was probably built as a pedestrian or horse and cart bridge. My wife and all the generations of her family who lived here played on the bridge and the rock beside it.

  3. Liam, great to hear from you and to learn even more about the bridge. What date would you say it was knocked down and have you any idea when it was built? Sounds like it must have been hundreds of years old?

  4. I think we lost our lovely little bridge in 1978.
    Its difficult to put a date on when it was built, if I remember correctly there was no cement or mortar used in its construction, as Roy said it was self supporting.
    I think it was unusual because it had no side walls on top.
    I doubt if it was there when Oliver Cromwell crossed it.
    The lane and the bridge part are of a road which was also a Mass Path that ran from the bad bend on Westown road to Churchouse which is up the farmers lane beside our house and close to Kilfarassey. There’s no church there now but there is a very ancient cemetery.
    My wifes late Mum told me that her Great Grandmother remembered funerals passing up the lane!
    So was our little bridge there then, I really don’t know Jean but I like to think it was.
    I sometimes sit out there and imagine the sounds of Cromwells army marching to Dunhill !!

  5. Liam, thanks for this wonderful information. I’m amazed to hear about the ancient cemetery in the locale and the fact that there used to be a church up the lane. I’d love to see it sometime.

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