A while back I blogged about Caergwrle Castle, Flintshire, a possible early medieval hill-top fortification and 13th-century Welsh castle. Today, I went back to the castle and also explored the impressive war memorial. In addition, I visited the Caergwrle Packhorse Bridge, the historic route across the River Alyn between Caergwrle and the church of Hope. I am more used to seeing the ‘clapper bridges’ the crude megalithic packhorse bridges of Dartmoor. Here we find a far more sophisticated masonry construction with multiple arches and yet equally narrow. It is apparently one of the best surviving in Wales.
The archaeodeath dimensions are twofold and simply articulated:
- As the main route between principal settlement and church, I wonder how many souls, living and then dead, have made their way over this 17th-century bridge from their homes to Hope church?
- There was of course a dimension of heritage commemoration. The trip wouldn’t be complete without noticing a memorial plaque on the face of the wall of the house closest to the east end of the bridge. The plaque commemorates the restoration of the bridge following it being washed away in floods.