.....a tale of trade and romance!
Do you like a bit of old fashioned romance? If you do this is a 'must visit' place. "Beggar's Bridge" is the most romantic bridge in Yorkshire. Situated in the North Yorks Moors National Park near Danby it has a fascinating story behind its construction in 1619. Thomas Ferris was a poor man but he hoped to wed the daughter of the local wealthy squire. The squire of course would not consent to the marriage of his daughter to such a beggar. So Thomas decided to set sail from Whitby to make his fortune. Before he left he wanted to pledge his undying love to his sweetheart so she would wait for him. Unfortunately the River Esk was swollen with rainfall and he was unable to make this last intended visit. He travelled for many years and eventually returned. By now he was a very rich man and a respectable match for the squire's daughter even if there was a whiff of piracy attached to his good fortune! But had she remained faithful to him after all these years? Happily - yes - she had remained true to him and they were wed. Together they organised the building of this bridge so that no other lovers would have to suffer what they had gone through. It still stands to this day as a lovely reminder of a romantic love story.
There are other less glamorous bridges scattered all over North Yorkshire - pack horse bridges. They were constructed in medieval times to facilitate the transport of wool from the great Yorkshire Abbeys - Fountains, Rievaulx and Byland - to the east coast for export to mainland Europe. England's growing wealth and power were founded on the wool trade. They span streams and rivers and are just wide enough for a pack horse and its panniers to negotiate. That so many still exist is a testimony to the skill of their builders.
Professional artist now semi retired and enjoying being eccentric!