The Cantlop bridge is on the way back towards Shrewsbury from Acton Burnell (see my last post). Built in 1813 it was one of a network of bridges constructed to improve both communication and trade in Shropshire.
We pulled in to the off road parking area to take a look at the bridge. It is a single span bridge built to an innovative design approved by Scottish engineer Thomas Telford. The structure was strong enough to support the flat deck without a central pier which could have hindered navigation of the Cound brook.
It is built from cast iron and is the only Telford approved cast iron bridge left in Shropshire. Although cast iron is very durable it is weak in tension and no longer considered suitable for today's heavy road traffic. It stopped being used in the 1970s when the present road bridge was built. This is a rather smaller bridge than the one by Telford and Jessop that I wrote about here!
As we walked over the bridge and back I spotted hops growing in the hedgerows. Although to me it was an unusual sight it is, apparently, quite common to see wild hops growing in hedgerows in several areas of the country especially where there has been, or still is commercial hop growing taking place.
The hops stretched quite a way down the road across the hedgerow separating the road from the field beyond.
As we headed home we stopped at a farm shop and cafe to have a cup of late afternoon peppermint tea.
For the Gloucester Old Spot pigs it was tea time too!