Although I had come across references to Swarkestone bridge I hadn’t set out to find it, but I came across it accidently while I was looking for Anchor church. I knew that Anchor church was close to the village of Ingleby, however the village was that small that I passed through it without realising it, this brought me through to the end of Swarkestone bridge where it spans the river Trent.
The bridge and the causeway which it is linked to make it the longest bridge in England, the combined length of this grade II listed building is 1304 yards, the causeway has been in existence since 1204 and some experts claim it was built earlier in 1192.
There is a legend attached to the causeway as it is believed that it was commisioned by two sisters of the Bellamont family, the reason for this was that they were betrothed to a pair of Knights who were called away during their engagement party to attend a meeting by a group of Barons. While they were at the meeting the rain that was falling caused the river to rise, at this time in history there was no bridge at this location and the river had to be forded, the Knights attempted to do this on their return journey, however they were at the wrong location to ford the river and were unfortunately washed away and drowned. The two sisters were devastated by their loss and this is the reason that they had the causeway built, unfortunately the cost of constructing it forced them into bankruptcy. The two sisters are said to be buried in the same grave in the church at Prestwold in Leicestershire and according to legend their ghosts haunt the causeway on stormy nights when the river is high.