Crawford Bridge, Spetisbury

Crawford Bridge
Crawford Bridge, Spetisbury – the upstream side with cut-waters

Sometimes it pays to be cheeky ๐Ÿ™‚ !

The picture above is one I have wanted to get for a long time and I managed to capture it yesterday, although I would have preferred some late afternoon sunlight on the bridge – this was taken too early for the ‘golden hour’. It is a picture that is not normally possible because the land I’m stood on to take it is someone’s private garden. Every time I walk across the bridge, I hope to see someone mowing the lawn so that I could get chatting and hopefully be invited into the garden but it has never happened. So yesterday I decided to just ring the doorbell and ask!

Crawford Bridge
The cut-waters from one of the pedestrian refuges


When the man answered the door, I said, ‘Sorry, I know I am being really cheeky and please feel free to say no but……..’. He could not have been nicer and gave me permission to wander at will on his private land to take my pictures. That was a generous thing to do for a complete stranger who was just walking past.

Crawford Bridge, so called because it carries the road from Spetisbury to Tarrant Crawford, is probably the most famous of the many bridges that cross the River Stour, in fact possibly in the whole of Dorset, and it is a Grade 1 Listed Building. It was built in the 15th century and widened in 1819, and has nine arches. The reason I wanted this view is because it is the upstream side which has the cut-waters and pedestrian refuges, making it more interesting. It is also the older, medieval side. The downstream side is much more plain and is also much more photographed simply because the river bank is accessible on that side.


The River Stour from Crawford Bridge
The River Stour from Crawford Bridge

The bridge itself is beautiful, especially with those lovely tones and textures on the stone, but so is the view from it. High up to the left are the houses and cottages of Spetisbury, and to the right, the farm land of the Stour Valley. The only thing which is not looking quite so lovely is the line of trees along the river bank because several have sadly been damaged in the winter storms.

I’m glad I rang that doorbell yesterday and that by being cheeky, I was able to get my picture. It was an awesome day to be out walking and this was the icing on the cake.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings.

Until next time,
Your friend
The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me,ย my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.comย โ€“ comments and feedback are always welcomed.

All words and pictures in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and may not be reproduced without permission.


  1. If you ask nicely, most people are obliging. Many plants in my gardens, over the years, have come from generous gardeners, happy to share their own passions.

      1. We have one such bridge here in Aylesford old and so striking. The other day I found myself placing a hand on the stone and just rubbing it. I felt I was connecting with all the historical memory in its stone. It was a good moment.

  2. What a wonderful old bridge. Those beautifully aging stones are lovely. It also looks as if the weather was really great, so everything came together with the permission you were given to go on the private land.

  3. Hello. It is my turn to be cheeky. I am writing a book called “The Churches of the Tarrant Valley”. I would love to include your lovely picture of Crawford Bridge. Obviously I would give your full acknowledgement in the book and , of course a complimentary copy on publication. Kind regards Brian Ash

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