Devil's Bridge on Spooky Lane – England - Atlas Obscura

Out in the Hertfordshire countryside is a sunken Roman road, now sided by old trees with tentacle-like roots that top the high brick and flint walls as if they are climbing out of the road.

Along the old holloway is a hidden bridge known by locals as the “Devil’s Bridge on Spooky Lane.” It’s shrouded in urban legends of ghosts and witchcraft curses.

One of the ghosts sighted along the old road was a silent, robed monk walking towards a monastery that used to be nearby. Another was a Roman soldier standing to attention guarding the road. Others have reported strange sounds and mysterious red lights coming from the surrounding bushes.

Local legend will tell you that this is a place where witchcraft is practiced. Until not too long ago, the walls did have pentagrams and 666’s chalked on them. (Whether this is the work of the occult or pranksters is not clear.)

The bridge is unusually situated almost on top of a steep hill. It is made of brick and seems overelaborate in its construction. Its ribbed under arch has led some to suspect it was made with a forgotten purpose. Others speculate the bridge was made to settle a land access dispute, explaining its strange uphill location. Cars suffering mechanical breakdowns near the bridge then returning to working order again moments later have been reported, as well as horses and dogs acting strangely spooked.

Built around the time of the third Duke of Bridgewater, the road was a carriage drive to the nearby stately home Ashridge House along the Golden Valley. It is said the duke had the old Roman road sunken to hide the lady of the house from the stare of the local peasant workers and other non-noble men.  

The nearby village is beautiful, with some medieval-era houses and a church dating back 1275.  Whatever the truth is about this place, it is a fascinating local urban legend.

Know Before You Go

On a public road but driving is not recommended. It is much better seen on foot... at night. Park at pub and buy a drink as a thank you. Villagers understandably do not really like the attention of visitors the bridge brings them, or unfounded links to the occult. They are sometimes known to deter visitors by saying there is no bridge at all.

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March 19, 2018

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