Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion – Pontarfynach, Wales - Atlas Obscura

Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion

Three bridges straddle a stream, one stacked upon the other. 


Three bridges span the ravine over the Mynach river, strangely stacked one upon the next. The uppermost span was constructed in 1902 over another stone bridge built in 1753 and the original dating all the way back to as early as 1075-1200. A set of stairs known, fittingly, as Jacob’s Ladder descends the ravine to the first bridge.

The name “Devil’s Bridge” seems fitting here in honor of the strange construction, but there are in fact dozens, if not hundreds, of similarly named arched stone bridges throughout Europe. Like all of its counterparts, this bridge comes with its own devil story. According to legend, the steep ravine was far too difficult to span by ordinary mortal hands, so the devil stepped in with an offer: he would build the bridge in exchange for the first soul to cross it upon completion. The deal was made, and the bridge built – but when it came time for the first person to step onto the crossing, a dog dashed out ahead, thus saving the citizenry from eternal torment.

Another detail of the fable is that when the devil realized he’d been outsmarted, he stormed off in a rage. Because of his embarrassment, it has been surmised that he has never to returned for a visit to Wales.

Know Before You Go

There are two paths to the base of the bridge, one a straightforward up and down to the Devil's Cauldron, the other part of an hour long waterfall walk.

The Devil's Cauldron walk can be accessed through a coin operated turnstile or payment by card at the ticket booth.

Following significant upgrades in 2021 there is now a large level platform with a good view of the three bridges. Level access for those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility can be obtained from the ticket booth opposite, or by twenty steps through the turnstile.

Sensible footwear with good traction is a must if embarking down the steps due to the steep inclines and uneven surfaces. The Devil's Cauldron operates a one way system.

The force of the waterfalls depend on the rainfall. They become more intense during the winter and spring.

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