Viators Bridge - Milldale
VIATOR’S BRIDGE – MILLDALE
Viator’s Bridge is located at Milldale on the River Dove, at the entrance to one of the most spectacular and dramatic sections of Dove Dale.
On the east bank of the river is a steep zig-zag path called Hanson’s Toot which leads down from Hanson Grange. This was reputedly the route taken by Izaak Walton when he first encountered the Dove whilst travelling from Ashbourne to Beresford Hall with his friend Charles Cotton.
In his book The Compleat Angler, written in 1653, Izaak Walton is given the name Viator. His frightening descent of the hill was followed by the sight of the tiny bridge across the river which in those days lacked the parapets which were added later, and inspired him to write the following “What’s here, the sign of a bridge? Do you travel in wheelbarrows in this country? This bridge was made for nothing else – why a mouse can hardly go over it, tis not two fingers broad!”
Consequently, Viator’s Bridge or Wheelbarrow Bridge it was named and has been known as ever since.
The bridge is now listed as an ancient monument.