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Reybridge, below Chippenham in square ST 93 69, is a beautiful village with a nearly-medieval bridge (#1).  It doesn’t look these days as if it had ever been on an important route, but it has: from Aust & Wales in one direction and to London in the other. 


(Lacock looks a more likely candidate for a through road: it has more clout, somehow – and an abbey.  But the roads westward from there meander unconvincingly up to Corsham then down again to Box.  Whatever: the topsman probably visited the abbey to buy & sell stock.)


Geoffrey Wright (“Roads & Trackways of Wessex”) nails the importance of Reybridge when he finds, in the Quarter Sessions Great Rolls of 1654, a petition from the inhabitants “of the towne & parish of Lacock and neighbouring places” against the planned demolition of “Rey Bridge”.  The petition goes on:

[the petition] humbly showeth that whereas the bridge called Rey Bridge…hath been lately by order of Quarter Sessions broke down…and intended to be quite demolished…and by the same order another bridge called footebridge [!] is intended to be repayred for use instead of Reybridge – Now forasmuch as Reybridge lyeth directly in the roade between the Cittye of London and the Cittyes of Bath and Bristol and so more convenient for Passengers and carriages…” etc. etc.


Fancy wanting to demolish a perfectly good bridge.  Vested interests must have been at work behind the scenes.


There’s a possible (probable) drovers’ inn at Cuckoo Bush Farm (916695).  I assume this because people called inns daft names but rarely farms; and it’s on the edge of a village where there’s plenty of water.  It’s in two halves, one each side of the road; one half was once a piggery and has a tall clump of pine trees (#2). 


Reybridge is a smashing place.  Park a mile away & walk.  If you’re in luck you’ll see a view like #3 as you come down Naish Hill, crystal clear water, even a swan & cygnets (#4).

Reybridge image 1
The Bridge at Reybridge
Reybridge image 2
Cuckoo Bush Farm
Reybridge image 3
Down Naish Hill
Reybridge image 4
Local Family