This was previously known as Dawlish Old Bridge. It
afforded the relatively safe crossing of the Brook, and it was built in
stone in the 17th century, carrying traffic along the ancient track way
from the north to Holcombe and Teignmouth.
It became a County Bridge in 1690, but Dawlish had to contribute to its
upkeep. Traffic needs led to its widening in1864, as is recorded on a
stone plaque facing the road. But it doesn’t surprise us to learn that
in 1875 a flood came down which damaged the Church Street bridge and
caused the tragic death of one John Radford who was trying to save the
stonework. He fell and was washed away, his body being recovered from
the beach next morning.
The re-building was in the hands of civil engineer John Carpenter, his
name is inscribed on the new plaque of 1876, hence the bridge’s
alternative name of Carpenter’s Bridge.