Tarr Steps

The Tarr Steps are a clapper bridge across the River Barle in the Exmoor National Park, Somerset, England. They are located in a national nature reserve about 2.5 miles (4 km) south east of Withypool and 4 miles (6 km) north west of Dulverton.

This is one of the best known monuments on Exmoor. Its age is unknown, as several theories claim that Tarr Steps dates from the Bronze Age but others date them from around 1400 AD.

There is an on-going quarrel over how old the bridge is. If S.H Burton (chairman of the Exmoor Society and an Aficionado on Exmoor) is correct in thinking that “Tarr” derives from the Celtic “Tochar”, meaning a causeway, it is of considerable antiquity.

It has been restored several times in recent years, following flood damage. Over the years the damage provides a good indicator of the strength of each flood. Some of the top slabs have been washed away in extreme flood conditions and they have now all been numbered to facilitate replacement.

Legend has it he Tarr Steps were even said to have been built by the devil so he could sunbathe.

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