People have been using the Clam Bridge since at least 1864. Clam Bridge is a unique bridge found on Dartmoor. The Clam Bridge is made from two tree trunks laid flat across the river and it is one of the last, and possibly the final bridge made in this way on Dartmoor. The construction of the Clam Bridge is similar to the stone clapper bridges which are found more commonly on Dartmoor. The surface of each tree trunk is sawn flat and grooves are cut into it to provide more grip. The tree trunks are from trees felled in the locality. These beams are replaced every 10 to 20 years and so the structure is simple, sustainable and suitable for its beautiful location A simple rustic handrail is attached to the downstream side of the bridge. Dartmoor writer William Crossing noted in his 1912 'Guide to Dartmoor', clam bridges are "seldom seen on Dartmoor".
The work for the new bridge started in July 2007. The project involved members of: 42 Commando (Air Assault) Roborough, RNAS Yeovilton MOAT and 846 Helicopter Squadron, The Joint Air Transportation Evaluation Unit, South West Highways Department and Devon County Council. The materials used were 35 tons of aggregate, 4 steel beams measuring 13.4 x 9.3m, wooden cladding, hand rails, kick rails along with all the necessary fixing bolts etc. The wood and metal fixings were delivered on site by heavy horse power due to the site’s remoteness. The costs of building the new bridge were in the region of £35,000 and was completed by the September of 2007.
You will need to gather some information at the headline coordinates in the area of the Clam Bridge to work out where to find the cache:
On the new bridge:
A = How many steps up to the bridge on the Hammerslake/Lustleigh side inc. the top step?
B = How many letters in the first word on the vertical sign on the bridge at the same end?
C = How many screws around the faded arrow, again on the same side?
D = At the bottom of the majority of the vertical supports there are how many bolts with large round washers?
On the Clam Bridge:
E = How many metal supports are there to the hand rail on the main river section of the bridge?
F = After crossing on the far side of the bridge, how many screws are missing from the second metal support plate?
On the nearby signpost:
The bridle way points right to Hammerslake, and it goes left to ? for Manaton (G = the number of letters in the missing place name)
On the same arm of the signpost that gives you G, the total number of letters in the place that the Footpath points towards should be taken as HJ
Check sum N50 (rest of coordinates total 18) W003 (rest of coordinates total 26)
With thanks to Natural England for allowing the placement of the cache. Please ensure to respect the area as it is a beautiful place. The cache is visible and please leave the main path as close as possible to avoid damage to the plantlife. The best place to do this is near a large mossy boulder on the path. Thank you.
The Little Bridges series was started by Stanthews in 2009 to highlight small footbridges in remote parts of Wiltshire. Since then the series has been expanded by others all over the country and starting to spread fast, Damian from Winter Foxes has created and updates a list of cachers who has found 10 or more little bridges and can be found here, if you would like to add to the series, please contact Stan on firstname.lastname@example.org and he will give you a number for your bridge, to qualify, the bridge must be a foot bridge too small for vehicles, please make sure your title exactly matches “Little Bridges # xx then name” including spaces so it will get picked up and added to Damian’s list.