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Gallox Bridge on Exmoor

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Exmoor National Park, in the South West of England, covers 267 square miles. Two thirds of the park is in Somerset, the rest in Devon, and it’s believed to have started life as continuous oak woodland.

Landscape
Full of spectacular scenery, it includes moorland and farmland, oak woodlands, heath and bog, a host of beautiful villages tucked among the combes or valleys between the hills, and the towns of Minehead, Dulverton, Lynton, Porlock and many others – including Dunster, whose castle stars in Murder at the Castle.

Coast
There are 37 miles of coastline within the National Park, sheltered enough to allow stretches of almost inaccessible woodland, especially near Porlock.

The highest coastal cliff in England is in Exmoor; Great Hangman, at 800ft.

Wildlife
Exmoor ponies, a race of wild horses, roam freely on Exmoor, alongside red deer, otters, bats and butterflies. Fast-running, clear rivers cross the land, allowing salmon and trout to spawn while cattle and sheep graze the land, as they have for centuries.

Writers
Writers and poets have often based themselves in the region. William Wordsworth lived there for a year, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote part of ‘the Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, and Richard Doddridge Blackmoor included much of the landscape in his adventure novel, ‘Lorna Doone’.

Gallox Bridge
Gallox Bridge, featured in Murder at the Bridge, is a medieval packhorse bridge, built over the River Avill in Exmoor, alongside a ford designed for carts, to carry wool to the town of Dunster.

The name is a corruption of Gallows Bridge, named after the gallows that once stood nearby, at the disposal of the lords of Dunster Castle when they wished to condemn a thief to death.

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