The Clapper Bridge, Bunlahinch

Map Reference: L753759 (0753, 2759)

The term ‘clapper’ meant a plank and comes possibly from Sussex where such bridges are common. Clapper bridges are a prehistoric form of stone bridge consisting of a series of small stone piers or pillars, which are connected by flat stone lintels.

They were designed to cross wide shallow rivers as seen at Bunlahinch and were used as footbridges. It is possible that this bridge was built in the 1840s or 50s as part of the work carried out by the Irish Church Mission, a Protestant organisation which was given land rent-free by the Marquis of Sligo. It stands beside a ford, by which beasts and vehicles could cross the stream.

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