Bridge Grottoes

On my recent walks I have been striving to pay attention to the variety of wildflowers on roadsides and in hedges, and have come to particularly admire plants that grow on manmade structures.

Factory Lane BridgeWhilst studying the variety of ferns, hart’s tongue and mosses on the railway bridge over Factory Lane in Penwortham a message entered my mind, this is a bridge grotto. This confirmed my intuition that rich vegetation is an indicator that a place is inspirited.

Factory Lane BridgeWhen I shared this insight and the photograph above with my friend, Peter Dillon, he spotted the figure of a lady outlined in water on the right hand side. If you look closer you will see she has a headress of broad leaved willowherb.

Female Guardian, Factory Lane BridgeWhen I revisited the bridge I saw her outline was still there, and on the left spotted what might be seen as a male figure with grassy hair and beard, stained in sandy water with a more tribal look about him. I interpreted them to be ‘guardians’ of this place.

Male Guardian, Factory Lane BridgeMy curiosity was piqued. Now every time I pass or go under a bridge I question whether it is a bridge grotto. So far I have only come across one other possible candidate. This is the railway bridge near the Continental Pub. Interestingly on the Preston side it joins Avenham Park close to an area actually referred to as a grotto.

Bridge Grottoes, Mr Tufty, Yew and Ash 071 - CopyI’m not sure what it means for a bridge to be a grotto yet, or what it is that makes one bridge a grotto another not. Whilst vegtation and running water can be signals, a positive reply from the place itself seems more important.

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3 thoughts on “Bridge Grottoes

  1. Fascinating! And I can see the lady which makes a change because often I struggle to interpret what others can see and I can’t. But it plainly is the shape of a lady, Well spotted. I will look out with interest for any more finds.

  2. These are wonderful images of forms that seem to want to be recognised and acknowledged. Well spotting and thoughtfully presented. It is so important that we see with our inner as well as outer eyes, or we miss so much of the obvious right in front of us.

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