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The Upper Bridge and the river Test,

in June 1983.


Sorry, this should be the Upper bridge.
The Upper bridge on the river Test.
High-res
From chapter 39, 'The Bridges':

'It had not occurred to any of the rabbits that they were floating beside the path up which they had come earlier that evening before the storm broke. They were on the opposite side of the hedge of plants along the bank and the whole river looked different. But now they saw, not far ahead, the bridge which they had crossed when they first came to the Test four nights before. This they recognized at once, for it looked the same as it had from the bank.
'Maybe you go under 'im, maybe not,' said Kehaar. 'But you sit dere, ees trouble.'
The bridge stretched from bank to bank between two low abutments. It was not arched. Its under-side, made of iron girders, was perfectly straight - parallel with the surface and about eight inches above it... Any creature above the level of the sides would be struck and perhaps knocked into the river.'

Richard Adams was born in this area.
He was sent to boarding school not far away, at Bradfield and later went to Oxford University, also within thirty miles or so. He travelled the world during WWII and pounded the streets
of London as a civil servant. Following publication of Watership Down he spent time
in the Isle of Man and the USA and, but has
since returned to within a couple
of miles of here.

Blackberry knows all sorts of interesting facts about Watership Down.
This shows just how low the Upper Bridge, which Fiver had such a good time crossing, really was and how hard the girder struck the unfortunate Thrayonlosa.

This was the furthest extent of my wanderings in 1983 and brings the main part of my tour of the locations of Richard Adams's Watership Down to a close. I'll leave you with just more photograph:

Sorry, this should be the river test below the Upper bridge.
The river Test below the Upper bridge.
High-res
This is the Test below the Upper bridge, the punt drifted slowly but steadily along this wide stretch of chalk stream: 'On almost any other river, Blackberry's plan would not have worked. The punt would not have left the bank or, if it had, would have run aground or been fouled by weeds or some other obstruction. But here, on the Test, there were no submerged branches and no gravel spits or beds of weed above the surface at all. From bank to bank the current, regular and unvaried, flowed as fast as a man strolling.' (quote suggested by Kathleen Cheney)
ReturnClick Bigwig here to return to select another location. It might be best to avoid his ears, his fleas live there!