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Beam Aqueduct

OS ref 474 209
This beautiful Grade 2 listed bridge spanning the River Torridge is now the main access road  to Beam College but was originally an aqueduct which carried Lord Rolle’s Canal across the river Torridge.It has 5 arches and is approximately 270 feet long and 22 feet wide.  Bearing in mind the width of the tub boats negotiating this aqueduct and allowing for a wide tow path this is an extravagant bridge. The trough across the aqueduct was constructed from Elm, a timber that lasts almost indefinitely once immersed in water.On the left hand parapet is a commemorative foundation stone on which bears the following words:-
‘The first stone on this aqueduct was laid by the Right Honourable John Lord Rolle of  Stevenstone in the county of Devon on the 11th day of August 1824 in the presence of the Mayor, Corporation, and Feoffees of Great Torrington and other persons assembled to witness the commencement of the Canal undertaken at the sole expense of his LordshipJames Green, Engineer’Beyond Beam Bridge the canal follows the edge of Furzebeam Hill.  Lord Clinton, a descendent of the Rolle family, has restored a carriage bridge and cleared a short length of the canal here, where there was a collecting basin.
The canal continues inland hugging the steep hillside and required the construction of some major stone embankments.The canal continues across lands belonging to Torrington Conservators.
This part of the canal can be easily viewed by access from  the Tarka trail via a stile at the base of Furzebeam Hill.