Bridges On The Coquet


"A short distance from Windyhaugh the Coquet has cut for itself a passage through the solid rock, forming a long deep pool, known as "the Wedder Loup," famous for its big fish, but dangerously near the road that skirts its brink, The tradition attached to this pool is, that during the later mosstrooping days, when that respectable border profession was on the wane, a "lifter" one night carried off a nice plump wedder from the flock grazing on the slopes of Shillhope Law. The daring sheep-stealer had not proceeded very far ere the loss was discovered. Immediately the owner and his men gave chase. The "Hot Trod" proved short but decisive, Handicapped by the wedder tied around his neck, hill fashion, he was run to bay at this particular spot, to leap the chasm was his only chance of escape; therefore all was risked in one desperate bound. His feet touched the opposite bank; he clutched and struggled, but in vain - the wedder around his neck proved a very millstone to the fugitive, dragging him with his ill-gotten booty backwards into the murky depths of the pool below. Since then its name has been 'The Wedder Loup'."

'Upper Coquetdale'. David Dippie Dixon. 1903.

The footbridge crossing this part of the Coquet does not seem to cross at an especially dangerous place though it may not be at the exact spot described in the story told aboveand it is built across a pool 14 feet deep. Wedder means a sheep, loup of course means to leap. There is a farmhouse nearby and a picnic site with parking is provided opposite. The road still continues north and the hills are ever-present, sheep grazing on their slopes.

The valley is still fairly low, the road not having made any serious climbs apart from at Linbriggs. We are now deep inside the Ministry of Defence Otterburn (Military) Ranges, the live firing area lies to the south of the river, to the north is the dry training area.

 Wedder Leap Footbridge Facts

Constructed - not known
Type - beam, wood.
Position: Wedder Leap, Northumberland.
Grid Ref: NT 867 104
 Wedder Leap Footbridge

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