An Unusual Bridge and an Unusual Word

I’m afraid this is another post about Crowland, but I hope you will bear with me. It will be worth it if you are a pontist, or possibly a gephyrophile.

Pontist is used to denote someone who is very interested in bridges. Gephyrophile, though translated from the Greek, and therefore a very respectable scientific word, is not, in my opinion, as easy on the tongue. It is also a term used to describe people who have a compulsion to cross bridges. This is not quite the same as merely liking them.  The other thing against it as a word is that it sounds rather to close to a term you might use for someone who likes people called Geoffrey.

My preference would be for pontophile, which is easier to say and spell, and is a word people are likely to use. In fact at least one other person has suggested it on the net. I know it’s a mix of  Latin and Greek, but that has not stopped us using the word television, and if it does irritate a few classical purists so much the better. After enduring (or resisting) both Latin and Greek at school I see this as a continuation of my youthful rebellion.

As a result of a mistyped search I can also tell you that a ponyphile is not someone you would like to have in the family and that pantophiles like everything.

Anyway, if you follow this link you will see, about an inch to the left of Bridge Hardware, a three-pointed shape. This, as the shop name implies, is a bridge. Due to it’s three points it is known as Trinity Bridge. It was built to cross two streams that joined at this point. The earliest mention of it is in 716, and it was rebuilt in stone between 1360 and 1390. The figure on the bridge is believed to be either Christ with a globe or King Ethelbald with an orb (possibly removed from the West Front of the Abbey) or sometimes, more frivolously, as Cromwell with a bun.




21 thoughts on “An Unusual Bridge and an Unusual Word

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Morning and Procrastination is in Full Swing | quercuscommunity

  2. Liz

    Interesting post! The word gephyrophile is new to me. But that’s probably because I’m a gephyrophobiac!

    1. quercuscommunity

      Both words were unknown to me until I wrote the post. Is there a certain size of bridge that triggers the fear or is it all bridges? It must make life very difficult.


Leave a Reply