A Bridge Not Too Far

Somerset Bridge, known as the “worlds shortest drawbridge.”

One of the famous “attractions” in Bermuda is the Somerset Bridge, reputedly the smallest working drawbridge in the world. The bridge connects Somerset Island with the mainland in the western parish of Sandys, crossing a small channel connecting the Great Sound with Ely’s Harbour.

From Wikipedia (almost as reliable as a Snapple bottle cap) 😉 :

“The bridge is mentioned in the acts of Bermuda’s first parliament, held in St. George’s on 1 August 1620. Bridges were to be constructed at Somerset, the Flatts, and Coney Island. Additionally, the road from Somerset to Warwick was to be improved, and extended to Castle Point. The bridge appears on a 1624 map of Bermuda.

The bridge is opened by hand, creating a 32-inch gap that allows the passage of a sailboat’s mast. The drawbridge is depicted on a Bermudian banknote.”

Somerset Bridge, known as the “worlds shortest drawbridge.”
Somerset Bridge, known as the “worlds shortest drawbridge.”

The bridge is used very rarely these days, as most sailboats do not traverse that channel, either due to size or draft.

These guys are used to being fed. They didn’t stick around when it was apparent we had no treats!

4 thoughts on “A Bridge Not Too Far”

  1. With a 32″ opening, I’d want to be pretty sure that the sailboat I was piloting was centered in the channel. Yikes.

    Plus… Tom… it’s a DRAW bridge, not a PHOTOGRAPH bridge… get out yer pencils.

    1. Oooooh, bad joke alert! 🙂

      I suppose it would have been possible for someone to walk along side the opening and guide the mast through. Someone would need to go up and manually open the bridge anyway. But yes, a little dicey for sure.

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