The old High Bridge
Highbridge takes its name from the ancient crossing point of the River Brue. Until the early 19th Century, the place was no more than a collection of scattered farmsteads, however, with the digging of the 'new cut' by Napoleonic Prisoners of War, a wharf developed on the old channel, later to be exploited by the railways. This did mean, however, that the old bridge was converted into a sluice gate, which with time slowly silted up.
Until recently, the Sunday market site provided access to the wharf. However, it is now badly overgrown and surrounded with security fencing preventing easy access. It is believed, however, that the old bridge parapet is still buried in those brambles (I'm sure I took a photo 10 or so years ago, but can't find it!).
The Brue Bridge
With the new cut for the River Brue, it became necessary for a new bridge to carry the Turnpike road south to Bridgwater. As a result, the 'new' Brue Bridge was built on the other side of the historic Highbridge Hotel. Today, the bridge has a modern conccrete deck, probably pre-dating the M5 motorway, which is curiously built on top of two small stone arches, on on either side of the river channel. Quite what structure spanned the gap between them is unclear, and it is also not known whether these arches are part of the c1805 bridge or if they are part of a Victorian rebuild.