Somerset

Exmoor's Tarr Steps damaged again by storm

The Tarr Steps on Exmoor
Image caption Each slab of stone had been numbered following previous floods

Part of an ancient stone footbridge on Exmoor has been washed away again just months after it was rebuilt.

Some £10,000 was spent repairing the Tarr Steps in Somerset after the stone monument was damaged by the force of flood water last December.

They were reopened in February, but the county council said last week's storm had damaged a "small area".

A council spokesman said it would "look to retrieve the missing parts and repair the bridge as soon as possible".

The spokesman said: "The recent storms caused considerable damage across the county, including to part of the bridge at Tarr Steps."

He added the steps have "historically been at risk in severe weather and last week's storm was one of the worst in decades".

The said last week's damage had been restricted to a small area of the bridge itself, leaving most of the structure untouched, partially thanks to the work done upstream.

The spokesman added: "We are now assessing the site and will look to retrieve the missing parts and repair the bridge as soon as possible, subject to weather conditions and securing the various consents necessary due to the structure's historic importance."

The Grade I-listed structure spans 50m (164ft).

It is known as a "Clapper" bridge which is believed to have derived from the Latin word "claperius", meaning stack or pile of stones.

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