Bickleigh is an attractive riverside village, four miles downstream of Tiverton on the main road to Exeter. Photographs of its thatched cottages, situated by a five arched stone bridge, are often chosen to adorn calendars and chocolate boxes.
The current bridge dates from 1809 and can only carry single lanes of traffic. For many years, it was believed that this bridge was the “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, sung by Simon and Garfunkel in their 1970 hit record, especially as they were known to have visited the area in the 1960s. It was not until 2003, that Paul Simon, in an interview, explained that the title was not a particular bridge, but a gospel expression.
Close to the bridge is the Trout Inn, a 400 year old thatched country inn. Bickleigh Castle, a Norman fortified manor house, is half a mile from Bickleigh Bridge. Next to the castle is a thatched chapel, said to be the oldest complete building in Devon, dating from 1090. The castle is not generally accessible to the public and is a popular exclusive wedding venue.