Almondsey


Hamnet Bridge, Estalia

Hamnet is not Venice or Florence, but it does have a very fine bridge with buildings on it. It is the 16th-Century bridge over the River Lugg (a tributary marking the boundary between the provinces of North and South Poggit), a fortified structure with buildings on either side of the roadway, including a mill and an inn. It was heavily restored in the 1820's as many of the houses were verging on collapse (except for the mill and the inn). It is fully owned, even the mill, by Count Poggit of Hamnet Bridge, ruler of North Poggit who is based in Castle Pain a few miles north and whose family once ran the Green Frog public house.

(The first Count was a young barman, Scallon Rosewall, who led the successful fight against invading Nuorgkers from Almondsey in the late 18th Century, but he went on to secede part of the county and establish North Poggit because of his perception of the idiocy of the local administration. This would not normally have been tolerated, except that he was a local hero. Over time, the Estalian government decided to allow the secession to stand, especially since it was a good place to exile malcontents to after Enlightenment curbed the religious executions for practically any offense of an intellectual nature.)


Hamnet Bridge Plan

The bridge is on three levels above the five arches and the mill race spanning the River Lugg. There are two gatehouse, both with defences facing north; the inner gate houses the beadles, the outer gate a guard garrison and also a small jail or 'lockup' used to house disorderly persons until their trial (definitely not felons or political and religious offenders, who are incarcerated in the town prison). The mill, with its boat landing and the miller's house opposite, serves the North Poggit agricultural community and supplies the town with flour. In the middle reaches of the bridge are six small houses and four shops selling such things as pins and needles, thread, soap, and watches. Wooden privies are corbelled out over the river, although there are also several internal garderobes. The Green Frog Inn is a well-known, if small, hostelry, with a saloon bar, a kitchen and dining room, and stabling for a few horses; there are seven rooms for guests, including a suite (#7). Note the wooden walkway corbelled out on the north side to make it easier for foot travellers trying to avoid the nasty traffic in the roadway. The inn and the inner gate have projecting timber galleries at the second level; the second story of the inn also has a two-level room spanning the road.


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