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The Drybridge Lodge

A bridge would have sufficed, of course - a simple affair, built above the minor road from Rhewl to Tremostyn, enabling Edward Pryce Lloyd, 1st Baron Mostyn the convenience of travelling directly from his estate centred on Mostyn Hall to the village of Whitford. Yes, that would do. But, instead we have something else, something altogether more interesting and wonderful.

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Drybridge Lodge is essentially a two storeyed castellated house above the road, built in 1849 by Ambrose Poynter. Viewed from the Tremostyn road it appears as an almost narrow tower, perched above a horseshoe arch from which, on both sides, grotesques smoulder down upon those passing beneath. From the carriageway above, however, it is absolutely a lodge - a pretty, three bayed affair, with mullioned windows and a central, integral tunnel through which one imagines Baron Mostyn made his way to St Mary’s Church in Whitford of a Sunday. The iron gates would seem to be original to the 1849 build.

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The architect, Ambrose Poynter (1796-1886) was born in London and spent two years travelling through Italy and Greece, attending John Keats’ funeral in Rome in 1821. He was a founding member and secretary of the Institute of British Architects and made a name for himself with his work fusing Palladian and Gothic architecture - not always universally appreciated.  There are a number of works in Flintshire for which he was responsible, including St Mary’s in Whitford, and a restoration of the astonishing ceiling at St Mary’s at Cilcain in 1845-1846.

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The drybridge Lodge is a wonderful  curiosity - a pleasing avoidance of the mundane. Take care when visiting - it’s on a road, after all.