Hidden away in the far corners of our property, out of sight from the main road and covered in ivy, is Gollop’s Bridge. Built in the 1840’s by John Gollop, the bridge was originally a wooden structure and provided safe passage over the branch of the Little Para river for horse and cart travelling to Gumeracha. In 1863, six years after the Inglewood Inn was built, the bridge was replaced by the current stone-arch bridge, making it one of the oldest bridges still in use in South Australia.
While travelling over it from the road, one would expect it to be a normal bridge like no other, and that is if they even realised there is a bridge there at all. A large oak tree hides it from view from the hotel, so it is only once you go exploring that it appears. I still remember my first day on the job as function manager and going for a wander round the gardens to familiarise myself with the surroundings. The property had been in my family for seven years by this stage so I wasn’t expecting any new discoveries. When I saw the bridge I felt like I had stumbled upon a unicorn – something so unexpected and beautiful – but completely inaccessible.
As the bridge divides our property from our neighbours, we cleared out the jungle of overgrown scrub on our side, and built a bridge to the bridge (if you want to be technical we actually have a bridge – to the bridge – to the bridge. we like bridges.) I like to think of our gardens below like an island – locked in by the Para and Little Para rivers.
While it has become the most popular photo spot on our property, it still amazes me how every photo I see from each different wedding is completely different and unique; each couple and photographer manage to put their own personal spin on it. It is an all too common occurrence for the staff to hear me gasping in awe each time I find a new photo of it before excitedly showing every person in the hotel. I’ve even been known to take photos of the photographers camera screens during the wedding … unable to wait for the finished product.
It’s just another small piece of history that makes the Inglewood Inn so unique. While it’s story and heritage alone are something to marvel, the beauty of this bridge is something that needs to be seen. As one of my brides once told me, “it’s like something out of a fairytale.”
As the bridge divides our property from our neighbours, we ask that out of respect to our fellow Inglewoodians, you please keep to our property on the right hand side.