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Bishop's Bowes Bridge is a stone bridge that stood along a path between Five Dials Inn in the south and the village of Bishop's Bowes in the north (The Face in the Frost,113-4).

The Bridge

A "long flattened arch of close fitting stones", the bridge included the arms of Bishop Hatto's were carved into the keystone and a pair of stone statues at each end shaped like "giant Norse chessmen in high back chairs, hunched gloomy kings with swords on their knees.

Bishop's Bowes Bridge statue

Bishop's Bowes Bridge statue

Prospero and Roger Bacon flee the inn when they learn that Duke Harald has sent a volunteer army to march upon Bishop's Bowes.  While Roger runs ahead to alert the village, Prospero remains at the bridge so that he may destroy it and prevent attacks from armies of the south on other northern villages.  After his initial attempt to destroy the bridge with tarot cards fails, Prospero discovers a hidden paper charm within the stonework.  Once removed, Prospero succeeds in magically demolishing the bridge.

Seen Through Glass, Brightly

At a much later point in time, the bridge - and Prospero's attempt to destroy it - is viewed in Jonathan Barnavelt's enchanted stained glass window:

"Lewis Barnavelt glanced up at the magic window, a stained-glass oval that Uncle Jonathan kept enchanted so that it was always changing. Tonight it showed a tall wizard standing in front of a strange arched bridge, with stone sculptures like giant chess pieces at its corners. The magician was flinging a handful of playing cards through the air toward the bridge" (The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost, 83).

Inspiration

Lewis Chessmen king

Lewis Chessmen king figurine

The pair of "giant Norse chessmen"-like statues guarding both ends of the bridge resemble the legendary Lewis Chessmen, particularly the set's king piece with his sword resting on his lap.