What's going on here? Caerleon Bridge before the footbridge was added.
Caerleon Net

Maybe you can work out what's going on...maybe you remember…
The lorry nearest to us seems to be reversing back, but what's the figure on the back of the lorry on the middle of the bridge doing? This photo was taken before the footbridge was built in 1974. Walking across the bridge on the pavement was a risky business.

The lattice fence of course has gone now. This was probably not its first siting. It is likely that it was used on Newport's first stone bridge. This is not the only part of Caerleon Bridge which seems to have found its way from Newport. The foundation stone embedded in a wall of Caerleon's bridge reads:

"This bridge was erected at the expense of the County by David Edwards and his two sons William and Thomas. Completed AD MDCCC."

"MDCCC" is of course 1800. There is a problem with this date, when Archdeacon Coxe visited Caerleon in that year he observed that the bridge was a wooden one.

Caerleon still had the wooden bridge in 1803, when a surveyor named Mr Gething reported that, even if repaired, the bridge was unlikely to last more than three or four years. Plans for a new stone bridge were eventually drawn up in 1805 and the bridge constructed sometime between then and 1810. Clearly the foundation stone on Caerleon Bridge belongs elsewhere. Indeed, we know that it was set into the bridge during repairs in 1956. For some time before that it had been lying in front of Caerleon's Legionary Museum. Well, if it is not Caerleon Bridge's foundation stone where is it from? The answer is, probably, Newport. Archdeacon Coxe gives us a strong clue. When he visited Newport in 1800 the first stone bridge was in the process of being built - and what's more he included a print of it IN ITS UNFINISHED STATE in his book "An Historical Tour.." And yes, a check with the records shows that Newport bridge was built by David Edwards (son of the builder of the celebrated one-arch bridge at Pontypridd) in 1800 at a cost of £10165.

Did the foundation stone find its way to Caerleon at the same time as the fence when Newport's first stone bridge was demolished to make way for the new bridge? Maybe we'll never know. Little mysteries like this make life interesting.

If you haven't noticed the stone in question, take a look next time you cross the bridge (by vehicle). It's in the wall, the Hanbury side, at the bridge's highest point.