Established as a timber bridge over the Thames in 1100, the current brick-arch Sonning Bridge opened in 1775. As old, then, as the United States, the single lane structure is as intolerant of trucks and commuters as it is beloved by artists and photographers. I’ve come to appreciate its low arch, the bed of willow trees and canal boats attending it, and the hamlet of Sonning Eye, the French Horn restaurant, and The Mill dinner theater nearby.
Rising waters closed the bridge for most of February, the wettest on record for Berkshire, forcing me to go through downtown Reading every time I tried to take the shortcut through Sonning. Returning from Cambridge this evening, though, I found the route re-opened, the evening light highlighting trees against the swirling gunmetal waters.
It was peaceful: huddled swans alongside the submerged trees, an icy breeze riffling the river, just the quietest gurgle of water through the trailing willow branches. A good opportunity for a walk and a few photos, sunset against the Thames.