VIDEO: Medieval torture

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Boats and bridges can sometimes be a mix of oil and water, and merry old England has an infamous bridge that is something of a boat killer.

The Potter Heigham is an arched stone bridge in Norfolk in the southeastern part of the country, and it crosses over the River Thurne. It dates from medieval times, specifically 1385, long before boat traffic was of any concern.

Boaters consider the Potter Heigham to be the most difficult bridge in the region to navigate. It has a swift-moving tide and a clearance of about 7-1/2 feet.

Here’s a recent example of the trials of transiting the bridge. Why the skipper chose his cruising speed is beyond us. The video is about 10 minutes long, but once the crew is stuck less than 10 seconds in, there’s no more forward momentum to be had.

This hapless skipper is far from alone, as a quick search of YouTube reveals.

Here’s another weekend warrior, this time a sailor, who thought unstopping his mast would do the trick.

However, the bridge is passable with local knowledge and smart seamanship, which the skipper of this canal boat displays.

Lastly, here’s an onboard perspective of a successful transit of the bridge. Ask yourself whether your knees would buckle if this were your first time through.