The present bridge is built on top of its much narrower predecessor. The view from here is tranquil today but two hundred years ago it would have been very different. The Aran was the power source that drove the fulling machinery and later the carding and the spinning mills. There were several fulling mills along its banks where the cloth was beaten and washed to close up the fibres. Tour writers of this time talk of the streams "resounding" with the sound of the pounding wooden mallets, and of the tenter racks where the cloth was then dried and bleached "extending along the hills". The lengths of hand-woven cloth, called webs, were around two hundred yards long.