According to the legend the original bridge was built by the Devil, as it was too difficult for mortals to build. The agreement stipulated that the Devil would build the bridge in return for the soul of the first life to cross the bridge. The Devil built the bridge but was tricked by an old woman who threw bread onto the bridge. Her dog crossed the bridge for the bread, thus becoming the first life to cross the new bridge.
Devil's Bridge has been a tourist attraction for centuries. The celebrated English author George Borrow wrote Wild Wales (1854), which includes a lively, humorous account of his visit to Pontarfynach and a 17th century inn where Borrow reputedly stayed during his visit, is located nearby.
The area was once part of the Hafod Estate owned by Thomas Johnes. Johnes built a small hunting lodge on the estate which, after several expansions and upgrades, is now operated as the Hafod Hotel.