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natural limestone arch, Rockbridge county, western Virginia, U.S., 20 miles (32 km) south of Lexington near the village of Natural Bridge and the northern portion of Jefferson National Forest. The arch, spanning a gorge cut by Cedar Creek, is 215 feet (66 metres) high, 90 feet (27 metres) long, and varies in width from 50 to 150 feet (15 to 45 metres). Highway U.S. 11 passes over it. Initially a sacred site for the Monacan Indians, the bridge was later included in a tract of land purchased in 1774 by Thomas Jefferson, then a member of the House of Burgesses, for 20 shillings. Jefferson built a two-room log cabin near the bridge, reserving one room for guests