Cromwell’s Bridge… the good, the bad and poor Richards table….
- Cromwell’s Bridge on the Hodder at Great Mitton built by Sir Richard Shireburne
- and other locals in 1561.
The good. This bridge was built by the Catholic Sir Richard Shireburne to aid the Anglian parishioners of “Mytton Church” to cross the river to go to services.
Three of the Shireburnes and two others of the local gentry combined to pay 70£ for the building of the bridge. Sir Richard agreed to provide the materials as well. The family was always members of All Hallows Mitton church and supported that church even though prominent Catholics.
Poor Richard. Cromwell came north to subdue Catholics. He moved his cannon across this bridge by removing the stone railings. Ever since it has been called “Cromwell’s Bridge”. Even so his nemeses the Catholic Sir Richard Sherburne paid for and built it only to have it passed down in history as Cromwell bridge.
The table. Cromwell on that above-referenced campaign looking for Catholics slept in full armor on a rectory table in case of a surprise attack at Stonyhurst. That rectory table is still at Stonyhurst. It may have been previously moved there from Great Mitton Hall. That Great Mitton Hall manor home had become a rectory at some point when the Abbots replaced the de Mitton family rectors of Mytton Church in the 13th century. The Abbots lived at the old Great Mitton manor house where that rectory table may have been originally at and used. There is no documentation to substantiate this, except the Shireburnes were descendants of the de Mittons of Great Mitton Hall and it was a rectory for a time very close to Stonyhurst.
Lower Hodder Bridge
This is the bridge below across the Hodder in the same area. The Hodder and Ribble meet downstream which was once called “mythye” from the old Saxon meaning of a confluence of rivers. Now is called Hodderfoot, meaning at the foot of the Hodder where it flows into the Ribble River.