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 Protestant 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 the building of the bridge. Sir Richard in addition agreed to provide the materials.The family were always members of All Hallows Mitton 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 and may have been one that was moved there from Great Mitton Hall. That Mitton manor home had became a rectory at some point when the Abbots replaced the de Mitton family rectors of Mytton Church. The Abbots lived at the old Great Mitton manor house where that table may have been originally used. But there is no documentation to substantiate this.
Lower Hodder Bridge
This is the bridge across the Hodder in the same area. The Hodder and Ribble meet downstream which was once call “mythye” from the old Saxon meaning of a confluence of rivers. Now is is called Hodderfoot, meaning at the foot of the Hodder where it flows into the Ribble River.