Cromwell’s Bridge

This old packhorse bridge crosses the River Hodder near Hurst Green in the Ribble Valley. It was built around 1561 by Sir Richard Shireburn of the Stonyhurst Estate (now Stonyhurst College).

The bridge is named after Oliver Cromwell. In August 1648, the Parliamentarian leader marched the New Model Army over it to fight the Royalists at the Battle of Preston.

View of Cromwell's Bridge and the River Hodder
View of Cromwell’s Bridge and the River Hodder

Cromwell’s decisive victory let to the end of the Second English Civil War and the execution of Charles I.

Prior to the battle, legend has it Oliver Cromwell slept in full body armour on a table at Stonyhurst. He refused to sleep in a bed, fearing the Catholic owners might assassinate him.

Cromwell’s Bridge is no longer in use, but is intact. It’s possible to walk across it.

Walking over Cromwell's Bridge
Walking over Cromwell’s Bridge

Lower Hodder Bridge was completed in 1819 to replace it. This bridge is active use. It is  crossed by the B6243 (Whalley Road); the road connecting Preston to Clitheroe.

Lower Hodder Bridge and the B6243
Lower Hodder Bridge and the B6243

To reach Cromwell’s Bridge, take the path that starts at the side of Lower Hodder Bridge.

Many claim that Cromwell’s Bridge was Tolkien’s inspiration for the Shire’s Brandywine Bridge in The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien spent time in the area while writing the book. The layout of the converging rivers in the area (Hodder, Ribble, and Calder) is very similar to the author’s map of the Shire’s rivers (Brandywine, Withywindle, and Shirebourne).

Cromwell’s Bridge and Lower Hodder Bridge is on the route of the Tolkien Trail. This fantastic walk starts in Hurst Green.

4k video of the Tolkien Trail

Nearby Attractions

Tourist attractions and things to do near Cromwell’s Bridge include:

Nearby Hotels

Hotels near Cromwell’s Bridge include:

  • Mitton Hall Hotel (0.9 miles)
  • The Shireburn Arms (1.3 miles)
  • The Avenue Hotel (1.8 miles)
  • 1823 Spinning Block (2.7 miles)
  • Northcote (2.7 miles)
  • Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel (2.8 miles)

Nearby Train Stations

Train stations near Cromwell’s Bridge include:


Map showing location of Cromwell’s Bridge.

Map showing location of Cromwell’s Bridge


Cromwell’s Bridge

Address and postcode
Whalley Road
United Kingdom

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