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Ask Joan
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Joan Leach is a local historian, a volunteer at the Heritage Centre, a founder of The Gaskell Society, and much more besides.

Dear Joan,

To the east of Longridge there are fields and then a wood...I think the name might be Black Wood, but I dont know for sure. Running along side this wood is the river (Birkin I think) well there used to be a bridge that went over the river, the bridge was quite large and made out of bricks. I would say it was probably used by horse and cart, but I never saw a track to and from the bridge. The bridge has now collapsed (I saw it happen) but i have always wandered what the history of that bridge was. Can you help?

Regards Steve Granger

Joan answers:

Spring Wood - Footbridge in the area of Longridge.

The only wood I can find named is Spring Wood, nearer Booths Mere than I think you meant. Long ago there was a 'Church Wood'.

On maps Pavement Lane had a bridge over the Birkin ; it seems to have gone through as far as Toft originally though perhaps as a track rather than a paved road. Leghs of Booths re-routed it around their land.

Below - some of the footbridges that cross the River Birkin.
 1880
1910

 

Joan Leach 29.09.03