Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe

Lancashire Past

DSCN6485 Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe

Before the first bridge was ever built at Edisford this was an important crossing point of the River Ribble. Anyone visiting today can see how shallow parts of the river are here, and that there is a natural ford.  Rivers were often huge barriers in the landscape, and knowledge of the location of the relatively few fords and bridges was essential in medieval times. Foot and cart traffic could pass by fairly easily on the route out of Clitheroe to Lancaster via Edisford.

Fords were also important strategic points and this could be the reason it was the site of a medieval battle, during the turbulent  reign of King Stephen. Civil war gripped England in a period that has come to be known as ‘The Anarchy’. King Stephen’s forces fought a whole series of battles against those of his rival claimant to the English throne, Empress Matilda. The King of Scotland, David I, sided with his…

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