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The Oxford to Cambridge Arc 4

Sherrington Bridge on Dr John Dunn. The hamlet of Sherington Bridge is on the north side of the bridge right on the border of the parish on the road towards Newport Pagnell. It is not known when the first bridge was built, but one of the first known references to the bridge is in the 13th century. It is thought that the original construction of the bridge had a stone or rubble base and a wooden upperpart. The bridge has been replaced a number of times since then, the most recent being in the early 1970's with a concrete construction. The picture above shows the previous bridge with the pedestrian passing places between the arches. ( From http://www.mkheritage.co.uk/shhs/tour11.htm )

The Oxford to Cambridge Arc

Newport Pagnell to Bedford

After Newport Pagnell, all routes headed to Bedford and, given the importance of Newport Pagnell and Bromham as crossing points over the winding River Great Ouse, it is highly likely that the maker of the Gough Map passed this same way too.

Ogilby’s 1675 route


Newport Pagnell has been a critical crossing point of the River Great Ouse right up until the motorway era, both for West-East and North-South routes, hence the fortification of the riverside town by Parliamentarian forces only 24 years before Ogilby completed his Britannia Atlas. It was certainly essential to the Oxford to Cambridge route.

Extracted from John Ogilby's Britannia, 1675

Extracted from John Ogilby's Britannia, 1675

From Newport Pagnell Ogilby noted two stone bridges before reaching Chichley. These are Lathbury Bridge (a little north of the North Bridge in Newport Pagnell itself on the current B526) and Sherrington Bridge on the currently unclassified Sherrington Road.

 After Chichley, Ogilby’s route passed along the current A422, though keeping to the roads through Astwood and Stagsden which were only by-passed as recently as the early 1990s.

Ogilby passed straight on into Bromham, to cross the Owse Flu (River Great Ouse) via the old Bromham Bridge. Today’s bridge has 26 arches and looks at first glance to be of medieval origin. It is, however, largely a product of the rebuilding of 1813, though a bridge has existed on the site since the early Middle Ages. 




Thomas Fisher's painting of Bromham Bridge in 1812, just before reconstructionand widening. This might well have been the bridge crossed by Ogilby.

Between Bromham and Bedford Ogilby notes Fordend House as a landmark to the right of the road into Bedford. At least two hundred years old when Ogilby passed by, the Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record notes that the house was demolished around 1960.