8 Mar 2021
Hartford Bridge, Cramlington
This is a
Current status is
Site is still a crossing over the River Blyth
'The earliest river crossing at Hartford was by means of a ford, although this had been replaced by a bridge in the 13th century. The present bridge across the River Blyth at Hartford dates to the late 17th century when an earlier bridge, probably of 15th or 16th century date, was widened. The medieval part can be seen on the eastern side and the bridge probably originally measured about 2.4m wide. Further extensions were added in 1904. This is a Grade II Listed Building protected by law.'
- Keys to the Past
Above are editions of the Ordnance Survey from the 19th century, and illustrate Hartford Bridge in the late Victorian era. In the 1860s edition further above, Hartford Bridge is beside a small hamlet, with Hartford House to the north and a small quarry along the ford to the west. The site likely developed as a principal crossing point across the Blyth. A public house named after the bridge was situated close to the structure but has since been demolished. The entranceway still seems to lie extant as the entrance to an electric sub-station.
The 1898 edition illustrates a similar scene. The quarry seems to still be in operation, cultivating multiple types of stone and mineral (found here: http://www.dmm.org.uk/shafts/h828-01.htm). The Inn is no longer labelled, so may have closed by this point.
The 1924 edition illustrates Hartford Bridge, but the Inn seems to have been demolished at this point, reclaimed by woodland. The Quarry is also disused by this point, meaning the hamlet had pretty been stripped of features by this point. The 'Bank Top' dwelling, potentially a farmstead or another inn, has also been demolished. The sites have been promptly knocked down, potentially by the Burdon family who occupied nearby Hartford Hall.
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