Boroughbridge is a small town and civil parish in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is 16 miles (26 km) north-west of the county town of York. Until a bypass was built, the town lay on the main A1 road from London to Edinburgh which crosses the River Ure here. The civil parish includes the villages of Aldborough and Minskip.
The origin of the name “Boroughbridge” lies in its location relative to Aldborough, the principal settlement during the Roman period and known as Isurium Brigantum. Dere Street, the Roman road heading north from York, originally crossed the River Ure just north of Aldborough, but at an unknown date the road was diverted to cross the river at Boroughbridge. The place was first mentioned in 1155 in the Latin form pontem de Burgo, and by 1298 in the English form Burghbrig (“the bridge near Burgh or Aldborough”). A new town grew up at the bridge and the Old Town became known as the “Ald-Borough”.
A line of three menhirs, or standing stones, known as the Devil’s Arrows, believed to have been erected in the Bronze Age, can be found on the outskirts of Boroughbridge, by the side of the A1. The tallest stone is 22 feet (6.7 m) tall. The stones are of millstone grit, probably quarried from Plompton, the closest source of this material. The stones stand on an almost north–south alignment, with the central stone slightly offset. The first reference to the stones is from the journal of a fisherman, Peter Frankck who visited Boroughbridge in 1694, and claims he saw seven stones. The antiquarian John Leyland saw four stones, which is the verifiable number. The absent fourth stone stood close to the central stone and was dug out and broken up, allegedly by treasure hunters. Most of it was used to build a bridge in Boroughbridge called Peg Bridge, which crosses the River Tutt as it enters the town. According to tradition the top of the fourth stone was to be found in the grounds of Aldborough Hall, which stands between Boroughbridge and Aldborough.
Boroughbridge was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, but was later described as part of the manor of Aldborough. In 1229 Boroughbridge, as part of the manor of Aldborough, was granted to Hubert de Burgh, but was forfeited a few years later by his son who fought against the king at the Battle of Evesham. It then remained a royal manor until Charles I granted it to several citizens of London.
In 1318, Boroughbridge was devastated by the Scots, under Sir James Douglas following the Capture of Berwick upon Tweed.
In 1322, the Battle of Boroughbridge took place as King Edward II overpowered Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, bringing about the end of Edward II’s retaliation against those who had opposed him in the Despenser War of 1320–21.
From medieval times Boroughbridge was part of the parish of Aldborough in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1553 it became a parliamentary borough, electing two Members of Parliament to the unreformed House of Commons. It had a burgage franchise, meaning that the right to vote was tied to ownership of certain of property in the borough and had less than 100 qualified voters by the time it was abolished in the Reform Act of 1832: It was a pocket borough under the control of the Dukes of Newcastle. Augustus FitzRoy, who was Prime Minister as the 3rd Duke of Grafton, was elected MP for Boroughbridge in 1756; but never sat for the borough as he preferred to represent Bury St Edmunds where he had also been elected.
Boroughbridge was an important stage for stagecoaches because of its position on the Great North Road midway between London and Edinburgh. An advertisement in the Edinburgh Courant for 1754 reads:
The Edinburgh Stage-coach, for the better accommodation of passengers, will be altered to a New Genteel Two-end Glass Coach Machine, being on steel springs, exceeding light and easy, to go in ten days in Summer and twelve in Winter; to set out the first Tuesday in March, and continue it, from Hosea Eastgate’s, the Coach and Horses, in Dean-Street, Soho, London; and from John Somerville’s, in the Canongate, Edinburgh, every other Tuesday, and meet at Burrow-Bridge on Saturday night, and set out from thence on Monday morning, and get to London and Edinburgh on Friday. In Winter, to set out from London to Edinburgh every other (alternate) Monday morning, and to go to Burrowbridge on Saturday night; and to set out from thence on Monday morning, and get to London and Edinburgh on Saturday night. Passengers to pay as usual. Performed, if God permits, by your dutiful servant HOSEA EASTGATE.
Remains of Boroughbridge railway station in 1961
Boroughbridge became a separate civil parish in 1866. In 1938 the civil parish absorbed the parishes of Aldborough and Minskip.
In 1945 the bridge carrying the A1 road over the River Ure collapsed under the weight of a heavy transport vehicle carrying an 80-ton steel mill roll housing from Sheffield to Falkirk. The incident interrupted the main transport route for a short time and the army installed a Bailey bridge until repairs were completed.
In 1974 Boroughbridge was transferred from the West Riding to the new county of North Yorkshire.
In 2011 the town’s sewage works, which serves a population of ten thousand, was upgraded replacing the old bar screens which had reached the end of their working life with modern wire mesh drum screens which are able to screen out not only an increasingly large amount of undesirable waste they also filter grit and fat thus decreasing the load on the plant they were such designed to meet the plants stringent outfall requirements as set out by the environment agency. The settling and humus tanks were also upgraded from old manual sludging under hydrostatic head to circular tanks fitted with scrapers to automatically desludge the tanks.
A Day in Boroughbridge
Boroughbridge Shopping here you can find a fantastic bustling high street with everything to delight a visitor and make their day, combined with a free car park near the Butter Market Museum, together with free disc paring what more can a visitor want.
Are you on holiday and staying in the area then there are lots of places where you can buy great local produce from local producers?. The shops are mainly local however you can still find one or two brand names that is if you prefer them all providing everything you need for your stay Butchers, Bakers, Clothing, Greengrocers, Wines and much more, and then there are great Cafes, Pubs and Restaurants to visit at the end of that fantastic day.
In Boroughbridge, it’s a bit like shopping in the old day, with the service you used to get from your local shopkeeper.
Hardware Store – Boroughbridge Hardware Ltd Horsefair, Boroughbridge, YO51 9AA – 01423 323584
Gourmet Grocery Shop – FINK 14 High St, Boroughbridge, YO51 9AO – 01423 324188
Clothing Store – Espada Boutique Ltd St James Square, Boroughbridge, YO51 9AR – 01423 323168
Shoe Shop – Clippity Clops Shoes Ltd 38 High St, Boroughbridge, YO51 9AW – 01423 323785
Ladies Clothing Store – Claremarie 1 Horsefair, Boroughbridge, YO51 9AA – 01423 322140
Butcher – Greenwood Butchers 6 Horsefair, Boroughbridge, YO51 9AA – 01423 322248
Baker – Havenhands The Bakers 8 St. James Square City Centre, Boroughbridge YO51 9AR – 01423 322432
Accommodation in Boroughbridge
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