Mill Brow & That Cattle Bridge from the - 1500s & late 1800s.
After some research, This is my conclusion regarding the Cattle Bridge in the Culvert Optimus Prime.
Mill Brow can be traced back to the 1200s atleast when there is said to of been a fulling mill on the site, indeed the names 'Long Millgate' and 'Mill Brow' suggests there was a mill here for 100s of years even before Cheethams School, It was once called 'Old Millgate' suggesting that the entrance to Mill Brow was gated off with the fulling mill by the river Irk, It is now Victoria Station Approach Road. A fulling mills job was to wash the wool and make it more durable and smoother its possible that Walkers Croft got its name from this Mill as part of the fulling process was trampling on the wool these workers bacame known in the local area as the Walkers.
Mill Brow is the site of a former street running from Long Millgate to a bridge on the River Irk. Site of a medieval watercourse described as a common lode or Hunts lode. Mill Brow was also possibly the lost medieval street of Wallgate. It was built over in the 1880s by Victoria Station Approach but the bedrock side of a possible channel survives below that later street. Exposure of sandstone bedrock in southern arch may be part of an early ditch.
Deeds of 1337, 1441, 1471 and 1525 mention a channel or watercourse along the line of Mill Brow, and variously name this as a common lode or Hunts lode, after the Hunt family who owned the adjoining burgage on the east. In a deed of 1337 the same western boundary of this property is named as the Pirlewallgate. It is possible that this was also the lost street off Millgate known as Wallgate. Which is now hidden deep below todays street level, So this suggests that there could of been a crossing here since the 1300s and perhaps even earlier.
The name Wallgate was possibly derived from a defensive feature. It may not be coincidental that Wallgate was also the name of one of the principal streets in medieval Wigan, where documentary evidence suggests that a bank and ditch enclosed at least part of the town. (See - Hanging Ditch)
Later on i believe this became School Mill in the 1600s, then rebuilt in the early 1800s which is also when Phoenix Mill was built. so this would make me believe the early stone arch bridge that is crossing the Irk at this point was built before the 1600s possibly as early as the 1200s and maybe destroyed by a flood in the 1800s (could this be the reason for rebuilding school mill to) the stone bridge was replaced with the tatty looking wooden bridge.
Is this the bridge now in the Culvert Optimus Prime!
More Mancunian History To Follow So Check Back
© Research put together in (June 2019)