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south-west of Chester, on the brook which divides Cheshire from North Wales.
Basford (Berchesford), south of Crewe.
Hapsford, a township named in a deed, temp. Edward III., situate on the Roman road between Chester and Frodsham. Hapsford Bridge is mentioned by Ogilby (1675).
Holford, a hamlet on the Roman road between Northwich and Manchester.
Other fords, perhaps of later origin, are as follows:-
Stoneyford, between Milton Green and Handley.
Saltersford, near Jenkin Chapel, on the Roman road to Buxton. It will be remembered that this name has already occurred twice, once on the Weaver and once on the Dane.
Woodford, in Over. This name has also occurred
Marchford, near Nantwich. This name appears in a charter undated, and therefore before A.D. 1300, which mentions "the king's highway which leads from March ford."‡ Marchford Bridge is referred to by Smith in the Vale Royal.
+ Roman Cheshire, 79.
* Transactions, iii. 121.
Hall's Nantwich, 406.
Nettleford, situate at the point of divergence of the Roman roads from Chester to Northwich and Kin
Rankersford, near Marton.
Cledford, near Middlewich.
Stowford, on Gresty Brook, near Crewe.
Burford, near Acton, Nantwich, where there was a 'skrimage" during the Civil War in 1643. Burford (A.S. Berghford) means, according to Canon Taylor, the ford near the hill.
Handford, near Cuddington.
Sumreford, named in Domesday among the Wirral townships, but not now represented by any place in that district bearing the same name. There are reasons for the belief that it was in Tranmere.‡
A ford, unnamed, still exists across the Waterless Brook, near Tabley, and another in the extreme south of the county, on the road from Wrenbury to Aston. One at Taxal has been already mentioned.
There was a ford at Poulton, near Birkenhead, forming the approach to Wallasey, across Wallasey Pool, but it could only be used at low water.§
The late Mr. Edward Kirk, in a paper read before this Society in 1885,|| remarks that he takes the word ford compounded in Winsford as corroborative evidence of the road there being Roman, and the late Mr. Thompson Watkin, in Roman Cheshire (p. 34), commends the justice of this remark. I am loth to set myself in opposition to the views of the latter antiquary especially, whose
* Transactions, iii. 115; Roman Cheshire, 32.
+ Names and their Histories, p. 388.
See Helsby's Ormerod, ii. 450.
§ Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, n.s., vol. vii.-viii., p. 2. || Transactions, iii. III.
authority in these matters is very great. But it does seem to me that there is nothing in the presence of "ford" as a component part of a place-name to justify an argument for a Roman road. Mr. Kirk, in support of his view, instances seventeen places in or near Cheshire in which "ford" forms part of the name, all, he says, situate on Roman roads. One of these (Frodsham) we must leave out of account, for, as we have seen, the probability is that the first syllable is from a personal name, and of the others three are outside Cheshire. But when I mention that in this paper no fewer than forty place-names in the county possessing the suffix "ford" have been enumerated, it will be seen that the proportion of thirteen proved to be situate on Roman roads is very slender to found an argument upon. Possibly Mr. Kirk meant to confine his remark to the names I have already separately distinguished as those of parishes, townships, or similar areas, but even if that be so there has been no suggestion I am aware of that a Roman road passed through Knutsford; while as regards such places as Chelford, Warford, and Woodford, the evidence of the existence of any Roman road is, I believe, little more than presumptive. That fords should exist along the line of a Roman road is, of course, to be expected. What I contend is that the presence of the suffix "ford" does not help us to the conclusion that any particular road is Roman.
There remain to be mentioned one or two ancient bridges across small streams.
The first of these was at Bridge End, Wallasey Pool, near Birkenhead, and had been buried in the soil for it is not known how many centuries before it was disinterred, in 1850, in the course of the excavations made for the purpose of the conversion of the pool into docks. It was