OS Grid ref:- SD684379
Hurst Green, an historic and picturesque village lies in the Ribble Valley in Lancashire and is situated about 4 miles (6 km) from Clitheroe.
Cromwell's Bridge (pictured left- OS Grid Ref- SD 704 391) near the village, is a picturesque old packhorse bridge over the River Hodder which dates back to the sixteenth century, it was crossed by Oliver Cromwell and his army before the battle of Preston in 1648. There are scenic riverside walks from Hurst Green to where the River Calder joins the waters of the Ribble at imposing Hacking Hall and to the confluence of the Hodder with the Ribble.
The village began to develop after the founding of Stonyhurst Hall, by Richard Shireburn in 1592. The Shireburne family became extinct in the male line in the eighteenth century and in 1794 the Jesuits established Stoneyhurst College, today, a thriving centre of educational excellence that can boast links to St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne.
The superb college buildings are situated in extensive parkland. The college houses an interesting museum collection which includes a Gospel of St. John dating to the seventh century. Cromwell is said to have stayed there in 1648. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, is amongst many famous ex scholars. He made the college the setting for his famous novel 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.
The area around Stonyhurst is also believed to be the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Middle Earth', home of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, in the novel 'Lord of the Rings'. The Tolkien Trail is a circular walk 9km/5.5 mile, taking the visitor around the sights which influenced the great author. Tolkien stayed in the guest house of the college.
Stonyhurst College has four main libraries, the Arundell, the Bay, the Square and the More, dedicated to Saint Thomas More. The Arundel Library contains Mary Tudor's Book of Hours, which is believed was to have been given by the ill fated Mary, Queen of Scots to her chaplain on the scaffold, a copy of the Chronicles of Jean Froissart, captured at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 and a First Folio of William Shakespeare.
Hurst Green has two churches, St. Peter's Catholic Church at Stonyhurst College and St. John The Evangelist, Anglican Church.
The Shireburn Arms dates from the seventeenth century, and is named after Richard Shireburn. Browsholme Hall is one of the most historic mansions in the area, for centuries has been the family seat of the Parkers, former Bow-bearers of Bowland. The Hall is a handsome structure dating from Tudor times and contains a wealth of woodcarvings, arms and armour, period furniture, textiles, rare books and stained glass. Amongst the collections of paintings is one of Thomas Parker, former Lord Chancellor of England. The hall was painted by Turner in the 1790s..
The village is said to be haunted by the ghost of highwayman Ned King, who had his headquarters at the Punch Bowl Inn at Hurst Green, dressed in a red coat and frilled white shirt he accosted his victims when the stagecoaches took rest. following a daring raid he was captured at the inn's haybarn and promptly hanged on the local gallows. His ghostly spectre is reported to ride through the Hurst Green late at night!
A Walk from Hurst Green
Distance :- around 6 miles
*Commencing at the Shireburn Hotel in Hurst Green, go down the slope, passing the village almshouses, follow the road, keeping the school on your right.
*Turn left on arriving at a junction between the school track and a minor road. Continuewalking for about ˝ mile until reaching a crossroads, at which point turn right.On arriving at a T-junction, turn right and descend to the Higher Hodder Bridge.
*Before reaching Higher Hodder Bridge, follow the footpath sign to Lower Hodder Bridge. Continue woodland with the River Hodder below and to your left. Approach the Lower Hodder Bridge and cross the road, near the packhorse bridge known as Cromwell’s Bridge (pictured above left).
* Follow the road back to the Shireburn Hotel in Hurst Green.
Nearby Places of Interest
Whalley Abbey- founded by Henry de Lacy, third Earl of Lincoln on the 4th April 1296.
Lancaster Castle founded in the tenth century
Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park, Lancaster was commissioned by James Williamson, Baron Ashton as a tribute to his second wife, Jenny and was built between 1907 and 1909.
Butterfly House, Lancaster
Clitheroe Castle-Norman castle keep and museum, said to be one of the oldest buildings in Lancashire, and one of the smallest keeps in England,