Butterfly Bridge

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In the past the main highway from the north to Durham ran through Winlaton Mill Following the old drove road through Northumberland, it crossed the River Tyne via a ford at Newburn and then on to Winlaton Mill by way of Blaydon Burn fording the River Derwent at Winlaton Mill and going on to Durham by way of Clockburn Lonnen. Oliver Cromwell’s artillery and baggage train used this route in 1650 on their way to the Battle of Dunbar in Scotland because it was impossible for them to get their cannon and heavy waggons over the  bridge  at Newcastle.

In the early Crowley years a chain was stretched across the River Derwent to guide a flat bottomed boat across the river. In 1842 a bridge of three pillars was built over the ford one of the mason’s being John English, better known as ‘Lang Jack’ the Tyneside Samson. His name and the date were carved on the west side of the centre pillar, this bridge was swept away by a flood in 1902, rebuilt and then renewed in 1950 at a cost of £1800.00 this bridge survived until September 2008 when it was swept away by floods during a particularly heavy storm. Finally, a new bridge was erected in 2011 designed to handle any future flooding and with a wider bridge deck and additional access paths.