Bridgend Bridge

15th. Century

15th Century

The rebellion by Owen Glendower (Owain Glyndwr – the self-proclaimed Prince of Wales) against Henry IV, started in 1401, causing great damage to many Norman strongholds, churches and farms in the area, including the destruction of the manorial mill at Ogmore (later the ‘Watermill’); Blackhall at St. Brides Major and the Church of St. Leonard, Newcastle (later St. Illtyd).

The excellent ford below the rock of Newcastle, with its firm ground approaches, provided the essential link between ‘Old Town’ (Hendre) – later corrupted to Nolton – and Newcastle whose steep hill provided the route of further travel west and north.

 

C. 1425 a stone bridge was built alongside the ford – it being the first substantial bridge over the River Ogmore and from which the town’s name is derived. Its narrow and humped outline is as it is today, but it was partially demolished by a great flood in 1775, when the two arches nearest the west bank were washed away. They were replaced by a large single span. The ford continued to be used by wheelchair traffic. The Old Bridge underwent substantial refurbishment during 2005.

 

The ancient road which led from ‘Old Town’ to the ‘Bryggen Eynde’ and across the river, passed through Elder Street – Bridgend’s oldest street, still in use. Lying in two parishes – Newcastle and Coity and divided by the River Ogmore, the future town also lay in portions of two district’s manors, so in its development years it never possessed town records!