1643 Battle of Burton Bridge

In 1643, during the English Civil War, Burton Bridge was the scene of what is probably the most famous local battle; ‘The Battle of the Bridge’. Thomas Tyldesley, a supporter of Charles I and a Royalist commander at the time having the rank of Colonel, led a cavalry charge across the bridge to attack Burton, which had become a Roundhead stronghold.

The event is reported to have been witnessed by Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I. It is largely because of the success of this attack against the odds that Thomas Tyldesley (above) was knighted. A plaque to commemorate the event was erected on the replacement bridge by the Burton Civic Society in 1993. It is still there today but goes largely unnoticed.

The bridge was also documented to be the site of a battle in 1322, between Thomas Plantaganet, Earl of Lancaster, who owned among other things Tutbury Castle, and the forces of Kind Edward II.

The medieval bridge, described by Robert Plot in the 1680s as ‘the most noteworthy example of civil building in Staffordshire, or perhaps even, the whole of England’. By 1790 this had changed to ‘a bridge of not very stately appearance’. There was no footpath, but at every buttress of the wall there was a recess to provide a passing place which was becoming an increasing problem.


Website by Kevin Gallagher