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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Friday, 6th May, 2022)

Hic Bibi Well

Hic Bibi Well
This narrow track was once the main highway between Wigan and Preston. Here Cromwell stopped to drink at Hic Bibi Well in 1648. The path sensibly skirts the hill up to Standish which the turnpike later took.

Photo: Poet  (Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F)
Views: 1,864

Comment by: Fred Mason on 6th May 2022 at 08:16

Hard to imagine this as being the main road up to Preston when we look at the M6. Interesting photo and information.

Comment by: Poet on 6th May 2022 at 09:10

It's fascinating Fred , that in the days before trunk roads dictated how we got about , people found the easiest , not necessarily the shortest way between places .
This was probably the ' Charnock Richard service station ' of the 17th Century .

Comment by: irene roberts on 6th May 2022 at 09:20

"Hic Bibi"...."here I drink"......I bet Cromwell wished it had been "Ye Olde Red Lion" instead of Ye Olde Well! I bet he could have werried a pie and a pint!

Comment by: Veronica on 6th May 2022 at 09:22

So this is the place where old Olly developed a bout of hic-cups! Hic!
Being shaken about on that rough road on his ‘hoss ’ wouldn’t have helped… interesting story though.

Comment by: Joan on 6th May 2022 at 09:58

Our Jimmy told me that this place is the origin of the word Hic Up, he says that Cromwells army was so thirsty that they gulped down as much water as they could then they all started to belch.

Comment by: Dave on 6th May 2022 at 13:29

Not sure about that Irene . I heard he closed all the pubs and inns down .
Mind you it's not unknown for leaders to sneak a drink behind closed doors when they're not supposed to .

Comment by: Gary on 6th May 2022 at 13:31

I recall studying this campaign in some depth fifty years ago. Cromwell moved the New Model army at speed across from Yorkshire and split the disorganised Scots army at, what is now, Walton le Dale.
They followed the Scots remnants south by the route shown in the photo, but a force of Scots dragoons had turned back in an attempt to join up the Scots army again. In pouring rain, Cromwell and the Scots missed each other, the latter taking an alternative route following a path close to where the old White Bear station was in Adlington.
These Scots met a Parliamentary rearguard under Col Thorhaugh. A clash in the rain saw Thorhaugh killed, but the Scots turned again, rejoining the retreating remnant of their force in Wigan.
Cromwell remarked of the time of rain torrents and "riding on ground I never rode in the whole of my life."
This ramshackle Scots army was destroyed near Warrington, their leader, Middleton and others eventually arrested as far away as Uttoxeter.

Comment by: irene roberts on 6th May 2022 at 14:06

You're probably right, Dave, about him closing the inns down. I am not well-up with history....I was just having a laugh. That doesn't mean I don't find what people have written interesting; indeed I DO find it interesting, and I love the photo, but it was just a little light-heartedness amongst the historical facts.

Comment by: Gary on 6th May 2022 at 15:05

Error in my post - Scots leader was Hamilton (Duke of), while Middleton was one of his commanders in the field.
Sorry - old age!!

Comment by: Poet on 6th May 2022 at 16:00

Good post Gary . I'd forgotten the Scots had changed sides and ended up supporting Charles . The conflict ought really be termed the British Civil War shouldn't it . There was bother going on everywhere not least in Ireland .
For many years a Rounded head helmet hung on a hook in St. Wilfrid's church . I remember constantly gazing at it when we were taken there from junior school for scripture lessons . I think its now in the Harris museum .

Comment by: A Banks on 6th May 2022 at 16:07

The bridge over the brook near this spot collapsed about three years ago , I reported it to Chorley Council got no reply back ,

Comment by: annemarie on 7th May 2022 at 21:12

My son went to Stoneyhurst and they have a table that Cromwell was reported to have slept on before the battle

Comment by: WN1 Standisher on 9th May 2022 at 14:46

Your right about the helmet Poet, I remember seeing it at height on one of the stone arches on the opposite side to the pulpit. I wondered where it had gotten to.

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