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St Bertram's Bridge, Ilam
23 June 1929
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St Bertram's Bridge was built on the site of an older bridge which carried the old Roman road across the River Manifold before the present bridge existed. St Bertram was a hermit and a disciple of St. Guthlac. Bertram - or Bertelin or Bettelin - was sometimes reputed to be the son of the ninth king of Anglian Mercia in the 'Dark Ages' after the Romans had abandoned their occupation of Britain. He lived in Croyland, England, and is listed as the patron of the town of Stafford. Bettelin and companions lived under the auspices of Croyland Monastery, founded by King Ethelbald of Mercia. Legend claims he was a noble who married an Irish princess who went into labour and gave birth in the forest while he went for help. Wolves ate her and the child in his absence. At once he denounced his heritage and spent the rest of his life as a hermit preaching the gospel. Canonisation was his belated reward for his successful conversion to Christianity of numerous pagan Britons. His nearby shrine became a point of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages and is reputed to be able to work miraculous cures.