Lancashire Legends, Traditions, Pageants, Sports, &c./Part 5/Three Rivers at Mytton


The Hodder, which divides Lancashire from Yorkshire for a considerable portion of its course, joins the Ribble at Winkley, in Aighton, and winds along a beautiful vale, forming the southern boundary of the parish of Mytton. The Calder, issuing from the deep hollows of Whalley and Read, meets the Ribble at Hacking, a short distance below Mytton Church. The confluence of these three rivers gives additional breadth and depth to the main stream, and at times disastrous floods are the consequence. This has given rise to a distich which has in it something of a depreciatory character:—

"The Hodder, the Calder, Ribble, and Rain,
All joined together, can't carry a bean."

Another version is—

"Hodder and Calder, and Ribble and Rain,
All meet together in Mytton demesne."

It has been conjectured that Mytton = Myd-town = Myt-ton, from its being situated, as it were, in the midst of the three rivers.


An old rhyme says that—

"Ingleborough, Pendle Hill, and Penygent,
Are the highest hills between Scotland and Trent."

The recent ordnance survey has proved this to be a fallacy; for Pendle Hill, being 1831 feet above the level of the sea, is nearly 800 feet lower than Grey Friar, in the north of Lancashire, and considerably lower than Whernside in Yorkshire. However, the following version may be true:—

"Pendle Hill, Penygent, and little Ingleborough,
Are three such hills as you'll not find by seeking England