Sunday, 28 November 2010

Hebden Bridge's bridge


Hebden Bridge was named after the packhorse bridge in the centre of the town. The stone bridge has just celebrated its 500th anniversary.  Before it was built in 1510, there was a wooden bridge over Hebden Water, which in medieval times was a meeting point of packhorse routes from Halifax to Heptonstall, Burnley and Rochdale, all centres of the handloom cloth trade.  During the English Civil War in 1643, an important battle between the royalist Cavaliers and the Roundheads took place here.  The Roundheads won a significant victory, forcing the Cavaliers, who on horseback were ill-equipped for the steep terrain, down into the valley and back across the bridge.

Nowadays the bridge - only wide enough for pedestrians or horses - forms an attractive focal point in the heart of the town centre.  The town is notable for the number of independent shops: it has lovely cafés, galleries and some interesting craft and clothes shops.  The area also has a rich literary history. The Brontë sisters wrote their famous novels just a few miles away in Haworth, the American poet, Sylvia Plath is buried at Heptonstall on the hill overlooking Hebden Bridge and the late poet laureate, Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, two miles away. 

For more Sunday Bridges, courtesy of Louis La Vache, please click here.

10 comments:

  1. Another beautifully framed shot. I must get up to your neck of the woods again sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How lovely to have independent shops. So many of our town centres are dominated by chains.

    ReplyDelete
  3. «Louis» really likes these fine old bridges. What history they could relate to us! «Louis» thanks you for your contribution to Sunday Bridges.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The bridge is interesting, but the history is fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another lovely photo and piece of history from your area. I love the way one's eye is drawn into the bridge by the river and building. The light and depth of field terrific. I love looking at your pics enlarged, I wonder why you don't make them bigger on your post.
    We have a Rochdale a few ks down the road from here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I"ve never stopped off here before but often wondered where the name came from. Great research... & all round nice post.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting bridge history and fascinating photo.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is amazing how Hebden Bridge has transformed itself from an industrial backwater into a tourist destination over the last 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A very interesting and beautyful place. I like the harmony of grey and green of this little city..

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm joining the chorus, Jenny - charming bridge and fascinating history!

    ReplyDelete

No WV here but I've enabled comment moderation on older posts so I don't miss any of your messages. I love reading them - thank you! And thanks for visiting my blog.