Happy 507th Birthday to Hebden Bridge.
The packhorse bridge over Hebden Water originated in 1510 and if you needed an excuse to visit this quirkly town in Calderdale the year long birthday celebrations may be what you were waiting for. It has just been awarded the best small market town. A well deserved award after the town pulled together after the 2015/16 Christmas floods.
When the Industrial Revolution descended on Hebden Bridge the hill sides were too steep for the area to loose its identity. The domestic activity of cloth manufacture and early ready made clothing thrived. This can still be seen in a row of houses called Machpelah, named after the Baptist minister, with special small windows for fustian cutting.
Fustian is a thick, twilled, short napped, cotton cloth used mainly for men’s wear. The active historical society at Hebden Bridge has an interesting article about a Fustian factory strike at the turn of the 20th century.
- There is a lot to see in the town but do not miss a trip up Hardcastle Crags a National Trust Property which they claim is a ‘Beautiful wooded valley with 19th-century Gibson Mill at its heart, an exemplar of sustainable energy’.
- Heptonstall is linked to Hebden Bridge by the Buttress, a narrow pack-horse track paved with setts and as precipitous as any East cost village like Staithes, Robin Hood’s or Runswick Bays.
- Midgehole is the start of several enjoyable walks and with a name like that who can resist.
- In an evening there are many pubs including the White Lion dating from 1657 or the more modern art deco 1920’s Picture House.
- Take a walk or evening stroll along the canal or alongside the river Calder.
- When you are tired of walking there are mountain bike trails and some great hill climbs for the avid cyclist. perhaps your bbike was bought or hired from this cycle shop.