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Title: The Old Bridge, Hebden Bridge - BIM00500

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The Old Bridge, Hebden Bridge - BIM00500


Animals, Boy, Boys, Bridge, Bridge Gate, Child, Children, Colour, Dogs, Girl, Girls, Hebden Bridge, Hebden Water, Kid, Old Bridge, Packhorse Bridge, People, Places, Public Houses, Pubs Inns & Hotels, River, Street Names, Taverns, Toddler, White Swan


The timber bridge which gave its name to the town probably stood a little further upstream than the present stone structure which dates from about 1510. Legacies financed the construction: for example, James Grenewode of Wadsworth left 3s. 4d to the fund in his will dated February 20th 1508, and William Murgatrode left 6s. 8d “to a bridge called Heptenbridge”. Inscriptions on the bridge record that it was strengthened in 1602 by order of the Quarter Sessions, and again repaired on August 4th 1657. A plan shows three arches, each with a 23-foot span, and a total span of 86 feet over the water. Originally the tail-race from Bridge Mill went under the third arch but the culverting of the water has left it on dry land.

The bridge was of considerable importance, lying on the main packhorse route from Halifax to Heptonstall and on into Lancashire. As it is only 7 feet 6 inches wide, and fully-laden packhorses needed the full width in their passage, small triangular alcoves were provided at the side in which people could stand while the animals passed. The packhorses used on these roads were usually Galloways carrying a load of 240lbs, divided into two panniers. This measure was used as a standard, being quoted in trading accounts dealing with the transportation of coal, lime and other materials. Travellers tended to meet at a bridge such as this where an inn was established from early times. The White Lion, which was originally known as ‘King’s Farm’, and the White Swan, which in earlier times was called ‘Bridge End’, have answered the needs of travellers for the last 200 years.

Text from: Calderdale Architecture and History.


Bill Marsden


PHDA - Bill Marsden Collection




Bill Marsden, “The Old Bridge, Hebden Bridge - BIM00500,” Pennine Horizons Digital Archive, accessed December 5, 2019, http://penninehorizons.org/items/show/28665.

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