Hebden Bridge

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Coordinates: 53°44′31″N 2°00′32″W / 53.742°N 2.009°W / 53.742; -2.009

Hebden Bridge is a market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, in West Yorkshire, England. It forms part of the Upper Calder Valley and lies 8 miles (13 km) west of Halifax and 14 miles (21 km) north east of Rochdale, at the confluence of the River Calder and the River Hebden (Hebden Water).

A 2004 profile of the Calder Valley ward, covering Hebden Bridge, Old Town, and part of Todmorden, estimated the population at 11,549.[1] The population of the town itself is approximately 4,500.

Contents

History

The original settlement was the hilltop village of Heptonstall. Hebden Bridge (originally Heptenbryge) started as a settlement where the Halifax to Burnley hilltop packhorse route dropped down into the valley. The route crossed the River Hebden at the spot where the old bridge (from where Hebden Bridge gets its name) stands.

The steep wet hills and access to major wool markets meant that Hebden Bridge was ideal for water powered weaving mills and the town developed during the 19th and 20th centuries; at one time Hebden was so well-known for its clothing manufacture that it was known as "Trouser Town".[2] Drainage of the marshland which covered much of the Upper Calder Valley prior to the Industrial Revolution enabled construction of the road which runs through the valley. Prior to this, travel was only possible via the ancient packhorse route which ran along the hilltop, dropping into the valleys wherever necessary, as was the case with Hebden Bridge. The wool trade also brought the Rochdale Canal (running from Sowerby Bridge to Manchester) and the Manchester and Leeds Railway (later the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) (running from Leeds to Manchester and Burnley).

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