The Vault Regulars

Thursday, March 23, 2023

A photo trip to Hebden Bridge.

 Wednesday 22nd March 2023.

On this sunny day Sheila decided we should have a train trip to Hebden Bridge. It's not far from us, just half an hours journey. Hebden Bridge is now a quirky market town in the Calder Valley. It grew up as a town due to it's involvement in wool weaving. It's steep sided position giving plenty of access to fast flowing water which provided power.

During the 15th and 16th centuries this area made more millionaires than the rest of the world combined. Their legacies and buildings can still be found today.

The Rochdale canal, opened in 1804 passes through Hebden as well as the Rivers Hebden and Calder. The canal being the major transport for wool until the  Manchester to Leeds railway was built and opened in 1841.

Designer Lucy Casson's cast iron horse bench can be found on the canal towpath. Located in 2013 it represents the horses that once pulled the narrow boats. The seating is made from the same wood as the Black Pit Lock Gates.

The tourist street runs parallel to the River Hebden and is prone to flooding after heavy rain.

This weir on the Hebden is located next to an Archimedes screw turbine and a water wheel. I didn't photograph it as there was a picnic table sited over the grating. It was built in 2013 after the bad floods of 2012. It provides power for the attached building.

Looking North from the ancient pack horse bridge.

This is the "Ancient" pack horse bridge. It replaced an old wooden bridge. This one was built in 1510. The current bridge has been repaired a number of times and was the pack horse route between Halifax and Burnley. The pack horse section between Hebden and Heptonstall is called the Buttress. It is still a cobbled path and opens up great views of the town.

Start of the Buttress route.

The camera tells lies. It was much steeper than it looks.

I had to clean out this OS Bench Mark but it does not exist in the OS benchmark data sheets. It is shown on the 1894 map of the area. 

View of the town-1

View of the town-2

Part of the steep staircase from Heptonstall down to Hebden.

Back on the Rochdale Canal.

The narrow boat dry dock. (cannot be used very often).


  1. Way back in the 60s I worked in Halifax visiting all the motor sealers in the area persuading them to pass their Hire Purchase customers to us and I have much nostalgia for my innate capacity for exploration of all the nooks and crannies of the Calder valley, especially Hebden Bridge which in those days has not been "discovered." Your photos are excellent and being back the memories.

    I also passed through on my Pennine Way, my log strangely only makes a brief reference:

    3rd day - Thursday 23rd. April 1987

    "This was easy at first with a light heart, but quite a pull up to Stoodley Pike with more peat bog - met nobody until I dropped into Calder Valley.

    A nearly vertical ancient cobbled footpath led out of there."

  2. Hi Conrad. Hope you are on the mend. I think the steep cobbled route out of Hebden was the Buttress route I mention. It is steep but it isn't the route of the Pennine Way as far as I remember. (I could be wrong as it was a long time ago that I did it. I will check the map).
    I've never been to Halifax but I believe it has some fine buildings. I will add it to my list of places to visit.
    Stoodley Pike is a place I have visited on numerous occasions. I walk it from the White House which is a few miles south of the pike and is on the Pennine Way.

    Thanks for your kind comment on the photos.The light was excellent fortunately.

  3. Nice photos Alan, you chose a good day.

  4. Thanks Martin, nice days have certainly been at a premium lately.


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