Top and Bottom Houses, Hebden Bridge.

Hebden Bridge is one of the finest examples of a Yorkshire mill town. Here houses cling onto the hillsides that flank this small town. The town is known as the Pennine Centre and takes it's name from the packhorse bridge over Hebden Water. It was founded during medieval times but it was not until the arrival of the Industrial Revoloution and the cotton mills that Hebden Bridge boomed, aided by the arrival of the Rochdale Canal and later a railway.

The mid-twentieth century saw the Rochdale Canal fall into disuse. By 1947, most of the independant canal companies had sold out to the various railway companies and when the railways were nationalised under the Atlee goverment during the post-war reconstruction, the goverment inherited the canals as well and put them uder control of British Waterways. Not so the Rochdale Canal who's company discontinued operating the canal save for a short stretch in Manchester, linking other waterways. Recent years have seen a successful campaign to restore the Rochdale Canal and today boats can visit Hebden Bridge.

The Rochdale Canal.

Hebden Bridge is a progressive town, with a number of it's population drawn to New Age ideals and alternative lifestyles. The Alternative Technology Centre by the canal not far from the town centre is well worth a visit, encouraging people to use renewable sources of energy such as solar power. www.alternativetechnology.org.uk. The centre also reflects the Hebden Bridge lifestyle.
The ancient custom of 'Page Egging' takes place at various venues around Hebden Bridge on Good Fridays and there are numerous other festivals and events which can be checked out on the town's website at:


The well-stocked Tourist Information Centre has plenty of old photographs from the region's past and features a model of the viaduct that took the Hardcastle Crags Railway over Blake Dean during the construction of the Walshaw Dean Reservoirs.


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