A PACKHORSE BRIDGE is a bridge intended to carry packhorses across a river or stream. Typically, a Packhorse Bridge consists of one or more masonry arches and were often built on the trade routes, often called Packhorse routes. The stone Hebden Bridge Packhorse Bridge was built in 1510 and crosses the River Hebden.
I thought it was a very romantic spot. Dozens of wild ducks could be seen preening themselves on the rocks in the river. One duck posed for me as I took a lovely pic of the bridge.
The ROCHDALE CANAL runs for 32 miles, has 91 locks and over 100 bridges. It navigates over the beautiful Pennines from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge inWest Yorkshire. The Rochdale is a broad canal. Its bridges and locks are wide enough to allow vessels of 14ft width. Because of its width, it became the main highway of commerce between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Cotton, wool, coal, limestone, timber, salt and general merchandise were transported.
For boaters, particularly people holidaying on Narrowboats and cruising the Rochdale Canal, Hebden Bridge's many shops and pubs make it a popular overnight or lunchtime stop.
The steep, wet hills and access to major wool markets, meant that Hebden Bridge was ideal for water powered weaving mills. The mills and their chimneys enabled the town to prosper. Many of these mills still survive and have found new uses. One of the most prominent in the town, HEBDEN BRIDGE MILL, now houses a number of shops and craft outlets, as well as a marvellous working restoration of the original 14 ft diameter water wheel. The Mill, founded in 1314 and built of rugged local gritstone, has been the heart of local life for more than 700 years.
Located in St. George's Square.
Saturday, September 6 and Thursday September 11, 2008
The countryside and villages around HEBDEN BRIDGE have turned the area into the undisputed tourism capital of Calderdale. Thousands of visitors from far and wide visit the village each year.
Hebden Bridge and the adjoining village of Mytholmroyd were once busy industrial centres with cotton and woollen mills producing corduroy, moleskin cloth and finished garments. Hebden Bridge factories - water-driven at first - gradually replaced the traditional handloom weaving and spinning carried on at area farms and cottages. There are many reminders of the area's industrial past - ruined mills - lonely chimneys!
The restored Rochdale Canal attracts boaters, fishermen and walkers.
Hans and I spent our time browsing the many shops that fill the streets of Hebden Bridge and St. George's Square, which is for pedestrians only, made it quite relaxing to walk around this lovely town.