Sowerby Bridge

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Sowerby Bridge
Sowerby Bridge in 2005.jpg
Sowerby Bridge skyline
Sowerby Bridge is located in West Yorkshire
Sowerby Bridge
Sowerby Bridge
 Sowerby Bridge shown within West Yorkshire
Population 9,948 (2001)
OS grid reference SE058233
Metropolitan borough Calderdale
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district HX6
Dialling code 01422
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Halifax
List of places

Coordinates: 53°42′N 1°55′W / 53.70°N 1.91°W / 53.70; -1.91

Sowerby Bridge /ˌsɔrbi ˈbrɪ/ is a market town that lies within the Upper Calder Valley in the district of Calderdale in the county of West Yorkshire, in northern England.


Originally a fording point over a once much-wider River Calder the town takes its name from the historic bridge which spans the Calder in the centre of the town. Before the town's existence, the geographical area was divided between the older parishes of Sowerby, Norland, Skircoat and Warley. The boundaries between them being the Rivers Calder and Ryburn, and Warley Clough, the latter now being largely culverted.

A textiles and engineering industry eventually grew up around the bridge. By the mid-19th century the population had grown to such an extent that it was awarded its own identity as an Urban District within the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Industrial heritage[edit]

From 1892 to 1930 home of Pollit & Wigzell ltd a prominent manufacturer of quality stationary steam engines used in the cotton and woollen mills of Yorkshire, Lancashire and India.

Wood Brothers Ltd, an engineering and millwright company, also produced engines from their Valley Iron Works. The Markfield Beam Engine is an example for their work.

Recent developments[edit]

Most recently Sowerby Bridge has benefited from the recommendation of an asset transfer of the buildings on Hollins Mill Lane, that were formerly the old swimming pool, council offices and fire station.The buildings will be transferred to the community group Sowerby Bridge Fire and Water, and renovated and brought back into use for the community.[1]


The town is part of the Sowerby Bridge ward of the Metropolitan borough of Calderdale, part of the Metropolitan county of West Yorkshire.[2]


Sowerby Bridge is situated on the edge of Halifax, about three miles from its centre. It is at the confluence of the River Calder and River Ryburn, and the name Sowerby Bridge references the area's use as a crossing point over the River Calder to the older settlement at Sowerby.

The town had a population of 9,948 at the 2001 Census.


There are two high schools in Sowerby Bridge.


The town is served by Sowerby Bridge railway station, which sees a regular service to Manchester, Bradford and Leeds on the Caldervale Line.

The town is at the junction of the Calder and Hebble Navigation and the Rochdale Canal; Tuel Lane Lock on the Rochdale Canal is also the deepest lock in the United Kingdom.[3] The canal basin and associated warehouses where the two canals meet, known as Sowerby Bridge Wharf, are listed buildings and house The Moorings Bar and Restaurant, 12-04 Restaurant, and Temujin Mongolian Restaurant. The Basin is the HQ of The 12th Halifax Sea Scouts (M.O.D. No. 54 Royal Navy Recognised) where HRH Prince of Wales opened the William Andrew Memorial Headquarters. Shire Cruisers run Holiday Canal Hire barges, build Narrow Boats and provide Mooring facilities.

In popular culture[edit]

The canal basin was used as a filming location for the ITV comedy-drama Stay Lucky, and the ITV drama Dead Clever was set in the town. The 2014 BBC1 drama Happy Valley was also filmed in the area.

Notable residents[edit]


Rushbearing, the annual ceremony of (now nominally) taking rushes to churches for covering the floors throughout winter, still takes place here over the first weekend of September.


  1. ^ Information
  2. ^ "Sowerby Bridge". 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Deepest Canal Locks". Pennine Waterways. 

External links[edit]