Sowerby Bridge skyline
Sowerby Bridge shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||SOWERBY BRIDGE|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
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.
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.
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 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. 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
- Walter Lees (1875–1924), professional cricketer for England
- Joe Riley (1876-1954), professional rugby league player for England
- John Tillotson (1630–1694), Archbishop of Canterbury
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.
- Sowerby Bridge Chronicle newspaper website
- artSBridge website - Sowerby Bridge Creative Group & Festival
- Fire & Water Facebook page - Current Community Build Project
- Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival
- Totally Locally - More Than a Shop Local Campaign