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Sowerby Bridge

Sowerby Bridge

Sowerby Bridge skyline
Sowerby Bridge is located in West Yorkshire
Sowerby Bridge
 Sowerby Bridge shown within West Yorkshire
Population 9,948 (2001)
OS grid reference
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

Sowerby Bridge is a market town in the Upper Calder Valley in Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England.


  • History 1
    • Christ Church 1.1
  • Government 2
  • Geography 3
  • Education 4
  • Transport 5
  • In popular culture 6
  • Notable residents 7
  • Traditions 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Always pronounced Sorby Bridge, the town was originally a fording point over the once much-wider River Calder where it joins the River Ryburn. The town takes its name from the historic bridge which spans the river in the town centre. Before the Industrial Revolution the area was divided between the parishes of Sowerby, Norland, Skircoat and Warley. The boundaries between them being the rivers Calder and Ryburn and Warley Clough, which is now largely culverted. Textiles and engineering industry grew up around the bridge. By the mid-19th century the population had grown and the settlement became an urban district in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1894.

From 1892 to 1930 Pollit & Wigzell manufactured stationary steam engines for the cotton and woollen mills of Yorkshire, Lancashire and India. Wood Brothers, an engineering and millwright company, also produced engines from its Valley Iron Works. The Markfield Beam Engine is an example for its work.

Council buildings on Hollins Mill Lane, the old swimming pool, council offices and fire station will be transferred to the community group, Sowerby Bridge Fire and Water, and will be renovated for community use.[1]

Christ Church

The Anglican parish church, Christ Church, situated on Wharf Street, is a Grade II listed building. It was built in 1819 by John Oates The chancel was rebuilt in 1873-74 and the church was re-roofed 1894.[2] The church is still active and the vicar is Revd. Canon Angela Dick[3]

The first organ, built by John Ward of

  • 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

External links

  1. ^ Information
  2. ^ Good Stuff (15 November 1966). "Christ Church - Sowerby Bridge - Calderdale - England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge". Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  4. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2015), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  5. ^ a b Nigel Castledine (2015). "The Organ at Christ Church Sowerby Bridge". The Parochial Church Council of Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge. Retrieved 2 July 2015. .
  6. ^ "Sowerby Bridge". 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Deepest Canal Locks". Pennine Waterways. 


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.


Notable residents

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 BBC One drama Happy Valley was also filmed in the area.

In popular culture

The town is at the junction of the Calder and Hebble Navigation and the Rochdale Canal; Tuel Lane Lock on the Rochdale Canal is the deepest lock in the United Kingdom.[7] The canal basin and warehouses where the canals meet, Sowerby Bridge Wharf, are listed buildings and house the Moorings Bar and Restaurant, 12-04 Restaurant and Temujin Mongolian Restaurant. The basin is the headquarters of the 12th Halifax Sea Scouts (M.o.D. No. 54 Royal Navy recognised) where Prince Charles opened the William Andrew Memorial Headquarters. Shire Cruisers run holiday hire canal barges, build narrow boats and provide mooring facilities.

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


There are two high schools in Sowerby Bridge.


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

Sowerby Bridge is situated about 3 miles (4.8 km) from Halifax town centre. It is at the confluence of the River Calder and River Ryburn, and the name Sowerby Bridge references its situation as a crossing point over the River Calder to the older settlement at Sowerby.


The town is part of the Sowerby Bridge ward of the Metropolitan borough of Calderdale, part of the Metropolitan county of West Yorkshire.[6]


As part of the church reconstruction a new and considerably larger organ was provided by Abbott & Smith of Warley Congregational Church. The instrument was converted to electric control between the keyboards and pipes. Some restoration work was completed in 2006 and a recent bequest, from the late Fred Seed, has been used to cover the cost of further work.[5]


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