Bringing History Alive

Photos from the Hebden Bridge Local History Society

The Medieval Park of Erringden

Memories of Foster MillNigel Smith has been exploring the history of the Medieval Park of Erringden for a number of years, and it was the subject of his PhD and of his latest book. Nigel's talk to Hebden Bridge Local History Society revisited the topic which continues to fascinate. The story that he tells is constructed of a jigsaw of documentary evidence, studies of the landscape involving much walking and an eye for relevant features. Read report   (30 Nov 2021)

Spinning through the West Riding

John Cruickshank followed a career as an orthopaedic surgeon by embarking on studies in local history, completing a PhD focusing on the Headingley area of Leeds. Fascinated by the very different nature of the Leeds townships of Bramley, Armley and Wortley, he has now begun to uncover something of the pre-industrial organisation of textile production in this and other areas of the West Riding of Yorkshire.
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(15 Nov 2021)

Sylvia Plath in Yorkshire

Sylvia PlathHeather Clark is the author of an acclaimed biography of American poet Sylvia Plath, and, speaking to Hebden Bridge Local History Society from her home in the USA, she shared some of the ways in which the landscape of West Yorkshire influenced Plath’s poetry. Plath visited the area when the parents of her husband, Ted Hughes, were living at the Beacon, in Heptonstall. Read report   (1 Nov 2021)

A Brief History of Shibden Hall

HeptonstallShibden Hall is a much loved and much visited landmark in Halifax and David Glover set himself the challenge of outlining 600 years of its history to an audience at Hebden Bridge Local History Society in just sixty minutes. By 1615 the house was owned by the Lister family and eventually passed to its most famous owner, Anne Lister, in 1826. Read report (20 October 2021)

Who put the hall in Old Town Hall?

Old Town HallIt was an immense pleasure to be back with an ‘in real life’ talk at Hebden Bridge Local History Society and to listen to a demonstration of the multitude of skills involved in the surveying of vernacular buildings and constructing a story about their past. David Cant has long experience working with the vernacular buildings of the Calder Valley, and his focus on Old Town Hall on the hills above Hebden Bridge exemplified the riddles and puzzles that face someone trying to make sense of an old building. Read more

Lecture Programme 2021 – 2022

Meetings will be held at Hebden Bridge Methodist Church, which members will be pleased to learn has been equipped with chairs to replace the pews. Many members enjoyed being able to follow the talks on-line. We therefore hope to make recordings of the live talks available to members only via Zoom for two weeks following the event. Further information on how to access these will be sent to members. See the Events section for a list of lectures, with more info.

Who built Hebden Bridge?

Glee UnionsWe so often take our own neighbourhood for-granted, but Michael Peel's talk to Hebden Bridge Local History Society brought to life the history of the buildings that make up Hebden Bridge's 'Victorian Quarter' and form an important part of the character of the town. The talk focused on the area known as 'the Croft' between Commercial Street, New Road and Bridge Gate

Read report   Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Alan Petford book

The Medieval Park of Erringden by Nigel Smith. Erringden Park was a feature of the Upper Calder Valley landscape that was created in the fourteenth century, certain aspects of which still survive today.

See Publications section for more info.

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Autumn 2021

How to use this site

Use these pages to find information on the Society's own activities, links to local and other historical organisations' sites, and links to useful resources for local history researchers.

What do we do?

We have a programme of fortnightly talks on Wednesday evenings in Hebden Bridge Methodist Church Hall.

Our Archive is open to members . History Society Archive and Family History Opening Times.

Come and join us!

There are lots of activities to get involved in as well as the Society's regular programme of events.

Trestle Bridge

Trestle Bridge, Blake Dean c1904

West End Bridge

West End Bridge, 1960s


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Family History

The group runs a popular programme of workshops and drop-in sessions at the Birchcliffe Centre

Churn Milk Joan

A major role of folklore is to express the 'common sense' of a community - in other words, the shared rhythms and beliefs and ways of doing things that are accepted and largely followed locally.

Midgley Moor

For some years now a small group of friends has been exploring the evidence for prehistoric activity in the South Pennines.

Calderside Mill

What you find in this section are the results of about ten years work - visiting archives, interviewing local residents and digging up new photos.