Best Foot Forward: Bygone Brighouse

Mill Royd Street
Mill Royd Street
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Brighouse is famous for its canals, bridges and churches – but also for its old and new cricketing heritage. This walk introduces you to the rich history of the town.

Start at the Waterfront car park by the canal close to Mill Royd Street.

Wellholme Park

Wellholme Park

Head towards the main road, Huddersfield Road – on your left if you’re looking at the canal.

Turn right onto Huddersfield Road and cross over. Brighouse Bridge is 30 yards away and there are three lights on top of the bridge. Underneath the left­-hand light, learn about the widening of the bridge in 1905.

Below the middle light, read the plaque which tells the passer­-by of the significance of 1824.

Look left and right and see the River Calder in all its rugged glory. A second bridge you see to the left, a few hundred yards away, will be where the walk will eventually finish.

Brighouse Parish Church

Brighouse Parish Church

Walk down the hill into Brighouse town centre. You soon cross yet another bridge – this time a canal bridge. Look left and right and see two more bridges!

Keep right, passing Sainsbury’s and seeing Tesco in mid-­distance, again on the right. Tesco is where we’re aiming for next.

As you navigate the ring road, look out for The Barge public house on your right – another sign of the town’s canal heritage.

As you approach Tesco, look left to see Brighouse Parish Church on the horizon. Tesco is a significant landmark in the history of Brighouse cricket because in 2002 the supermarket giant made Brighouse Cricket Club an offer it couldn’t refuse.

Tesco in Brighouse

Tesco in Brighouse

Tesco now stands on land that used to be home base for Brighouse CC, one of Yorkshire’s most famous cricket clubs.

Tesco contains a café if you’re already a little peckish as well as toilets.

Leaving Tesco, keep right on the ring-road, following it round past the Tesco garage.

You see the Ritz ballroom on the other side of the road and a signpost saying Bradford is seven miles away.

Brighouse Sports Club, Russell Way, Brighouse.

Brighouse Sports Club, Russell Way, Brighouse.

On your right you eventually come to Wellholme Park. On the other side of what is now Bradford Road you spot Brighouse Evangelical Church, which is housed in

a building of 1888 vintage (once the premises of the local Industrial Society).

To your right, you also encounter a business park.Also look out for the premises of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association, 126 Bradford Road.

On your right, you should now see the new premises of Brighouse CC coming into view ­- Russell Way – complete with rugby pitch and state­-of-­the-­art clubhouse facilities.

Heading back into Brighouse, follow the main road but after 50 yards take a turn up Rayner Road, and then left up Lee Street.

Keep looking left and in between the houses you will see a wonderful vista: a rugby pitch, a viaduct and wooded Calderdale Way country high above Clifton Beck.

The waterfront at Brighouse

The waterfront at Brighouse

Turn right at the end of Lee Street – the block opposite (Crooked Riding Terrace) was evidently built in 1892. You then come to Springfield Place – of 1864 vintage. Keep on Thornhill Bridge and Waterloo Road. To your left look out for the M62 in the far distance and a lovely set of allotments close by.

Then, just before you come to the school up on your left, turn left down the footpath in the direction of Brighouse Parish Church.

Follow the footpath to the right, passing by the back of the church. Leave the footpath via the exit on the left, veer right, and you come out in the grounds of Brighouse Library, whose history goes back to 1841.

Drop down onto the road and turn left, heading back into Brighouse. Cross over the ring road (Ludenscheid Link) and walk down the steps. Here you find Brighouse Central Methodist Church, one of the best attended Methodist churches in Yorkshire.

Follow your nose back into the town centre.