Sowerby residents put their “Town” on the map

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Sowerby Town has a new gateway stone paid for by Sowerby and Beechwood Residents’ Associations and a donation from the sale of “Sowerby Tales” by local author Jean Illingworth.

The residents felt it was very important that the sign read Town and not Village because the word village has never been used in our district said John Kerridge.

Sowerby was listed as “Sorebi” in the Domesday Book in 1086, when Sowerby Bridge was simply a bridge over the River Calder and Halifax had no mention at all.

It was the principle settlement in the area of land that was the “Forest of Sowerbyshire”, part of the Earl de Warren’s rewards from William the Conqueror.

At about this time it is thought that a castle was built in Sowerby, the site of which is still marked on O.S. maps.

In 1885 Sowerby was made the nominal Parliamentary Constituency covering Elland to Hebden Bridge and all places in between; this lasted until the 1983 reorganisation when it was split up and became part of Calderdale.

Sharron Greewood said: “Sowerby is listed as a Township in the old Parish of Halifax as are many others, including Heptonstall, Wadsworth, Midgley, Warley and Ovenden.

“Sowerby at one time had six places of worship as well as numerous public houses and shops, but as these have dwindled away it is easy to see how these hilltop Townships have come to be regarded as villages.

“By reminding ourselves of the ‘Town’ status of our once- bustling communities we can remember their fascinating history.”

Residents are now creating a Community Garden between Dean Lane and Towngate.

For more information on Sowerby’s rich history visit www.sowerbytown.org.uk