Repairs shut packhorse bridge

Closed: the packhorse bridge in Hebden Bridge
Closed: the packhorse bridge in Hebden Bridge

HEBDEN Bridge’s iconic packhorse bridge has been closed while repointing work takes place.

The stone structure, which was the focal point for the town’s 500th anniversary celebrations last year, has been covered with scaffolding while the maintenance is carried out.

A new wooden walkway has been put up over Hebden Water until the work is completed by the end of October.

The Grade II listed landmark, which is also a scheduled monument, is being repointed with lime mortar - one of the oldest known types.

A spokesman for Calderdale Council said: “The work is being done to strengthen and repair the structure using a material that’s appropriate for such a historic structure.

“There will be a temporary foot bridge in place while the work is carried out.”

The structure was built in 1510 to replace an old wooden bridge over the water. Historic repairs are marked by plaques dated 1600, 1602 and 1657.

Last June, hundreds of residents turned out to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to it at the climax of of the HB500 festivities.

Frank Woolrych, of Hebden Bridge Local History Society, described it then as the “foundation stone” of the town.

Similar work is also currently being carried out on Waterloo Bridge at Ripponden.