Brought to life again...the battle of the bridge

MUSKETS smoked and bodies lay strewn across the banks of the river as Hebden Bridge took a trip back in time.

The Battle of Heptonstall – a famous Civil War skirmish – was re-enacted as part of the celebrations marking 500 years of Hebden's packhorse bridge.

Crowds gathered either side of the river as Parliamentarian forces coming from the Heptonstall side clashed with Royalist troops and a firefight across the river ensued.

The re-enactment was staged by the Hebden Bridge Local History Society and Lt Col John Lilburne's Regiment of The Sealed Knot.

Major Tim Worral, from the regiment, said: "We've had an excellent reaction from the public with everyone really interested in learning about the time and the weapon.

"It's great to be part of these historic celebrations.

"The battle for this bridge was important as Heptonstall had great strategic command of the area around, being up on the hill.

"Heptponstall was used as a base by the Parliamentarians and they would fight off Royalists here at the bridge.

"If forced back, they would roll boulders down the buttress, which meant great losses for the Royalists."

As well as the main battle, the Sealed Knot also gave displays of pike and musket drills at St George's Square, Hebden Bridge, with a chance for people to learn about the Civil War era.

The troops then moved to Weavers Square, Heptonstall, where children tried out some of the pike drills.

The anniversary celebrations continue thoroughout the year with events including art exhibitions, poetry recitals and a town crier competition.