Sowerby Bridge

West Yorkshire

Sowerby Bridge is a town in the Calderdale metropolitan district of West Yorkshire.

The town lies in the Calder Valley about 4 miles south-west of Halifax.

Sowerby Bridge is a place where watercourses and transport routes come together.

The River Ryburn flows into the River Calder at Sowerby Bridge and the Calder and Hebble Navigation joins into the Rochdale Canal, the latter reopened to through navigation in 2002.

Tuel Lane Lock and Christ ChurchRiver Calder footbridgeCanalside mooringsRochdale Canal restoration tunnelRoads connect the route along the Calder Valley to those climbing the valley side to head over it into Halifax, while the bridge which gives the town its name crosses the River Calder to head towards the Ryburn valley and the older, but now smaller, village of Sowerby.

Just along the line to the east of Sowerby Bridge station the railway does much the same with a line continuing along the Calder valley through Elland towards Brighouse while another crosses the valley to take the climb towards Halifax.

Like many West Yorkshire towns, Sowerby Bridge saw massive growth around the end of the 19th century, when the area had textile mills and engineering works to provide mill machinery. There was a major increase in the residential area of the town which has continued since that time.

West StreetPool and Fitness Centre'Happy Valley' former police stationTown Hall StreetSowerby Bridge Library, Hollins Mill LaneIn recent times, Sowerby Bridge has claimed fame as a shooting location for the BBC police drama series "Happy Valley". You can find out more about "Happy Valley" on our Film locations page. Sadly the policing reality in the Sowerby Bridge neighbourhood is less happy as the town's police station used for filming had been closed and was put up for sale.

Sowerby Bridge does, however, have one of the Calderdale district's newest swimming pools and fitness centres at Station Road, while community group Sowerby Bridge Fire and Water has ambitious plans to use the town's old swimming pool, adjoining council offices and fire station at Hollins Mill Lane as a new community resource centre.

 Town features

The town is on the River Calder
Sowerby Bridge is on the Calder and Hebble Navigation.
Sowerby Bridge is on the Rochdale Canal.
Sowerby Bridge has a choice of pubs.
The town has a range of shops and supermarkets.
Sowerby Bridge holds a traditional outdoor market - Tuesday and Friday general market, Thursday and Saturday second-hand.
The town has pharmacies.
The town has a Post Office.
Sowerby Bridge has takeaway food outlets.
Sowerby Bridge has a selection of places to eat.
The town has a leisure centre with swimming pool.
Sowerby Bridge has a community centre.
The town has a library.
Sowerby Bridge has schools.
Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, other.


Sowerby Bridge station

Station managed by: NORTHERN.   Operator/s: NORTHERN.

NATIONAL RAIL - Departure and station info
External link to National Rail live departure board for services at this station (opens in new tab).

Bus travel

The town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Road travel

Sowerby Bridge can be reached via the A646 A58 A6142 A6026

Places to Visit

Shibden Hall

Shibden HallShibden Hall Road, Halifax
The hall, dating from 1420, is located alongside Shibden Park, which was formed from its estate. Exploring the house reveals a variety of architecture from the various periods of its history and an insight into the people who lived there over the years. One of those was Anne Lister, whose diaries in the early 18th century were the inspiration of the recent BBC period drama series "Gentleman Jack", written by Sally Wainwright. Much of the series was filmed in the real-life location at Shibden Hall. The house also has a 17th century barn housing a carriage collection. Shibden Hall is managed by Calderdale Council museums.
For more information see the  Calderdale Museums - Shibden Hall web page.
Locate on map:  Shibden Hall

Hardcastle Crags

off Midgehole Road, Hebden Bridge
Hardcastle Crags is a delightful wooded valley about 2 miles north of Hebden Bridge with beautiful streams and more than 15 miles of footpaths. A visitor centre, cafe and shop is based in Gibson Mill, a former textile mill built around 1800, in the heart of the valley. The centre gets its power entirely from water turbines, solar panels and a biomass boiler, has a filtered spring water supply and recycles all waste. Hardcastle Crags is managed by the National Trust.
Find out more at the  National Trust - Hardcastle Crags website.

Eureka! The National Children's Museum

Discovery Road, Halifax
This modern museum near to Halifax railway station is full of interactive exhibits in themed galleries aimed at inspiring younger children to learn.
More information at  Eureka! website.

Wainhouse Tower

Wakefield Gate, off Skircoat Moor Road, King Cross
This facscinatingly ornate 77 metre (253 foot) tower overlooks the Calder Valley in the King Cross area of Halifax, 1.5 miles south-west of the centre. Although many legendary tales have developed about its construction, it was started as an elaborate mill chimney but finished as a folly. On bank holidays it is open to vistors, who can pay a small fee to climb its internal spiral staircase.
Locate on map:  Wainhouse Tower

Emergency services

West Yorkshire Police  West Yorkshire Police website.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Metropolitan district council

Calderdale Council

Calderdale Council is centred in Halifax and also covers many other towns and villages, principally along the upper Calder Valley, including Brighouse, Elland, Hebden Bridge, Ripponden, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden.

Part of the district includes seven civil parish councils, four of which are small single ward councils.

Calderdale has 51 elected councillors, 3 per ward across 17 wards. Each councillor serves a 4-year term with one councillor per ward elected each year in 3 out of 4 years.

Link to  Calderdale Council website.

Political composition after May 2024 election is:

29116311 W
51 members
W = Workers Party

See our Gazetteer for more about the  Calderdale metropolitan district and places within it.

County strategic authority

West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Covers some combined services of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire -  Bradford,  Calderdale,  Leeds,  Kirklees and  Wakefield — which were at one time provided by a West Yorkshire metropolitan county council, with the addition of the non-contiguous unitary authority area of the City of  York council as well as the unelected Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership. Since 2021 it has operated with an elected mayor as chairman and decision-maker for some responsibilities. These include transport, housing and planning and finance powers. The responsibilities also include those of Police and Crime Commissioner, a role substantially delegated to an appointee deputy mayor.

Elected mayor: Tracy Brabin Labour & Cooperative
 West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
This role has become one of the many responsibilities of the West Yorkshire elected mayor since May 2021.

 West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Fire Authority

West Yorkshire Fire Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield.
 West Yorkshire Fire Authority web pages.

Pre-election parliamentary constituency

Elected MP: Holly Lynch Labour

New parliamentary constituency

Boundary changes have enlarged the area of this constituency since the last General Election.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

West Yorkshire


-1974 Within the West Riding of Yorkshire

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