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Bridge closure in Colden clough

From Adrian Riley

Friday, 2 February 2018

I read today a notice at the roadside near Heptonstall, which informed walkers there was a footpath diversion of the Pennine Way. 

This is because of serious damage to the packhorse bridge at Hebble Hole, caused by a fallen tree.

I can find no other reference to the incident. Does anyone have any more details about the damage to this listed bridge?

From Kez Armitage

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

It's early days yet, but Calderdale's Countryside Services, and their Highways' Rights of Way section were at the scene within 24 hours. The tree which caused the damage has now been removed, although the route remains officially closed (and it's an important route, being both part of the Pennine and Calderdale Ways). One of the four stones which form the walkway of the bridge now lies in the beck. The other three are in place. The railings are badly damaged.

The likelihood is that this historic bridge will be restored, subject to reports by structural engineers. But it's not going to be an easy task, and one can only wonder how those enormous stones were originally put into place.

Some of you may be able to remember that, back in the 80's, there were plans to demolish this bridge and replace it with a more modern structure. Thankfully that never came to pass.

So the current situation is that things are in the hands of the experts. There could well be an opportunity for community involvement at a later stage. 

From Adrian Riley

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Thanks for the update Kez. I didn't know Calderdale still had a Rights of Way section, I thought it had been done away with and its responsibilities subsumed by Highways Dept. 

Does anyone know who owns the bridge? I thought it was a listed structure but I'm not certain. If so there may be requirements for 'as was' re-instatement.

From Tim M

Thursday, 8 February 2018

It is indeed - Grade 2 - listed. See here 

Clapper bridge over the Colden Water on the route of the Pennine Way. Probably late C17 or early C18. 4 large monoliths in pairs supported by roughly dressed triangular breakwater. 2 upright stones from gateway to south. Single cast iron railing acts as handrail. An excellent example of its type linking the townships of Blackshaw and Heptonstall. Illustrated in K. Parry, Trans-Pennine Heritage:Hills, People and Transport, (1981) p.135.

From Kez Armitage

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Adrian, you're probably right about Highways. It was an assumption on my part that it was still part of Calderdale Council.

It looks as though the bridge is Grade II listed. See here

From Andy G

Thursday, 8 February 2018

I understand from a friend, who is a CROWS volunteer, that a local quarryman has kindly donated a replacement stone slab to repair the bridge. The problem will be getting it there and getting it into place. I suspect that an extremely large and long telescopic crane will need to be manoeuvred along Badger Lane and then back again.

From Caroline M

Friday, 9 February 2018

Calderdale council does have staff working on rights of way - bit of a question whether they are a still a section, and they do work within Highways. But they are there - though overstretched, as many are after council cuts.  The council has statutory duties on rights of way. I don't work for the council  but I know a man who does.

From Andy M

Friday, 9 February 2018

Horses perhaps or even manpower - after all, those sarsens at Stonehenge were put up without a crane! 

From Julie C

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Anyone got any contacts with the Royal Engineers? It would be the sort of job they could manage perhaps.

From Tim M

Friday, 13 July 2018

Does anyone have an update about the bridge at Hebble Hole?

From Andy M

Monday, 16 July 2018

The bridge is (and  has been for months) perfectly passable... In fact, safer than it was with a handrail; which will hopefully be dispensed with once fixed! 

From Tim M

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

What I mean is... When will it be repaired? Any plans?

From J P Marshall

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

There is now a planning application 18/00893/LBC for repairing the bridge. It looks like it will be a skilled job and the result will see the original broken stone slab repaired. Oddly, there isn't an application form in the documents list.

From Andy M

Monday, 13 August 2018

Consents needed relating to listed status and from the Environment Agency, so, subject to these, looking at replacement within this financial year.  

From Julie C

Friday, 4 January 2019

Great to have such a positive outcome to the story of the old clapper bridge. Obviously a real mission to get it fixed. Congratulations to all those involved. 

See also

HebWeb News: Footbridge over Colden re-opened (Jan 2019)

HebWeb News: Footbridge over Colden closed (Feb 2018)