Facts about Brighouse
Brighouse is a town within the metropolitan borough of Calderdale, in West Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated on the River Calder, 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Halifax. It is served by Junction 25 of the M62 motorway and Brighouse railway station on the Caldervale Line and Huddersfield Line. In the town centre is a mooring basin on the Calder and Hebble Navigation. The United Kingdom Census 2001 gave the Brighouse / Rastrick subdivision of the West Yorkshire Urban Area a population of 32,360. The Brighouse ward of Calderdale Council gave a population of 11,195 at the 2011 Census. Brighouse has a HD6 postcode.
The name Brighouse (or “Bridge House”) originates from a building on (or close to) the bridge over the River Calder. In its early history, it was a hamlet of the nearby village of Rastrick. Brighouse is twinned with Lüdenscheid in Germany, the link beginning with an exchange by Brighouse Children’s Theatre in 1950 followed by a civic twinning charter in 1960.
There was a river crossing called Snake Hill Ford across the Calder – believed to have formed part of the Roman route between Wakefield and Manchester. A wooden structure called Rastrick Bridge was recorded in 1275. The bridge was replaced by another built with timber donated by John Hanson in 1514. Hanson’s son funded a stone replacement for this bridge in 1558. The river provided power for the flour milling industry and the textile mills. Brighouse’s industry received a boost through the construction of the Calder and Hebble Navigation, started in 1757 by the engineer John Smeaton. The town was incorporated in 1893.
The Halifax and Huddersfield Turnpike Act of 1823 allowed for the building of Calder Bridge, or Brighouse Bridge, over the river on what was to become the A641 road; tolls were abolished on the bridge in 1875 and extensive widening work was undertaken in 1905 and 1999 (both of these latter dates being commemorated in dedication stones on the bridge).