CORNER OF YORKSHIRE:
Hebden Suspension Bridge
THE elegant footbridge encountered by walkers along the River Wharfe between Burnsall and Grassington has a fascinating background. It was commissioned in 1884 after a man from the nearby village of Hebden was drowned while crossing the stepping stones which still exist.
The year before, the bridge downstream at Burnsall had been destroyed during a storm, leaving the Wharfe with no safe crossing point for a six-mile stretch between Linton Falls and Barden Bridge.
Funding for the bridge was raised by public subscription, and it was designed by y Hebden’s village blacksmith, William Bell.
The cost was lowered by the use of recycled materials, including 262 yards of redundant steel rope from the Duke of Devonshire’s lead mines on Hebden and Grassington Moors. The bridge was opened in September 1885 with a brass band and public tea. A supporting pier in the middle was removed after flood damage in 1937 but the base is still visible.