Heb­den Sus­pen­sion Bridge

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

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.

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