Brief history and best estimate of the date of construction of bridge.
Building bridges and keeping them in a good state of repair was important to the local economy (mainly based on woolen textiles) and was seen as a form of charity in the early 16th century. The Old Bridge was rebuilt in stone in 1510 with money raised from local collections and benefactors as the extract below indicates.
Extract from The History of Hebden Bridge by Colin Spencer – first published in 1991 by the Local History Section of the Hebden Bridge Literary and Scientific Society
… and the Old Bridge in Hebden Bridge received several mentions in wills soon after the year 1500. James Grenewode of Wadsworth left 3s 4d "to the fabric of Hepden bridge"; William Murgatrode left 6s "to a bridge called Heptenbridge"; Richard Naylor, who possibly lived at the original White Lion Inn left 6s 8d in 1510 "to the building of the bridge of Hepden"; and two years earlier, in 1508, William Grenewode of Heptonstall had left "to the fabric of Hepten bridge 13s 4d * (about 67p) if those nearest it will build it of stone". Another Naylor had left money in 1477 towards the repair of the (wooden) bridge then in use, but these later bequests seem to fix the building of the present Old Bridge at about the year 1510.
Italics in brackets added
* In 2006, £0 13s 4d from 1510 is worth £298.39 using the retail price index. (Citation: Lawrence H. Officer, "Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2006.")
Repairs and alterations
There are three carved plaques on the bridge recording repairs made to the structure in 1600, 1602 and 1657.
On the downstream side the plaque reads "Repaired by help of John Greenwood Sessions 1600".
The two plaques on the upstream side read "Repaired by help of Richard Naler Sessions 1602". and "Repayred by the Ridinge: by order of sessions August 4 1657 by HN:RG:RG"