Calder Mill, Hebden Bridge

Application to clear a site just outside of Hebden Bridge, Calderdale:

Not the best photo, but all I could find on Street View

Between Hebden Bridge and Mytholm is a valley which has not changed in 150 years. Having cycled down the canal here many times, I can attest to the fact that this is one of the most special places in the country. This valley up in the Pennine hills is a time machine to the industrial revolution.

Sadly Calder Mill was gutted by fire in 2019, and has been deemed unsafe (although the two main factory buildings look unscathed in my opinion) and the site is in the process of being cleared and redeveloped.

The map from circa 1900 shows the area to have been much more built up than it is now. It is a shame that this townscape is being slowly eroded.

An artist’s impression of the scheme by Matthew Bladon/Moreton Deakin Associates

The proposal to replacement the mill has made a noble effort at preserving the vernacular, with roofs that take their form from the mill’s north light roof. Yes the speckled stone, the relationship with the street, and the lack of any arches result in a proposal that is somewhat pastiche. Probably the best we could hope for, but another example of why it is impossible to recreate heritage buildings. Hopefully they will develop the damp green patina of the Calder Valley in the next 50 years.

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