Besides great sights, an interesting history and many exciting destinations, Horbury has a lot more to offer. Here you will find many helpful tips to enjoy your vacation in Horbury.
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Sights in Horbury
Just 10 miles from Leeds and Wakefield, the historic town of Horbury is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Its picturesque streets and buildings conceal a multitude of fascinating stories, from its maritime heritage to its role in the industrial revolution.
The town’s name is believed to derive from the Old English ‘hore’ meaning filth or mud, and ‘byrig’ meaning a fortified place or burgh. In the 12th century, a motte and bailey castle was built on the site of the present Horbury Bridge, and the town grew up around it.
The castle was destroyed during the Civil War, but the bridge remains and is now a Grade I listed structure. It was rebuilt in 1675 after being damaged by floods, and widened in 1839 to accommodate the growing volume of traffic.
The bridge is the perfect starting point for a walk around Horbury, taking in the town’s many notable buildings. The best way to see them is to follow the Horbury Heritage Trail, a selfguided walk that takes in 42 sites of interest.
Starting from the bridge, the trail takes you past the Old Hall, a 17thcentury manor house that was once the home of the Tempest family. The hall is now a residential care home, but its grounds are open to the public and are well worth a visit.
Next on the trail is the parish church of St Peter and St Paul, which dates back to the 13th century. The churchyard is the final resting place of several notable figures from Horbury’s history, including John Barran, the founder of the Barran Clothing Company.
Continuing down Church Street, you’ll come to the White Horse Inn, a former coaching inn that has been serving travellers for centuries. The inn was once a stop on the London to Leeds stagecoach route, and it’s said that the famous highwayman Dick Turpin drank here.
A little further down the street is the remarkable Horbury Academy, a stateoftheart school that was opened in September 2014. The school’s striking modern architecture is a far cry from the more traditional buildings that surround it.
At the end of Church Street, you’ll reach Horbury Junction, where the Calder and Hebble Canal meets the River Calder. The canal was built in the early 19th century to transport coal from Wakefield to Leeds, and Horbury was an important stopping point for the boats.
A short walk along the canal will bring you to Horbury Mill, a former corn mill that has been restored and is now home to a café and arts centre. The mill is powered by a waterwheel, which you can see in action when you visit.
From the mill, it’s a short walk to Horbury’s other claim to fame – the Barran Clothing Factory. The factory was founded by John Barran in 1873, and at its peak employed over 3,000 people. The factory has now closed, but its redbrick buildings are still a reminder of Horbury’s industrial past.
The heritage trail continues through the factory site, past Horbury Clough, a nature reserve that is home to a variety of wildlife, and back to the bridge.
Horbury may not be a large town, but it packs a lot of history into its streets. So why not pay a visit and discover Horbury’s hidden treasures for yourself?
History of Horbury
Horbury is a town located in the Metropolitan Borough of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. The town had a total population of 11,068 at the 2011 Census.
It is located on the River Calder, 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Wakefield, 4 miles (6 km) east of Ossett and 13 miles (21 km) southeast of Leeds.
The name “Horbury” is derived from the AngloSaxon words “hora” meaning “dirty or muddy place” and “byrig” meaning “fortified town or village”.
The town was first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as “Horberie”, and in 1274 as “Horbiry”.
Horbury Bridge, which spans the River Calder, is the oldest bridge in Wakefield, and dates back to the 12th century. It was originally a wooden structure, but was rebuilt in stone in the 15th century.
The Parish Church of All Saints dates back to the 13th century, and is a Grade I listed building. The church contains a number of interesting features, including a carved oak pulpit, a font dating back to the 14th century, and a 15thcentury carved stone misericord.
The Manor of Horbury was owned by a number of different families over the centuries, including the de Lacy family, the Talbots, and the Nevilles.
The town was an important centre for the wool trade in the 16th and 17th centuries, and Horbury Mill, which was built in 1624, is the oldest working mill in Wakefield.
The industrial revolution brought a number of changes to Horbury. Coal mining became an important industry in the 19th century, and the Horbury Colliery Company was formed in 1888. The railway came to Horbury in 1848, with the opening of the Calder and Hebble Navigation Canal, and Horbury Junction railway station.
The 20th century saw further changes, with the growth of light engineering and manufacturing industries. The Horbury Group, which was founded in Horbury in 1949, is now a major international company.
Vacation in Horbury
Situated in the heart of England, Horbury is a historic town with a wealth of things to see and do. With its convenient location, Horbury is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding region. There are a number of excellent hotels and bed and breakfasts in Horbury, so finding somewhere to stay should not be a problem.
One of the main attractions in Horbury is Horbury Bridge. This Grade I listed structure was built in the early 13th century and is one of the finest medieval bridges in England. The bridge spans the River Calder and has a number of interesting features, including a onehanded clock and a number of carving.
Just a short walk from the bridge is Horbury Hall. This 16thcentury manor house is now a hotel, but it is open to the public during the day. Visitors can explore the gardens, which are particularly beautiful in the springtime when the daffodils are in bloom.
For those interested in exploring Horbury’s history, a visit to the town’s Museum is a must. The museum is located in the former St John’s Church and contains a wealth of information about the town and its people. There are also a number of excellent walking trails in and around Horbury, so if you enjoying being outdoors, you will certainly be spoiled for choice.
So, whether you are looking for a relaxing break or an actionpacked vacation, Horbury has something to offer everyone. Why not come and explore this fascinating town for yourself?
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