The Calder & Hebble Navigation


General Points

The Calder & Hebble Navigation – also known as the Calder & Hebble Canal – is 24 miles in length, and runs to the west from the junction with the Wakefield section of the Aire and Calder Navigation to Sowerby Bridge.

Although the locks on the Calder & Hebble were wider, with a width of 14 ft [a broad waterway], and length of 57½ ft, they were shorter than those on the Rochdale Canal and could only take smaller vessels and not the 70 ft boats from Lancashire. As a result, Sowerby Bridge became a trans-shipment point between the 2 systems.

The drop between Sowerby Bridge and Wakefield is 192½ ft.

Many of the locks along the canal use the unique Calder & Hebble handspike to raise the paddles.

The Calder & Hebble Navigation links with the rivers at several points. Initially, 21% of the Calder and Hebble Navigation consisted of cuts, but this finally rose to 68%.

The original design was by John Smeaton and this was completed by James Brindley.

The major events in the history of the waterway are listed in the Foldout on Local Transport.

See the book entitled The Calder & Hebble Navigation

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 3900

Page Ref: MMC642

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