Hebden Bridge and the district around it lie in the Upper Calder Valley. Originally an area of small farming settlements, by medieval times households were spinning and weaving cloth to supplement their incomes.
The area did not escape some of the most dramatic events in early modern history. In particular the upper Calder was a major conflict zone in the English Civil War. The local population suffered terribly as the royalists based in Halifax and the Roundheads operating out of Rochdale laid the area to waste. The battle of Hebden Bridge in 1643 in particular helped alter the course of the war.
Economically the next dramatic change was from the last quarter of the 18th Century as industrial spinning and weaving replaced domestic production. Production of fustian in particular flourished in the 19th century.
However, the textile industry declined sharply after the 2nd World War but during the 1970s and 1980s the town became a centre for artists, writers and other creative workers which began to transform the area. At the same time the appeal of fine walking countryside attracted people to the area.
Today Hebden Bridge is known as a Pennine beauty spot recently voted the UK town with most individuality.