- Halifax Entries
Brighouse is the second largest town in the metropolitan district of Calderdale in the county of West Yorkshire, England. The 2001 census gave the town's population as 32,198.
The town is situated on the River Calder, 4 miles (6 km) east of Halifax in the Pennines. It is served by Junction 25 of the M62 and its own railway station on the Caldervale line.
The name Brighouse (or "Bridge House") originates from a building on (or close to) the bridge over the River Calder. In its early history, it was a hamlet of the nearby town of Rastrick.
In prehistoric times, there was a ford called Snake Hill Ford across the Calder - this was part of the Roman route between Wakefield and Manchester.
A wooden structure called Rastrick Bridge was recorded as being present in 1275. The bridge was replaced by one built with timber donated by John Hanson in 1514. Hanson's son funded a stone replacement for this bridge in 1558.
The river provided power for the flour milling industry and the textile mills. Brighouse's industry received a boost through the construction of the Calder and Hebble Navigation, started in 1757 by the engineer John Smeaton.
The Halifax and Huddersfield Turnpike Act of 1823 allowed for the building of Calder Bridge over what was to become the A641 road ; tolls were abolished on the bridge in 1875 and extensive widening work in was undertaken in 1905 and 1999 (both of these latter dates being commemorated in dedication stones on the bridge)