Further along the Calder Valley, less than 5 miles from Hebden Bridge, lies the characterful market town of Todmorden. Largely developed during the 19th century as a result of the flourishing textile industry, the town is dominated by the magnificent Grade I Listed Todmorden Town Hall, completed in 1875.  Built at the expense of the Fielden family, a notable Todmorden dynasty, the building was designed by John Gibson in the Neo-Classical with Corinthian columns and a spectacular carved pediment depicting the cotton spinning industries of Lancashire and the engineering and agricultural industries of Yorkshire.  The border between the two counties used to run through the centre of the building until it was relocated in 1888.



Located in a dramatic spot at the confluence of three valleys, Todmorden is renowned for its indoor and outdoor markets and has some excellent independent cafes and shops. Todmorden is also famous as the birthplace of the Incredible Edible movement, a campaign to encourage self-sufficiency by growing fruit, herbs and vegetables around the town.


In addition to the Town Hall, Todmorden has many other fine buildings, including the splendid 17th century Todmorden Old Hall with its beautiful stone mullion windows, and the Unitarian Church with its soaring spire. Dating from 1896, the church was also designed by John Gibson and funded by  Samuel, John and Joshua Fielden in memory of their father, the industrial reformer John Fielden MP. 



High up above Todmorden are Bridestones, some amazing sculptural rock formations on top of the moors, which are well worth the climb. The town itself is encircled by the Todmorden Centenary WayRunning through Todmorden and linking it with Hebden Bridge is the Rochdale Canal, a pleasant walk along the towpath. You can also hike to Todmorden from Hebden Bridge via Stoodley Pike, descending via the historic villages of Mankinholes and Lumbutts, or follow the Calderdale Way on other side of the valley via Blackshaw Head. There are frequent trains and buses between the two towns, so you can walk one way and easily return by road or rail. 



For information about hiking around Todmorden, please click on these links:

Tod Walkers 

Heart of the Pennines 




© Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson

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