infobox UK place
country = England
population = 1,491
City of Wakefield
region= Yorkshire and the Humber
constituency_westminster= Pontefract and Castleford
postcode_district = WF11
Ferrybridge is a village situated on the A1 in
West Yorkshire, Englandat a historically important crossing of the River Aire.
The history of Ferrybridge - and its neighbour,
Knottingley- dates back to the establishment of Anglo-Saxon settlements along this stretch of the River Aire.
The respective histories of the two settlements of Ferrybridge and
Knottingleyare closely-linked, bringing glassmaking, shipbuilding, brewing and potteries to the area.
Geologically, Ferrybridge and
Knottingleyare located on rich soil, over a bed of magnesian limestone.
An archaeological feature at Ferrybridge is
Ferrybridge Henge, a prehistoric ceremonial monument dating back to the Neolithic period, constructed during the period 4,500-1,500 B.C. when monuments of this kind began to appear. Ferrybridge Henge remains one of the oldest remaining antiquities in the local area and recently a 2,400 year old chariot burial was discovered there.
Ferrybridge stands at the crossing point of the Great North Road and in 1198, a bridge was built over the
River Aire. It is from the construction of that bridge that we find the first recorded crossings of the River Aireat Ferrybridge. The bridge was rebuilt at the end of the 14th. century with seven pillars and a chantry chapel at one end. Until 1810, a toll was payable to cross the bridge.
In March 1461, on the eve of the battle of nearby Towton, an engagement between the Lancastrians and Yorkists ended in a Lancastrian victory, leaving the Yorkist leader, Lord Fitzwalter, dead. That engagement is known as the
Battle of Ferrybridge.
Up to the end of the 17th. century, Knottingley was an important inland port in the
West Ridingas the River Airewas not navigable beyond Knottingley. However the construction of the Aire and Calder NavigationCanal (further to a 1699 Act of Parliament - this was the first navigation scheme passed by Act of Parliament) diminished Knottingley's importance as a port by allowing barges on the River Aireto navigate further upstream to Leeds.
A new canal was authorised in 1820. Cutting through the centre of
Knottingley, the new Aire and Calder NavigationCanal was opened in 1826 and connected the new port of Goole with the River Aireat Ferrybridge. The lock at Ferrybridge opened at 10 a.m. on 20 July 1826.
By the end of the
Industrial Revolution, Ferrybridge had become a centre for glass production and was well connected, the village being served by its own railway station.
In the 20th century, three power stations were built. The newest of the three, Ferrybridge 'C' Power Station (
Ferrybridge Power Station) now dominates the skyline around the village.
The town lies close to
Kellingley Colliery, which is situated at the other side of Knottingley. This is West Yorkshire's last remaining operational colliery.
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