Today’s post on Hebden Bridge is the latest in my exploration of Yorkshire posts. I always do a fair bit of research before we visit some place new, and one of the bits of opinion on Hebden Bridge I found that truly made me laugh was the description of it as the most “Guardian-y town to have every existed.” (A reference to the British centre-left newspaper, The Guardian.)
One thing that was super important for me to do whilst in the area was to visit Sylvia Plath’s grave in St Thomas’ church in Heptonstall. (Heptonstall is a small village about 1/2 a mile away from Hebden Bridge, but higher up the valley). Ted Hughes was from Mytholmroyd (another small town in the area) so after her tragic death, he had her buried in West Yorkshire. Plath’s headstone is fairly constantly vandalised, with people trying to remove the Hughes name from her headstone. On my visit, the Hughes name was distinctly lighter than her name, and looked as if someone had taken a bit of steel wool to it. It took me completely by surprise, but I burst into tears when we found her grave. An unexpected wave of emotion just floored me. Plath’s writings had been so an important influence in my life that this sudden confrontation of her actual “personhood” has shocking.
The architecture of Hebden Bridge was absolutely stunning, as was the nature. I can see how living in the valley would be oppressive during bad weather, but on a beautiful day it must be such a picturesque part of the world to live in!