The Stubbing Wharf, Hebden Bridge and the area
The Stubbing Wharf is situated between the river Calder and the Rochdale Canal, so it's a great place to be when the sun shines watching the goings-on on the canal. Or if it's cold and wet, the Stubbing is a lovely traditional pub with a roaring fire on the inside!
However, the Stubbing has a place in the history of the locality, the remains of Mytholm mill oposite the pub was the last of 13 mills and considerable industry up the Colden Valley opposite, Ted Hughes wrote poetry here (dear me, it was a gloomy place back then!), and Hughes even recalls his grandfather being fished out of the canal, possibly after a couple too many! You can here Hughes' poem 'Stubbing Wharfe' receited on YouTube, right here.
A short history
On the wall in the Stubbing’s bar area, there is a short history of the pub, by an unknown author:
“There has been a settlement at Stubbing, originally in the parish of Sowerby, in Calderdale, for over a thousand years; the name is an Anglo-Saxon word for a clearing where the tree stumps have been left. The hamlet remained unimportant until the upper Calder valley became a major cloth manufacturing centre with the birth of the industrial revolution in the latter half of the eighteenth century.
The Rochdale canal was built to serve the many mills in the valley, the section passing through Hebden Bridge was opened in 1789. Very soon afterwards, the influential Foster family of Erringden built the Stubbing Wharf Hotel and by 1810 it was serving the needs of travellers on both the canal and the turnpike road (now the A646).
The Hotel remained in the hands of the Fosters throughout the nineteenth century; several of the more important family members are commemorated in the stained glass windows of the parish church of St Thomas in Heptonstall.
In about 1900, the Hotel was enlarged and the adjacent barn built as part of a cattle market which was held twice a month in the area of the present car park – some of the market fixtures can still be seen. At this time, the clientel of the Stubbing Wharf must have been a mixed crowd, because the tenancy agreement of the new landlord in 1918, Mr John Greenwood, specifies that he will not allow any thieves or rogues to gather in or around the Hotel. Indeed, John Greenwood seems to have taken this injunction seriously, because during redecoration, the following sign was found painted in large copperplate lettering on the wall of the present pool room: “Swearing, improper language or other misconduct will not be permitted in this House.”
In 1923, the owner, Captain William Foster Greenwood, sold the Hotel and cattle market to Whittaker’s Brewery of Halifax, which eventually became part of the Whitbread Brewery Group. Nowadays, although the market no longer operates, the Stubbing Wharf Hotel still provides a warm welcome, friendly atmosphere and excellent refreshments both for residents and travellers, as it has done throughout the last two centuries. “
The poolroom mentioned used to be located at the back of the pub.
Stubbing Cider Fest
Bringing us up to more recent times, a beautiful weekend in July 2011 brought us the wonderful Stubbing Cider Fest. The Stubbing Wharf has hosted a number of hugely successful Cider Festivals. The Stubbing Cider Fest evolved into one of the biggest cider events in the north of England, and became a huge gathering for cider enthusiasts locally and beyond, our guests came from far and wide. Unfortunately, it’s become something of a victim of its own success; whilst the bars, the staff and our guests did very well to cope, we were starting to run out of geography to accommodate everyone. So, rather like Glastonbury, we’re taking a break from the Cider Fest in 2012, and we're making plans for its return in 2013. We'll be holding Apple Day again, which is always a popular event for cider enthusiasts too.
At Christmas, play and make good cheer…
The Stubbing is a wonderful place to be around Christmas, who can resist the Stubbing at Christmas for a drink at the bar, a delicious dinner, perhaps rounded off with a fine single malt? The Stubbing offers a varied menu of home-cooked Christmas and seasonal favourites; as well as all our regular menu and specials too.
And on Christmas Day, the Stubbing continued its tradition of opening the bar between 12 and 3pm and Boxing Day usually features a live performance from local rock and pop legend guitarist and vocalist R. Denys.
Come and join us for a festive Christmas or New Year dining experience at the Stubbing Wharf next Christmas, when our cellars and shelves will be racked up with beautiful beer, tempting ciders, wonderful wines and warming whiskies. So come and roast your chestnuts round our fire!
Bookings for Christmas 2012 are now being taken!
Valentine’s Day 2012
A romantic evening in the fresh new Canalside room, with a deliciously romantic menu… Well, we got some wonderful comments on Facebook! The evening went very well with the food, the service, staff and the setting, all being praised. Watch out for more events in the future!
What a wonderful, golden Autumn Apple Day on Saturday 22nd October 2011, watch out for details about this year's event, sign up for our 'Stubbing News' at the top of the page.