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Ferrybridge is a village situated on the A1marker in West Yorkshire, Englandmarker at a historically important crossing of the River Airemarker.

The history of Ferrybridge - and its neighbour, Knottingleymarker - dates back to the establishment of Anglo-Saxon settlements along this stretch of the River Airemarker.

The respective histories of the two settlements of Ferrybridge and Knottingleymarker are closely-linked, bringing glassmaking, shipbuilding, brewing and potteries to the area.

Geologically, Ferrybridge and Knottingleymarker are 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 Roadmarker and in 1198, a bridge was built over the River Airemarker. It is from the construction of that bridge that we find the first recorded crossings of the River Airemarker at 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 Towtonmarker, 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 Ferrybridgemarker.

Up to the end of the 17th. century, Knottingley was an important inland port in the West Riding as the River Airemarker was not navigable beyond Knottingleymarker. However the construction of the Aire and Calder Navigationmarker Canal (further to a 1699 Act of Parliament - this was the first navigation scheme passed by Act of Parliament) diminished Knottingleymarker's importance as a port by allowing barges on the River Airemarker to navigate further upstream to Leeds.

A new canal was authorised in 1820. Cutting through the centre of Knottingleymarker, the new Aire and Calder Navigationmarker Canal was opened in 1826 and connected the new port of Goole with the River Airemarker at 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 Stationmarker) now dominates the skyline around the village.

The town lies close to Kellingley Colliery, which is situated at the other side of Knottingleymarker. This is West Yorkshire's last remaining operational colliery.


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