Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright November 2011, Humphrey Bolton; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

To see the browse page, the 1:25000 map in a popup window, or various other options click on 'Links for SE0021' and select the appropriate link.

The Moorland

This is in the south-east corner of the square.

The Starfish decoy site

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
SE0021 : Starfish bombing decoy control bunker, Slate Delf Hill, Sowerby by Humphrey Bolton
A small building shown on the OS map is the remains of the Starfish decoy centre, constructed during the Second World War.

SE0021 : Starfish bombing decoy control bunker, Slate Delf Hill by Phil Champion
This was the operations bunker for a 'Starfish' decoy intended to draw German bombers away from their intended target, in this case the railway station and yard at Greetland. The decoy consisted of a double line of about a dozen flash pans, where oil would be burned to simulate incendiary bombs. There would also have been decoy lights and shadow buildings, possibly constructed using walling stone from alongside some of the enclosure period tracks in the area. The bunker consists of two rooms either side of a central entrance passage, defended by a high blast screen. The room on the right housed the generators. The control room was on the left, with a escape / observation hatch in the roof. The decoy itself was located to the south west in the area leading towards Great Manshead Hill.
by Phil Champion

SE0021 : Interior of bunker, Slate Delfs Hill by Mark Anderson
Looking W from the entrance corridor.
by Mark Anderson


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
At the edge of the moorland there is a junction of five tracks.

SE0021 : Slate Delfs Hill by michael ely
This is the track running along the edge of the moorland to the NNE.

SE0021 : Bridleway at Slate Delfs Hill, Sowerby by Humphrey Bolton
This bridleway runs ENE to Nook Lane.

SE0021 : Calderdale Way, Slate Delf Hill by Nigel Homer
This bridleway runs SSE to Coal Gate Road; it is part of the Calderdale Way.

SE0021 : View southwest towards Great Manshead Hill from Slate Delfs Hill by Phil Champion
The track to the SW goes over Great Manshead Hill. It is part of the Calderdale Way

The track to the north goes past Slate Delfs down to New Road.


SE0021 : Evidence of quarrying, Slate Delfs Hill by Phil Champion
There are pits like this one on the moorland, probably old shallow quarries.

Boundary stone

SE0021 : Boundary stone, Soyland by Humphrey Bolton
This is one of a series of similar stones on the boundary between Sowerby and Soyland, all inscribed 'S B'. I think 'B' must stand for boundary, as Sowerby Bridge Urban District did not include this territory until 1937 (it was initially confined to a small area by the river). These stones (see also SE0121 : Boundary stone, Flints and SE0121 : Boundary stone) look older than that. The 'S' is probably for Soyland as it is inscribed on the Soyland side.
by Humphrey Bolton

The Farmland


As a general rule, the farms with small irregular fields were established in the 18C or earlier, whereas those with large fields with parallel boundaries were taken in from the moorland during the farming boom in the mid-19C.

Slate Delfs Farm was built in 1839 (Walsh).
SE0021 : Sheep with Sykes Farm in the distance by Alexander P Kapp
Sykes Farm was built in 1843 (Walsh).

SE0021 : Sheep, west of Sykes Farm by Alexander P Kapp
The fields are pasture, for sheep and cattle.

SE0021 : Upland fields near Lark Hall by Bill Boaden
Fields near to Lark Hall, which is in the centre of the image.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
There were quarries in the farmed area: the first map shows the position of Warcock Delf and the second of another small quarry. The stone to build the farmhouses and field walls might have been quarried on the land belonging to the farm.

Roads tracks and paths

SE0021 : Cragg Vale by David Dixon
Blackstone Edge Road, B6138, passes Moorhead Cottages and enters the 40mph limit for the outskirts of the village of Cragg Vale.

SE0021 : Stream at the side of Sykes Gate by Alexander P Kapp
Sykes Gate formerly led to a sandstone quarry and (presumably) sheep-washing fold (Washfold on the 1850 six-inch map) next to Turvin Clough. When Blackstone Edge Road was constructed Sykes Gate became a link to it from Sowerby village, and the route beyond the turnpike road was renamed Washold Road. The name 'Sykes Gate' suggests that is was originally a track across moorland like those named on the 1850 six-inch map on Great Manshead Hill (see SE0020). There is a ditch at the side of Sykes Gate that intercepts a stream near Sykes Farm and discharges to one that crosses the road near to the main road junction.

SE0021 : Bridleway near Sykes Farm by michael ely
Before New Road was constructed, the continuation of Sykes Gate eastwards towards Sowerby village must surely have been along this green lane.

SE0021 : Track to Round Hill Farm by Bill Boaden
This track off New Road leads to Round Hill Farm.

SE0021 : Footpath to Cragg Vale by Bill Boaden
This footpath leaves New Road opposite the track to Round Hill Farm and leads to DEan Head Farm the Blackstone Edge Road.

Turvin Clough

Turvin Clough is a stream in a typical steep-sided wooded valley. There was a weir upstream, near Washfold Bridge, and a channel took water along the south-eastern edge of the woodland to Turvin Mill.

Links to old maps

Link to old OS six-inch maps on the Calderdale Council websiteExternal link
Search for Sykes Gate. You can adjust the zoom level and change instantly between four editions of the OS six-inch map from 1851-5 to 1934-48.
Link to old OS 1:2500 mapsExternal link
Enter the all-figure grid co-ordinates at the centre of the area you wish to see. The window for 1:2500 maps is approximately 970m wide by 680m high. You cannot pan the maps, but have to re-enter new co-ordinates and wait for the map to reload.


Stephen Walsh, Cragg Vale, a Pennine valley, Mytholmroyd 1993

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