Exploring SE0023

( Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 )
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.


This is the second edition of this article, re-written with many more images and describing every road and footpath in the square.

1. Introduction


This square contains most of the village of Cragg Vale, once a hive of industrial activity with several textile mills, but now a picturesque rural area.

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


There are only two public roads (plus a tiny length of Coppy Nook Lane) in the square. The B6138 road divides the square into two parts, and Church Bank Lane leads off it down to Marshaw Bridge and the Church of St John in the Wilderness. The B6138 is Blackstone Edge Road above Church Bank Lane and Cragg Road below it.

Next in the hierarchy of highways are the unadopted lanes, which give access to houses and farms on the hillsides. In this area they all have public footpath status only. There are many other footpaths through fields and woodland, forming a dense network with a total length of about 11.5km. The footpaths have numbers, all prefixed by 'Hebden Royd', which was the name of the local council when the rights-of-way were defined. Often the same number was given to various branches off the main path, in which case I have added a letter in brackets, eg (A), to identify branches or detached sections of paths. The path network is so complicated that I have described each path in turn rather than attempting a guided tour. I have inserted maps to show the start and finish points of each path, and also some intermediate points.

In the text, 'Footpath' has generally been abbreviated to 'FP', and 'path' has been used for the right-of-way, even if there is no visible track.

The Calderdale Way passes through the square. For the route description, see
LinkExternal link

Links to maps

For historical maps and modern OS maps at the largest scale, see
LinkExternal link
For large-scale maps with rights-of-way, select 'Transport networks'. I usually choose the monochrome version, and then search for, eg, Church Bank Lane and select St John's Church. For old maps at six inches to the mile, select 'historical maps' and choose the date of the map. 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.To see the browse page, the 1:25000 map in a popup window, or various other options click on 'Links for SE0023' and select the appropriate link.

2. The roads

Along the B6138 road

The B6138 is called Blackstone Edge Road above the Church Bank Lane junction and Cragg Road below it. It was an early 19C turnpike road, built in stages from 1815. The section of the road in this square was the last to be completed, in 1824. The trust was dissolved in 1886. This road is part of the route for Stage 2 of the Tour de France, on 6th July 2014. It is the longest continuous climb in England. The riders will probably have no difficulty climbing up as far as the Church Bank Lane junction, but then the gradient steepens for a while, and when they get to the open moorland above the Sykes Gate junction the climb seems never-ending. After descending to Ripponden, they will have the steep climb of Ripponden Bank, and eventually the horrendous climb of Holme Moss. This description goes the easy way, from south to north, downhill.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
To the right, Cragg Vale Junior and Infants School was built in 1887 by Sowerby Local Board. It replaced an existing school stated to have been unsatisfactory. At that time Cragg Vale was partly in Sowerby and partly in Erringden. The Mytholmroyd Local Board was established three years later in 1891. (Walsh) There was an old milestone outside the school. 'Halifax 8, Rochdale 10' is shown on the 1850 and 1894 maps, 'Old MS' on later maps. The turnpike milestones were replaced by county council milestones towards the end of the 19C.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
Church Bank Mill (Cotton), as named on the 1894 1:2500 map, was between Blackstone Edge Road and Church Bank Lane. It was originally Pepper Bank Mill, also known as Four Gates End Mill, and was owned by the Hinchliffe family. It was six storeys high with a 36 ft water wheel powered by a 62 ft fall of water. The goit can be seen in the sloping field uphill of the mill site; it fed a small reservoir, now silted up and overgrown by trees, The tail goit was underground and fed the mill dam of Marshaw Bridge Mill.

Church Bank Mill was demolished in 1925, although there are some remains to be seen.

This is Four Gates End, the name of the row of houses and of an old track that comes down Marshaw Bank (see FP116) and crosses the main road, continuing westwards as Church Bank Lane.

Another view of the houses at Four Gates End, with a Venetian window at the end of the narrowest house.

The cleaned house at the northern end of the Four Gates End row was the Sportsman's Inn until 1950.

Continuing down Cragg Road, there are occasional houses on each side. The ones on the east side are built at the foot of a steep hillside.

This was the premises of the Cragg Vale Co-operative and Industrial Society, which was registered in 1861. It was a general store, and had a meeting room for use by the community, and was taken over by the Mytholmroyd society in the 1930s and closed in the 1960s. The stone over the doorway is inscribed :'Union is strength'.

From mid-20C maps I think the post office was in the house to the left of the red rainwater pipe.

Wesley House, on the left side of the road, is the appropriate name for the former Providence Wesleyan Methodist chapel. It is a listed building, Grade II.

Castle Lodge is another row of houses built agains the hillside.

Cragg Builders is one of the few remaining commercial premises in the village. Beyond it FP114(B) starts on the right.

These buildings are called Castle Hall. Just before them there is a snicket down to Castle Gate.

This is in the snicket; the top end is very narrow.

Here you can seen the steep wooded hillside that divides the houses, former industrial sites and fields on the lower slopes of the valley from the more gentle upper slopes that are dotted with farms or former farms.

Castle Gate, on the left, is a narrow unadopted lane, and is FP86(A).

A row of six terrace houses with wide 'weaver's' windows.

New Lane, which is FP91(A), goes off to the right.

This driveway leads to property up New Lane, bypassing the lower part of the lane. It is not a public right-of-way.

The Robin Hood Inn has been in business since about 1800. It serves wines and real ales, and food on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Artworks by local artists are displayed around the inn.

The Woodlands is the last group of houses in this square when descending Cragg Road.

This driveway goes past Glen House and then follows FP 91(B) and FP105 on the way to Old House Farm. It is about 600m long. Glen House is a Montessori school, established in 1986.

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

Church Bank Lane

Church Bank Lane descends steeply from the junction with the Cragg Road, and the four-storey houses in this image have only two-storeys on the other side.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
This is Church Bank Lane, looking down towards Marshaw Bridge.

The settlement now known as Cragg Vale was originally called Marshaw Bridge (1850 six-inch map). The bridge is on an ancient route from Sowerby village to Lancashire via Mankinholes and Walsden or Todmorden.

The name perhaps arose because this was quite a remote area when the only access was by packhorse track. It was in Halifax parish until becoming independent in 1844 as 'Halifax St John in the Wilderness' (Youngs). The church was a 'Commissioner's Church', ie funded by the Government, built in 1815 according to 'Pennine Valley, ed. Jennings, or 1839 according to 'The History of Hebden Bridge' by Colin Spencer.

The churchyard is full of closely-spaced grave stones

The large area in front of the memorial on the left is over the Hinchliffe family vault, but the other two memorials in the foreground are also for members of that family, whereas the obelisk in the background is for members of the other mill-owning family in the hamlet, the Greenwoods.

This attractive wheel-head cross with strapwork decoration is a memorial to members of the Greenwood family, mill owners, of Castle Hall. It is on the east side of the church.

The house on the right was built as the vicarage, and the former school on the left was converted from the drying kiln of the corn mill.

St. John's Kindergarten, in the Sunday school of St. John's Church, was established over twenty years ago and was the area's first Steiner Kindergarten, affiliated to the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship. 'We provide a secure, caring, homely environment where your child can grow through play, rhythm and imitation. We provide quality toys and materials allowing the children to develop physical and social skills and creative impulses, as well as using their imagination and fantasy to form the foundations for a healthy adult life.' (from the school's website).


Coppy Nook Lane

There is a short length of Coppy Nook Lane in the square, and off it is a house called Cob Castle, which is shown on the 1850 six-inch map.

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

Footpaths to the north-west of Cragg Road

Footpath 85

FP85 starts here and goes down into the valley.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
FP85 joins a driveway that goes over Paper Mill Bridge to Paper Mill Cottage, which is seen here on the right.

From the bridge you can see various ruins of what was a cotton mill. In 1852 Cragg Mill and Paper Mill were owned by William Greenwood. Cragg Mill was 110ft by 38ft with water and steam power. Next to it were 20 cottages and a gasometer retort house. The wheel was 23ft 6in by 10ft 6in wide. The water channels and wheel pits of paper Mill are still visible. (Walsh) Cragg Mill was the lowest of this group of mills. It was renamed as Lower Mill by c.1895 and was shown as disused on the edition of c.1910.

This photograph was taken to show the circular foundations of what was possibly a chimney. This might have belonged to Paper Mill (called Cragg Mill in the 20C) to the left, or Lower Mill (originally called Cragg Mill) to the right. These are both shown on maps as cotton mills, although Paper Mill was presumably a paper mill before its name was changed.

A water wheel has been installed in the ruins, presumably to generate electricity.

Paper Mill Bridge has quite a large span. Two culverts enter from the far side, one I think from the wheel chamber. Their flow is kept separate from the main river flow by a dividing wall, although this does not continue downstream of the bridge.

FP90 goes through this gate, to the right, and leads to Paper Mill Wood.

FP85 continues up Lower Lumb Lane.

This is shown on the 1850 map as being walled all the way up to Lower Lumb. Now the wall on one side ends at the tree, and just a few stones from it remain in the foreground. It was too narrow for carts, and was superseded, except as a footpath, by the Castle Gate, New Bridge and Sunnybank Lane route.

The route of Lower Lumb Lane comes through the modern metal gate on the right and turns left towards the camera. It no longer has the character of a lane, but is still a public footpath, which here meets two paths from Paper Mill Wood, FPs 89 and 90.

Here at Lower Lumb, Lower Lumb Lane has become the driveway for a holiday bungalow. A branch goes westwards to meet Upper Lumb Lane, but the main path turns to the north past Lower Lumb Farm.

The public footpath goes through the gate and up the right-hand side of the field.

This is FP85, looking back down to Lower Lumb Farm. Above here the path crosses FP88(A) and continues as a field path to the edge of the square

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

Footpath 86 - Castle Gate, Sunny Bank Lane, Upper Lumb Lane

Footpath 86(A)

This is the start of Castle Gate, off Cragg Road. It is FP86. The first building on the right is possibly part of the former Cragg Mill. It is listed, Grade II. FP85 starts along the front of the building, going down into the valley.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The lane then passes a pair of houses.

Part of the site of Castle Mill is now a scrapyard, hidden by trees.

Castle Mill was shown on the 1850 six-inch map as a cotton mill; it was still there c.1910 but gone by the edition of c.1935. This is part of the ruins.

This is the lane at the foot of the snicket to Cragg Road.

This weir collected water for Castle Mills. The channel and long, narrow mill dam still exist.

This is New Bridge, where Castle Gate becomes Sunny Bank Lane. Footpath FP86(B) starts here, following the south bank of Cragg Brook up to Marshaw Bridge. On the north-west side of the bridge, at the foot of Sunny Bank Lane, Footpath FP86(C) goes left through Cragg Hall Wood to join FP117.

This is the lane at Sunny Bank. From this viewpoint FP117 goes to the left.

Above Sunny Bank the name changes to Upper Lumb Lane, a 'dual carriageway' with a lawn in the middle! The lane has been zig-zagging up the hillside, and further up, at Lower Lumb, it bends the the left, and FP85 goes to the right.

The lane is now the driveway to Upper Lumb, but is still FP86.

At Upper Lumb FP88 goes off to the right.

Above Upper Lumb Farm the lane (Hebden Royd FP86) is a hollow-way. There are recent plantations on each side.

There is a retaining wall at the side of the track.

This is the lane as it leaves the square.

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

Footpath 86(B)

The brook in Cragg Vale near the northern end of Cragg Hall Wood, a little way upstream from New Bridge at the junction of Sunny Bank Lane and Castle Gate.
by Paul Glazzard

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
This branch of FP86 starts on the eastern side of New Bridge and goes through pasture up to Marshaw Bridge. Judging by the stone paving, this is probably the old route from Marshaw Bridge down the valley to Mytholmroyd.

This is the path further up towards Marshaw Bridge. It goes past the old vicarage.

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

Footpath 86(C)

This short path link goes through Cragg Hall Wood.
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

KML

( Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 )
You are not logged in login | register
Get Involved