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To the west of the B 6138

Crumber Hill

In the south-west corner of the square there is relatively gently sloping farmland up to the 300m contour. There are two farms, Crumber Hill and Sandy Pickle, shown on the 1850 six-inch map with only footpath access.

SE0024 : Crumber Hill, Cragg Vale by Humphrey Bolton
The front of the farmhouse and barn, with an ancient stile in the foreground. Crumber Hill is a Grade II listed house and attached barn. The rear retains masonry and windows of the late 17C, whilst the front was rebuilt c.1840 ( the date scratched on the ogee lintel and cyma moulded surround to the door in the porch. The barn has a basket arch on skewbacks with tie-stone jambs. Over is plain Venetian window. To either side are mistal doorways with tie-stone jambs. (National Heritage List)
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Sandy Pickle, Cragg Vale by Humphrey Bolton
From a footpath, which crosses a nice muddy pig-pen to reach the farm.
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Access track to Crumber Hill, Cragg Vale by Humphrey Bolton
The footpath to Crumber Hill has now been widened for vehicles.}

SE0024 : Track to Sandy Pickle, Cragg Vale by Humphrey Bolton
This is a relatively recent lane, not shown on maps until the 1970s. This is no doubt why it is not a public footpath. Access to Sandy Pickle was previously by footpaths from High Green and Upper Lumb Lane.
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Track to Keelham and Bell House by Humphrey Bolton
The farms in this area are connected by long tracks, private roads usually with a public right of way on foot. This view is from the turn-off for Crumber Hill, having just passed the track down to Sandy Pickle. Two more farms ahead.
by Humphrey Bolton

The woodland

Below this farmland there is a steeper wooded hillside, divided into Lord Wood, Whams Wood, Spa Wood, Paper Mill Wood and Sandy Pickle Wood. These were presumably named after the farms that owned them. Old stone walls made of rounded boulders mark the boundaries of the woods. The woods do not all have the same mixture of trees. Lord Wood is a plantation of beeches on a very steep slope. There are areas thick with holly trees, especially in Spa Wood. There are footpaths through the woods.

SE0024 : Sandy Pickle Wood, Cragg Vale by Humphrey Bolton
Birch, oak and holly, with bracken on the ground, on which there are many weathered boulders.
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Hebden Royd Footpaths 89 and 90 in Paper Mill Wood by Humphrey Bolton
FP 89 curves round to the left, and FP 90 slants down the hillside on its way to Spa Bridge via some soggy fields. Fallen oak leaves have drifted on the path.
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Entrance to Paper Mill Wood from Spa Wood by Humphrey Bolton
This is on Hebden Royd FP 89. Although seemingly all one big wood from a distance, this is several different woods apparently with different owners. See SE0024 : Notice at entrance to Paper Mill Wood for notice board.
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Stile on Hebden Royd FP 89 by Humphrey Bolton
This leads from Spa Wood to Whams Wood.
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Stile on Hebden Royd FP 88 by Humphrey Bolton
The stile is on the edge of Lord Wood, and the path crosses the field to Cragg Lane above Lower Cragg. FP 89 is along the bottom of the field.
by Humphrey Bolton

The Spa

SE0024 : Cragg Vale Spa from Spa Bridge by Humphrey Bolton
The water contains sulphide and iron, and has no medicinal properties other than a revolting taste that people thought must do them good. The locals drank it in the Spring, and it was the custom to dissolve liquorice in it to disguise the taste. In the 19C people, including curious tourists, gathered here on the first Sunday in May 'Spaw Sunday'. Religious orators, and later political (Independent Labour Party) orators, took advantage of the ready-made audience. By 1906 the events popularity was waning, and 'only' 500 people went to the White House to hear the Hebden Bridge band play. For a close view of the spring, see SE0024 : Cragg Vale Spa. (From the information board at the site).
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Cragg Vale Spa by Humphrey Bolton
The water from this spring contains sulphide and iron, and was drunk by the locals in Spring, supposedly to 'cleanse themselves of their winter ailments, and give them strength to face the coming year' (John Billingsley, quoted on the information board). The water in the basin now looks revolting.
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Spa Bridge by Paul Glazzard
Road bridge crossing Cragg Brook in Cragg Vale, between Cragg Road and Spa Laithe Farm.
by Paul Glazzard

Part of the adjacent hillside also has features named after the Spa. Spa Laithe was presumably just a barn, and is now a house, with access from Cragg Road down a very steep hill and over Spa Bridge. The lane is not on the street list, so presumably is privately maintained. Spa Wood is the part of the wooded hillside adjacent to Spa Laithe, and above two narrow and very wet fields alongside Cragg Brook. Hebden Royd FP 90 passes through these fields on the way to Paper Mill Bridge.

An old track, a branch of Hebden Royd FP 89, goes up from Spa Bridge past Whams to Cragg Lane.

Cragg Lane

Cragg Lane is an unadopted street and public footpath. It leaves Cragg Road and goes past Higher Clough Foot before crossing Cragg Brook by Clough Foot Bridge. It leads to Whams, Lower Clough Farm and Higher Clough Farm. The part between Whams and Higher Clough Foot is a sunken track, typical of the old packhorse tracks of the Upper Calder valley. A private driveway has been made to give vehicular access to Higher Clough Farm, which from the style of its windows appears to have been built in the late 17C or early 18C. A track continues past the farm to meet Frost Hole Lane.

SE0024 : Higher Clough Foot, Cragg Road B6138, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Farmhouse and converted barn face each other across a yard.
by Humphrey Bolton

Cragg Brook and the riverside footpath

SE0024 : Cragg Brook, Spa Wood by Paul Glazzard
Small stream joining Cragg Brook at Spa Wood in Cragg Vale, northwest of Birks Hall.
by Paul Glazzard

SE0024 : Cragg Brook below Spa Bridge by John Darch
Cragg Brook in spate, the boulders submerged under the bank-high flow.

There is a footpath alongside or near to Cragg Brook across this square, a public footpath from the south edge in Paper Mill Wood and Spa Wood to Spa Bridge, then a permissive path past Clough Foot Bridge to reach the lane described in the next section.

The Dauber Bridge to Broadhead Clough lane

This lane is a public footpath (Hebden Royd 69), and its various branches lead to several properties, but it is not on the list of streets. It is paved with concrete at first, then after the junction with the permissive riverside path it climbs alongside and above the wooded valley of Parrock Clough.
SE0024 : Cattle in the woodland, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Cattle sometimes graze a narrow strip of pasture above Parrock Clough.

A branch turns north-east into SE0025, to a group of houses including Great House, not the original old house but a Victorian replacement. This driveway is also a public footpath (Hebden Royd 70).

SE0024 : Cattle grid on the track to Broadhead Clough, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Continuing on the track to Broadhead Clough, the surface changes to broken stone, and there is a cattle grid, a little the worse for wear, before it crosses a field.

SE0024 : Footpath towards Dauber Bridge by Chris Wimbush
This is a view of the track looking downhill.

Along the B 6138

SE0024 : Veteran lorry on Cragg Road at Twist Clough by Humphrey Bolton
Entering the square from the south, the road passes a group of houses on the east side. The pair nearest to the road are Beech Cottages, and the long row set back from the road is called Twist Clough. A street called Twist Clough goes past the houses to Upper Birks and Birks Hall. This is also a public footpath up the hillside.

Cragg Vale Park is below the houses at Twist Clough.
SE0024 : Community garden in Cragg Vale Park by Humphrey Bolton
This looks to have been planted quite recently.
by Humphrey Bolton

The road then passes Holderness Wood on the east side.
SE0024 : Cragg Vale - Spa Terrace by Dave Bevis
Spa Terrace is opposite the lane to Spa Bridge and Spa Laithe.

SE0024 : Holderness Farm, Cragg Road by Humphrey Bolton
Holderness Farm presumably had some of the pasture land between the road and Cragg Brook.

SE0024 : Cragg Road (B6138) by David Dixon
From here, on the east side, there are houses set back in wooded grounds.

SE0024 : Milestone, Cragg Road by Mark Anderson
This milestone is one of a series along the Mytholmroyd and Blackstone Edge former turnpike road. It is of the standard type found throughout the West Riding of Yorkshire, and I think that it must have been erected in the late 19C, replacing the original turnpike milestones. The civil parish name is shown as Erringden, the boundary with Sowerby at this point being the wall at this side of the road of the road. If it was made after 1894 one would expect the name to have been Mytholmroyd, which was created in that year.

SE0024 : Cragg Vale - view to Clough Foot by Dave Bevis
A field on the west side of the road.

SE0024 : Cragg Road B6138, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Cycling is especially enjoyable down Cragg Road.

SE0024 : Upper Clough Foot, Cragg Vale by Richard Redman
Cragg Vale is magical with fresh snow on the trees.

SE0024 : Cragg Road B6138, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Cragg Road approaching Lower Clough Foot.

Below Lower Clough Foot there is a caravan site.

To the east of the B 6138

There is a large area of woodland on the hillside to the east of Cragg Road. There are no footpaths in Holderness Wood, but Hebden Royd FP 91 passes through Sutcliffe Wood, a young-looking wood with mostly birch trees; it was however shown as woodland on the 1850 six-inch map. The path divides, and each branch passes a ruined building, the upper one called 'Wood Houses' on old maps. There were small enclosures next to the buildings, but these have reverted to woodland. The paths join again, and go through a gate in a wall into Hollin Hey Wood. This has been planted with beech trees long ago, but as the name implies, there are patches of holly trees. The upper leaves do not have spines, and were harvested to use as cattle fodder in winter. This is perhaps one reason why so many of the farms here have a wood with their name on it. Clough Foot Wood is below Sutcliffe and Hollin Hey woods, opposite Upper Clough Foot Farm (now called Higher Clough Foot). It has been developed with houses with large wooded grounds. Hebden Royd FP 92 goes up through the grounds of Underwood into Sutcliffe Wood, and FP 67 goes up along the edge of the grounds of Beckfoot into Hollin Hey Wood.

SE0024 : Footpath off Cragg Road, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
This is the start of Hebden Royd FP 67, with some small wooden steps and a waymark. The path goes up the edge of the grounds of a house on its way to Hollin Hey Wood.
by Humphrey Bolton

SE0024 : Footpath and gate, Hollin Hey Wood, Mytholmroyd  by Humphrey Bolton
These lead from Hollin Hey Wood in the foreground into what was Clough Foot Wood and is now the grounds of a house. The footpath is Hebden Royd 67, and was shown on the six-inch map of c.1895.
by Humphrey Bolton

In the north-east corner of the square one of the Thornber poultry-rearing sites has been turned into the Dean Hey Country Business Park.

Links to old maps

Link to old OS six-inch maps on the Calderdale Council websiteExternal link
Search for Twist Clough. 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
Colin Spencer,The History of Hebden Bridge, Hebden Bridge Literary & Scientific Soc. 1991
ed. Bernard Jennings, Pennine Valley - a history of upper Calderale, Otley, 1994

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