Exploring SD9921

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright September 2012, 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


This square contains part of the Turvin Clough valley, in Cragg Vale, Mytholmroyd. About half of the land has public access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CRoW).

The area in the south-eastern part of the square, inside the parish boundary shown on the 1:25,000 map, was in Soyland Township and is now in Ripponden Civil parish (CP).

SD9921 : Boundary stone and wall by Humphrey Bolton
The wall is along the parish boundary. The land on the right is part of Liberty Rush Bed, and is waterlogged, supporting coarse grasses and rushes.

SD9921 : Boundary stone by Humphrey Bolton
This is the boundary stone at the corner of the wall in the image above. It is on the 1:25,000 map. The inscription ‘SB’ could refer to Sowerby or to Soyland.

The remaining area is in Hebden Royd CP. The part to the north-west of Turvin Clough was the Turley Holes Moss Division of Sowerby Township according to 1850 six-inch map, but later maps and also Myers’s map of the Parish of Halifax, 1835, indicate that it was in Erringden. Most of the area is wet, with coarse grasses, rushes, and patches of bracken and some heather. Millstone grit outcrops on the higher land, which is drier.

The part between Turvin Clough and the Soyland boundary was originally in Sowerby Township, and is mostly improved pasture, enclosed in the early 19C.

Blackstone Edge Road

SD9921 : Blackstone Edge Road by David Dixon
Blackstone Edge Road was built as a toll road in 1815. It was the first stage of a road, now the B6138, connecting Mytholmroyd to what is now the A58.

SD9921 : Sykes Gate Bottom by David Dixon
There is a cross-roads at Sykes Gate Bottom, with Washfold Road (public footpath) to the left and Sykes Gate to the right.

SD9921 : Sykes Gate Bottom by John Illingworth
Sykes Gate Bottom is a typical laithe house, with house and barn under the same roof. It is not shown on the 1850 map but appears on the 1895 edition.

SD9921 : Mount Pleasant Cottages by David Dixon
The first house in this area was Sykes House, which I think was what is now the ruin in this image. It was probably a farm, with land on the north-west side of the road. The two houses beyond are Mount Pleasant Cottages, built later in the 19C.

SD9921 : Boundary stone, Blackstone Edge Road by Humphrey Bolton
100m further up the road there is a collection of boundary stones, defining a small rectangular plot of land. This image shows two of the stones, inscribed ‘SB’. The plot seems to have been the site of a toll bar or booth, shown as ‘TB’ on the 1835 map. Otherwise the township boundary follows the south-eastern side of the road, suggesting that it was fixed after the road was built.

Sykes Gate

SD9921 : Sykes Gate by David Dixon
This is the western end of the road, at the junction with Blackstone Edge Road, which it probably pre-dates. It continues as Washfold Road, and the route might have been used to give access from Sowerby to the grazing on Higher House Moor.

SD9921 : Boundary Stone and Sykes Gate by Humphrey Bolton
This is another view of Sykes Gate. The parish boundary is along the wall from the boundary stone. The road junction at Sykes Gate Bottom is in the distance.

SD9921 : Boundary Stone, Sykes Gate by Humphrey Bolton
The boundary stone; the inscription is facing Sowerby, with Soyland behind the wall.

Footpath from Sykes Gate Bottom past the shooting box

SD9921 : Washfold Road by Humphrey Bolton
This is Hebden Royd 118 along Washfold Road, which on Myers’s 1835 map led to a crossing of Turvin Clough (Law Clough on the map) onto part of the moorland called Middle Moss. The 1850 map shows what looks like a farm, captioned ‘Washfold’, near to the stream. This evidently had a short life as it is not shown on the 1895 map. In his book 'The Hinchliffes of Cragg' Jack Uttley wrote that about 1785, Richard Hinchliffe, started a cotton spinning business in a water powered but very small mill at the side of Turvin Brook at the building shown as Washfold.

SD9921 : Water supply tunnel intake, Turvin Clough, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Washfold Road has been surfaced to give access to a water works installation, which diverts the stream flow through a tunnel to Baitings Reservoir (this view is from the CRoW access land at the upstream end). It is captioned ‘Pumping Station’ on modern OS maps.

SD9921 : Washfold Bridge by Humphrey Bolton
Washfold Bridge, over Turvin Clough, was first shown on the 1895 map. It has been replaced by a modern concrete bridge.

SD9921 : Turvin Clough by michael ely
Turvin Clough from Washfold Bridge, showing a flow measurement weir.

SD9921 : Junction of tracks near Washfold Bridge by Humphrey Bolton
Soon there is an inviting track to the right, but the public footpath is to the left.

SD9921 : Water capture dam by Humphrey Bolton
Exploring the track to the right, it leads to a flat area, on which some broken-up tarmac has been dumped. A narrow path continues to a dam on a small stream.

SD9921 : Water intake by Humphrey Bolton
On closer inspection, the stream flow goes into a small chamber under a grille, and turns right, presumably piped up to the water intake above Washfold Bridge.

SD9921 : Sheep fold, Turvin Clough by Humphrey Bolton
Continuing on the path, we come to a view of an oddly-shaped sheep fold that is shown on maps from 1835 to the present. There is no track leading to it and it looks disused.

SD9921 : Plantation in Trimming Dale by Humphrey Bolton
From this vantage point there is a view down the valley, and a recent plantation can be seen on the lower moorland slope.

SD9921 : Grouse shooting butt on Turley Holes and Higher House Moor -  by Humphrey Bolton
Returning to the public footpath, it climbs gradually and soon passes a line of grouse-shooting butts.

SD9921 : Interior of grouse butt by Humphrey Bolton
The butts are quite small and not very comfortable.

SD9921 : Shooting Box and footbridge, Turley Holes and Higher House Moor by Humphrey Bolton
The track goes to a restored shooting box, where there is a plank footbridge over a steep-sided stream channel. The area between the bridge and the building is rather wet.

SD9921 : Shooting Box and footbridge by Humphrey Bolton
This alternative route is better.

SD9921 : Restored shooting box by John Illingworth
The shooting box has been restored by Yorkshire Water as part of a scheme to restore the moorland, presumably to its grouse-shooting state with more heather.

SD9921 : Derelict shooting box by John Illingworth
This is the shooting box when it was derelict.

SD9921 : Path across stream near the shooting box by Humphrey Bolton
The public footpath is supposed to pass the shooting box on the south-eastern side and cross the next stream on a bridge, but the bridge has gone without trace and the path goes past on the other side and you have to find some stones to step on the cross the stream.

SD9921 : Footpath east of the shooting box, Turley Holes and Higher House Moor by Humphrey Bolton
Beyond the shooting box there is an indistinct path through bracken, gradually descending across relatively dry moorland towards Cove Hill.

SD9921 : Footpath to Cove Hill by Humphrey Bolton
The path goes through an area strewn with millstone grit boulders before leaving the square.

Footpath across Trimming Dale

SD9921 : Footpath to Trimming Dale and Cove Hill by Humphrey Bolton
This is Hebden Royd 120. The line of the path off Blackstone Edge Road is out-of-date on the OS maps. It starts at this gate and follows the wall, turning left through a gate at the far end of the field, and then right along the far side of the wall in the distance.

SD9921 : Gap in wall on the old line of the footpath by Humphrey Bolton
The old line of the path goes through this gateway and crosses the field diagonally to a walled-up gateway in the far corner.

SD9921 : Gate on Hebden Royd FP 120 by Humphrey Bolton
The path turns left through this gate and doubles back alongside the wall,

SD9921 : Footpath into Trimming Dale by Humphrey Bolton
There is then a stile over a fence, and the path descends into the valley.

SD9921 : Walls near Trimming Dale by Humphrey Bolton
Dry-stone walls; one of much better quality than the others.

SD9921 : Stile near Trimming Dale by Humphrey Bolton
A stile provided by Yorkshire Water, not actually on the right-of-way.

SD9921 : Footbridge over Turvin Clough in Trimming Dale by Humphrey Bolton
The path slopes down the steep hillside to this surprisingly wide bridge over Turvin Clough, and then continues up the far hillside.

SD9921 : Turvin Clough at Trimming Dale by Humphrey Bolton
This is the view down Turvin Clough from the bridge. You can see the top end of Jumm Wood.

SD9921 : Stile, waymark and fence near Trimming Dale by Humphrey Bolton
Another stile in Yorkshire Water’s style leads onto Higher House Moor.

SD9921 : Path alongside a ditch by Humphrey Bolton
The path then follows the edge of a ditch to Cove Hill, although the right-of-way is alongside the wall to the right. From Cove Hill you can walk down to Marshaw Bridge, continue along the edge of the moor and then down to Withins Clough Reservoir, or double back across Higher House Moor on the path to Sykes Gate Bottom via the shooting box and Washfold Road. The ditch was evidently dug to capture water from the moor and discharge it into Turvin Clough opposite the entrance to a channel feeding a mill pond for Turvin Mills.


Myer’s Map of the Parish of Halifax 1834-5 is available on CD from the Digital Archives Association.

For six-inch OS maps from 1850 to the 1930s, visit LinkExternal link Note that I have rounded the dates of the various maps to the nearest 5 years.

For 1:2500 maps, visit LinkExternal link and type in the all-figure grid reference, eg for the centre of the square 399500 420500.

For local history, borrow or buy ‘Cragg Vale, A Pennine Valley’ by Stephen Welsh, Pennine Desktop Publishing, 1993, ISBN 0952278308. This has been reprinted recently and costs £4.95.

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