Exploring SD9922

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright December 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 is mostly moorland with an average gradient of about 1 in 15, and which is access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CRoW). The access land includes the steep hillside down to Withens Clough to the north, but not the hillside down towards Turvin Clough to the east, which is partly woodland and partly pasture.

The 1850 six-inch map shows the area as being in the Turley Holes Moss Division of Sowerby Township; why land with so few dwellings came to be an administrative unit is a mystery. By the edition of c.1895, it was in Erringden Civil Parish within the area of the Mytholmroyd Local Board. From 1894 it was part of Mytholmroyd Urban District, until 1937 when an amalgamation put it in Hebden Royd Urban District. The public rights of way numbers are therefore all prefixed by ‘Hebden Royd’.

The lane and path from Marshaw Bridge to Cove Hill

This lane starts in SD9923 by crossing Bod Bridge over Withens Clough. It would seem to be a private road and public footpath (118) and not to have a name until it reaches Turley Holes House, where it becomes an unadopted street called Tenter Hill Lane. As it has already passed Tenter Hill by then I should think that the name should logically apply to this northern section, and change to Higher House Lane at Turley Holes. The name ‘Tenter Hill’ applies to a narrow ridge at the junction of the two valleys, Withens Clough and Turvin Clough, and indicates a place where pieces of cloth were stretched and dried on tenter frames.

SD9922 : Footpath towards Round Hill Wood by Humphrey Bolton
Whilst still in SD9923, the popular path (119) that follows Turvin Clough branches off to the south-east, and passes through the north-east corner of SD9922.

SD9922 : A wide stile near Round Hill Wood, Cragg Vale by Humphrey Bolton
This king-size stile is on this path within the square.

SD9922 : House seen from the valley bottom footpath by Michael Steele
Returning to the lane, as we enter the square we pass a group of houses. First Wood Ville, as named on the 1850 map. This is now captioned Woodville Nursery, but I don’t think it is a retail outlet. Next, shown in this image together with the barn conversion, is Turley Holes House, which Malcolm Bull’s Calderdale Companion states is dated to around 1300, although obviously not the present building.

SD9922 : Lane to Higher House, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
The lane continues upwards to Higher House.

SD9922 : Driveway to Higher House by Humphrey Bolton
The last length to Higher House is a driveway rather than a lane, but still a public footpath.

SD9922 : Higher House by John Slater
Higher House is Grade II listed, and is dated 1666, with initials ‘W S N’ in a tressure on the Tudor-arched door lintel. There is a six-light mullioned window to the main room on the ground floor, and two former two-light windows have label stops in the shape of a heart. Nearby, but not visible from the right-of-way, is a row of sixteen bee-boles, which housed beehives; these are also Grade II listed.

Paths on Higher House Moor

SD9922 : Stile onto the moor near Higher House, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
The footpath continues past Higher House Barn, near which a branch of Footpath 119 descends to Turvin Clough, and enters Higher House Moor at Cove Hill, where there is a junction of four footpaths.

SD9922 : Footpath signpost at Cove Hill by Humphrey Bolton
Footpath 120 follows the wall to Blackstone Edge Road via Trimming Dale.

SD9922 : Stone slab bridge, Higher House Moor, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Footpath 118 continues over this little bridge and goes to Washfold Bridge via the shooting box.

SD9922 : Standing stones by Humphrey Bolton
This path passes some mysterious stones.

SD9922 : Footpath waymarker, Turley Holes Edge by Mark Anderson
A modern path follows the edge of the moorland northwards to a point shown in this image, where it turns westwards and descends to the dam of Withens Clough Reservoir. It is a permissive path, although now that there is open access to the moorland this designation is perhaps redundant.

SD9922 : Wall around Hove Yard Wood, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Along this footpath, old maps show a sheepfold, which I have yet to investigate. Then there is this interesting old boundary wall for Hove Yard Wood.

SD9922 : Hove Yard Wood, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
There is no public access to this wood, which is on a steep hillside and contains several on disused sandstone quarries.

SD9922 : Silt trap, Turley Holes Edge, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Alongside the path there is a drain which collects water from the moor, and has this silt trap on it.

SD9922 : View Northeast from Turley Holes Edge by John Topping
From the corner on the path there is a good view down Cragg Vale.

Higher House Moor

SD9922 : Lone fence post, Higher House Moor, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
I have only explored a tiny proportion of this large expanse of moorland. There is a layer of peat, colonised by moorland grasses and areas of heather. Here items, such as this old fence post, that would be insignificant in an urban context seem interesting and excite curiosity.

SD9922 : Old fence posts, Higher House Moor, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Perhaps the fence was to keep herds of sheep in their allotted area. These posts are a long way from one in the previous image, and I cannot find an OS map that shows a fence here. Notice how the ground is littered with boulders of millstone grit.

SD9922 : Perched rock, Higher House Moor, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Sometimes one boulder sits on top of another (no, I didn’t put it there!).

SD9922 : Moorland stream, Higher House Moor, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
There are a few moorland streams in shallow valleys in which lush grass grows rather than heather. The grass likes the damp ground and heather the drier ground.

SD9922 : Moorland stream, Turley Holes Edge, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Here a stream is approaching Turley Holes Edge, and has exposed a jumble of boulders.

SD9922 : Cairn, Turley Holes Edge, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton
Not far from Turley Holes Edge there is this well-built cairn; I have not been able to find out anything about it.


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.

Malcolm Bull’s Calderdale Companion (website) has a comprehensive list of places and people in Calderdale.

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