Heptonstall 12-03-2017 – Leader Rosemary

Heptonstall 12-03-2017 – Leader Rosemary

12 walkers assembled at the historic Yorkshire village of Heptonstall.  We were pleased to see Angela, who hasn’t been out with group for a while.  Neil accompanied Angela and was introduced to us all.  It was good to see David out on his second walk with the group.  We set off towards the centre of the village and visited the two churches that are situated in the one graveyard.  In 1260 the original church was erected and dedicated to Thomas à Becket.  This church was damaged by a storm in 1847 and only its shell remains.  A large Victorian church was built in 1854 and is currently in need of attention, judging by the scaffolding and material that encases it.  The crowded graveyard is said to contain many thousand graves.  We passed old hand-loom weavers’ cottages made of millstone grit, with their large windows to let the maximum light in.  Heptonstall was the centre of the Woollen Industry in Upper Calderdale.

The walk began as we descended down a cobbled path (Calderdale Way) down to Midgeley Hole.  We were now in Hebden Dale, a steep sided wooded valley with the lovely Hebden Water flowing along its floor.  A riverside path was followed, the birds sang and the sun appeared and provided us with some warmth.  We came to Gibson Mill, which was built in 1800, one of the first mills of the Industrial Revolution.  It produced cotton cloth up to 1900.  Our path continued along the valley past tumbling streams, weirs, waterfalls , ravines and crags.  It was pleasing to see so many other people out on such a lovely spring day.  We came to an open area called Black Dean and had lunch.  This is the confluence of two streams, Hebden Water and Graining Water.

We climbed after lunch and followed the Calder Aire Link, walking in open countryside with extensive views of the hills.  After passing Walshaw Farm, we dropped down and made a second visit to Hebden Dale.  We climbed out of the valley at Gibson Mill, emerging at Clough Hough.  A muddy Pennine Way was followed over golden moorland, dropping down to connect with the Calderdale Way.  We were now homeward bound and were soon in Heptonstall, tired but having had a good day’s walking in some outstanding scenery.  Tea and cakes were taken in the café in the village.  This building had been the old Co-op.  Thanks to Jean for taking the photos and help in map reading.

(Write up Rosemary, pics Jean)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

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