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  1. Dies used By the Cragg Vale Coiners

    Mytholmroyd

    The Cragg Vale Coiners

    The apparent tranquillity of Mytholmroyd belies a murky past involving an 18th century counterfeiting gang, the ‘Cragg Vale Coiners’. This gang's a...
    The apparent tranquillity of Mytholmroyd belies a murky past involving an 18th century counterfeiting gang, the ‘Cragg Vale Coiners’. This gang's activities were said to be so damaging that they threatened to wreck Britain's currency. David Hartley learnt his trade as an ironworker in Birmingham, before getting into trouble and moving back to Mytholmroyd to escape the authorities. Once returned to his home at Bell House farmhouse (which is now a bed & breakfast accommodation with educational facilities) David used ironworking as a cover to clip or file the edges from gold coins, milling the edges back so the change was all but unnoticeable, and making counterfeit coins from the shavings whilst returning the clipped coins into circulation. David’s activities soon spread to other farms, with families at nearby Hill Top Farm and Keelham Farm soon becoming involved; forming the beginnings of the gang of Cragg Vale Coiners. Local publicans also helped by placing the counterfeit coins into circulation. David Hartley seems to have been an enigmatic leader, becoming known as 'King David' Hartley and the gang’s numbers grew considerably until well over 30 individuals were involved. Rumours of the gang's activities reached the authorities, who sent an excise man named William Deighton to investigate. One of the coiners turned King’s Evidence and betrayed the gang, leading to Hartley's arrest at an Inn in Halifax on 14th October 1769. Hartley's brother Isaac offered £100 to anybody who would kill Deighton. It is alleged that the plotters planned Deighton's murder at an Inn in Mytholmroyd called Barbary's, which is now gone, but was located on the opposite side of the road to the present day Dusty Miller. On November 10th 1769 at Bull Close Lane near Halifax, Deighton was approached by two men, Matthew Normanton and Robert Thomas. Deighton was shot dead, his body also showing signs of having been stamped on. Just days later, the Government offered a reward of £100 for information leading to the arrest of the murderers and a pardon for anybody, bar the killers, who would turn King's Evidence. Over 30 people were subsequently arrested, including 'King David' Hartley, who was sentenced to death on April 6th 1770 and hanged at Tynburn, near York, on April 28th. His body is buried in the graveyard of the village of Heptonstall, above Hebden Bridge. Robert Thomas was acquitted of Deighton's murder, but was later hanged in 1774 for being a highwayman. Matthew Normanton initially fled the authorities, but was later caught and hanged in 1775. Isaac Hartley was never brought to trial due to a lack of evidence and died in 1815, aged 78. Heptonstall Museum has on display some of the original dies used by the Coiners to stamp their gold discs into coins, as well as panels telling more of their story.
  2. Ruins of the Church of St Thomas a' Becket, Heptonstall

    Heptonstall

    Ruins of the Church of St Thomas a' Becket

    Uniquely, Heptonstall has two churches within one graveyard. At the centre of the village are the ruins of the Church of St Thomas a' Becket built ...
    Uniquely, Heptonstall has two churches within one graveyard. At the centre of the village are the ruins of the Church of St Thomas a' Becket built between 1256 and 1260. Later adaptations gave the Church two naves, two aisles and two chantry chapels as well as a tower. Following a great storm in 1847 the west face of the tower fell away. Some measure of repair took place and the church remained in use up to 1854 when the present church, St Thomas the Apostle, was completed at a cost of £7,000. The ruins of St Thomas a' Becket are carefully maintained and are open to the public. Open air services are occasionally conducted there.
  3. The-Cross-Inn-Heptonstall

    Heptonstall

    The Cross Inn

    Built in 1617 on the site of an even older hostelry, this historic Grade II listed pub offers a traditional but bright, smart and comfortable place...
    Built in 1617 on the site of an even older hostelry, this historic Grade II listed pub offers a traditional but bright, smart and comfortable place to relax. Home cooked food available: Tuesday to Sunday: 12pm - 3pm Friday to Sunday: 5pm - 7pm The Landlord's Quiz with free supper - Thursdays 8.30pm Live music most weekends. The Calderdale Way, a 50 mile walking route that circles the borough, runs right past The Cross Inn, so call in for some food and drink whilst you're enjoying the route.
  4. Heptonstall Museum

    Heptonstall

    Heptonstall Museum

    Please note that Shibden Hall will be closing to the public from 20th March until further notice.

    Please note that Shibden Hall will be closing to the public from 20th March until further notice.

    Heptonstall Museum offers you the opportunity to expore the changing importance of Heptonstall and the surrounding area, from prehistoric times until recent day.

    Find out about the infamous Cragg Vale Coiners, who produced counterfeit currency and committed murder to conceal their illegal trade. Explore the temporary exhibition relating to local stories, objects and heroes. Discover the exploits of Heptonstall's Parliamentarian garrison during the English Civil War and uncover intriguing stories of the everyday lives of the people of Heptonstall and the Upper Calder Valley.

    Heptonstall Grammar School was established in 1642, the present building was rebuilt in 1771, where it continued to be used as a school until 1889. In 1898 it became the Yorkshire Penny Bank whose staff were careful to preserve some of the original features of the school: including a black oak desk at which pupils took their lessons which can still be found inside the Museum today.

    FREE Entry.

    Open March to October: Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays 11:00 - 16:00. Closed November to February.

  5. Ted Hughes

    Mytholmroyd

    Ted Hughes

    Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born at 1 Aspinall Street, Mytholmroyd, on the 17th August 1930. He lived there unti...

    Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born at 1 Aspinall Street, Mytholmroyd, on the 17th August 1930. He lived there until he was seven, when his family moved to Mexborough. During his childhood he spent many hours exploring the countryside around Mytholmroyd, and these experiences and the influences of the landscape on him were to inform much of his later poetry.

    One of the greatest poets of his generation, Hughes also wrote stories, plays, reviews and essays. He translated the work of, amongst others, Ovid, Racine, Aeschylus and Euripides. He wrote extensively for children, including the story The Iron Man, which was turned into the Disney blockbuster The Iron Giant. Hughes's interests in other art forms led to many collaborations, most famously with the artist Leonard Baskin.

    Although best known in the UK, Hughes was a writer of international standing. He won numerous awards throughout his career, including four for his final collection, Birthday Letters. Hughes became Poet Laureate in 1984 until his death on 28th October 1998.

  6. The White Lion, Heptonstall

    Heptonstall

    The White Lion, Heptonstall

    The White Lion is a traditional pub, without television, juke box, gaming machines or WiFi. We serve real ales, real ciders and have a vast coll...
    The White Lion is a traditional pub, without television, juke box, gaming machines or WiFi. We serve real ales, real ciders and have a vast collection of Gin and Whisky, along with great home made food including many vegetarian and vegan dishes. The Calderdale Way walking route passes through Heptonstall, right past the pub. The oldest part of the building is at the rear of the present layout and dates back to the early 14th Century, at which time it faced the opposite way onto the Pack Horse route from Hebden Bridge to Nelson and Burnley. This ran along the rear of the present building. In the early 15th Century the new road was constructed and the old building was extended and the present frontage constructed facing the new road. Many of the buildings along Towngate and Smithwell Lane were constructed around this time, including the Cloth Hall, which was originally a single story building. The pub was frequented by the Cragg Coiners during the late 16th Century. We have a display of dies and coins in our dining room, which is certainly worth a visit.
  7. eptonstall Octagonal Methodist Chapel

    Heptonstall

    Heptonstall Octagonal Methodist Chapel

    Built in 1764, the design and construction of this Grade II listed Octagonal Chapel were overseen by John Wesley, who frequently preached here. One...
    Built in 1764, the design and construction of this Grade II listed Octagonal Chapel were overseen by John Wesley, who frequently preached here. One of the first octagonal chapels, it is one of the oldest Methodist churches in continuous use today. This unusual octagonal chapel is open every day. It’s tucked away at the bottom of a flight of steps off Northgate. Entry is free, with donations to the upkeep of the Chapel welcome. Please email Circuit Heritage Officer Mr. John Wilson regarding visits and other activities, at chme@calderdalemethodists.org.uk. Methodism in Heptonstall began with the firebrand Scot William Darney. He founded many societies on both sides of the Pennines as he travelled, preaching as he went. The Heptonstall “Darney Society” was visited by Charles and John Wesley in 1747. In these early days, Heptonstall had a preacher every sixth Sunday, with the travelling preachers receiving no stipend or allowance, eating where they could. John Wesley continued to visit Heptonstall and there were always immense crowds to hear him. The society was so successful it was decided to build a chapel. The octagon shape was then fashionable for Methodist preaching houses, as it avoided conflict with the established church. The building was finished in 1764. It was intended to hold 200 people, but by 1802 there were 337 members and over 1000 scholars. The solution was to knock down the far end of the chapel, lengthen the walls and rebuild it, preserving its octagonal shape. Heptonstall is located on The Calderdale Way, a 50 mile walking route that circles the borough of Calderdale. Please call in to visit the Chapel if you're passing by.

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