Information on Heptonstall Museum
- Culture & Heritage
- Galleries & Museums
- Historic Sites & Trails
- The Gallows Pole & Cragg Vale Coiners
Heptonstall Museum will be open to the public from Thursday to Sundays 11am – 4pm. Admission is £3 or free for under 18s.
Heptonstall Museum is located in the centre of the ancient village of Heptonstall, in the Old Grammar School Building at Church Yard Bottom.
The Grade II-listed building dates back to 1600. Built as a warehouse, it was converted to a grammar school in 1771 and closed in 1889. The Yorkshire Penny Bank occupied it 1898 until 1954 and it became a museum in August 1972.
The Museum has been closed to the public in recent years, but the small volunteer group the Friends of Heptonstall Museum have worked hard towards a community asset transfer of the museum, which now has its re-opening on Saturday 27th May.
The Museum’s opening exhibition explores the lives of the Cragg Vale Coiner’s, coming to your TV screens in BBC drama The Gallows Pole. Scenes for The Gallows Pole were filmed inside the Museum, which was transformed into ‘Barb’s’ the Coiner’s watering hole.
The Museum’s display includes a replica c18th loom and a display of weaving tools and fabric samples showing the stages of cloth production used by home-based weavers who sought to make a livelihood, pre-Industrial age.
A corner of the museum is devoted to recreating Bell House, ‘King’ David Hartley’s Cragg Vale home on Erringden Moor. Alongside this will be two costumes indicative of those worn by David Hartley and William Deighton.
Displayed alongside are a set of coining dies – replicas of those used by the Coiners (commissioned by the same team who created a set for The Gallows Pole). Visits will be accompanied by a soundscape of execution scenes including the ‘Ballad of King David.’
To place the exhibition within the Calderdale landscape, the Museum also has contemporary and modern maps and images of the moors from the After Alice project.
‘King’ David Hartley was the leader of the Coiners and his gravestone lies a stone’s (coin’s?) throw from the Museum’s doors, amidst the atmospheric graveyard of St Thomas’ Church.
(Please note that the Museum is 100% run by volunteers, so opening hours may be subject to volunteer availability).
To avoid problems and enjoy your visit to this fascinating village, VisitCalderdale asks that wherever possible, you take public transport or walk to Heptonstall.
There are frequent Metro buses from Hebden Bridge. Please visit www.wymetro.com for full timetable details and to plan your journey.
You can walk up to Heptonstall via the Buttress, the steep cobbled pathway that begins towards the rear of Hebden Bridge Town Hall, off Royd Terrace / Old Gate.
Please note this is a demanding walk, as the Buttress is cobbled and steep. The Buttress brings you out onto Heptonstall Road, where you may complete your walk to Heptonstall on pavements and will arrive in the village by Town Gate Tearooms and Heptonstall Post Office.
If you must drive to Heptonstall, the only place that all motor vehicles are asked to park is at Heptonstall Bowling Club, which is clearly signposted.
Look out for the parking signs on your approach to the village and follow these, turning into Valley View Road and then continuing along Acres Lane to Heptonstall Bowling Club.
Please don’t park on any residential roads as this may severely affect residents. It is then a short walk (approx. 480metres, 0.3 mile) to the village from the Bowling Club.
Please follow the advice above to help ensure that Heptonstall remains a beautiful and happy place for both residents and visitors alike and enjoy your visit to one of the most historic villages in Yorkshire.