The weavers’ village of Heptonstall sits on top of a steep hill on the north side of the Calder Valley, overlooking Hebden Bridge.
The cobbled lanes have remained unchanged for around 200 years. With two pubs and a small post office, this tiny village is popular with walkers and is regarded as one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets. Heptonstall churchyard is one of the most fascinating in the country, containing two churches, the imposing ruins of St Thomas a Becket (destroyed in a great storm in 1847) and the present church, St Thomas the Apostle. The graveyard reportedly contains the remains of over 100,000 people!
The village once thrived in the woollen trade until the end of the 18th century when water and then steam powered mills determined that the industry was located in the tributary valleys of the Calder.
In the centre of this charming villlage lies Heptonstall Museum, situated in the Old Grammar School Building. 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.
If you take a visit to the Museum, you will discover the interior of a weaver’s cottage and displays of other local industries such as clogmaking. The museum also illustrates the domestic life of the villagers, with objects such as lump head irons and havercake boards alongside photographs of the local football team at the turn of the century and visits made to the local leisure site – Hardcastle Craggs.
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Fact Pack – Heptonstall, West Yorkshire
- Heptonstall is a small village located in West Yorkshire, England.
- The village is situated above the town of Hebden Bridge.
- Heptonstall is part of the civil parish of Heptonstall Township.
- The village is known for its old world charm with cobbled streets and traditional stone cottages.
- Heptonstall’s original chapel, St Thomas a Becket, was founded in the 13th century.
- The village has a second church, St Thomas the Apostle, which was built in the 19th century.
- Heptonstall is home to a museum that showcases the history and culture of the area.
- The village was the site of a battle during the English Civil War in 1643.
- Famous poet Sylvia Plath is buried in Heptonstall’s churchyard.
- Heptonstall hosts an annual Pace Egg play, a traditional event that attracts visitors from around the region.
Heptonstall on the map
FAQs About Heptonstall
Where is Heptonstall located?
Heptonstall is located in West Yorkshire, England. It’s a small village situated above the town of Hebden Bridge.
What is Heptonstall known for?
Heptonstall is known for its well-preserved old buildings, including two historic churches. It’s also famous for its cobbled streets, stunning views, and its rich history.
What can visitors do in Heptonstall?
Visitors can explore the historic churches, walk around the charming cobbled streets, visit the local museum, and enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. There are also several walking trails around the village for those who enjoy outdoor activities.
Where Next after Heptonstall?
Having visited the charming village of Heptonstall in West Yorkshire, you might be wondering where to head next. A short drive away is the bustling market town of Hebden Bridge, known for its independent shops and vibrant arts scene. You could also explore the historic town of Halifax, home to the impressive Piece Hall and Eureka! The National Children’s Museum. If you’re a fan of literature, a trip to Haworth, the hometown of the Bronte sisters, is a must. Further afield in Yorkshire, you could visit the stunning landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the medieval city of York with its iconic Minster, or the coastal town of Whitby, famous for its association with Dracula.