- Cragg Vale, in Calderdale, a microcosm of the most scenic terrain, all within one concentrated area. There are stark peat moors alongside green pastureland, shown here sprinkled with snow. Hidden from view int the steep-sided cloughs are the streams, with stone bridge crossing points and wooded areas. further down the valley can be found Millenium Wood and Yorkshire Woodland Trust's Broadhead Clough Nature Reserve.
- Through the ages, Cragg Vale has been home to Mesolithic tribes, Yeoman farmers, notorious coiners, rich mill owners and their many staff, mill workers and now a thriving community. flints and arrowheads from 10,000 BC have been discovered on Manshead Moor, shown above. The lavish New Cragg Hall and the many mills are gone but the 200 year old sheep fold still remains.
- Cragg Vale has two excellent, though contrasting, schools, and brilliant park is a great place for children. But life was very different in the 19th century. Records report that children died at their work in the mills of Cragg from long hours and harsh treatment, while the mill owners such as William Greenwood and the Hinchliffe family amassed huge fortunes. The sculpture by the park, carved out of a dead ash tree, with contributions from local children, is a tribute to Rev Thomas Crowther, the 1st vicar of St John The Baptist's Church, for his tireless campaigning against the working conditions in the mills, especially those relating to child labour. He died in 1859 and is buried in the graveyard.
- Cragg Vale hosted this unique event, The Grand Departs - as part of the Tour de France 100 Day Cultural Festival in 2014. A Grand Piano was drawn up the 5.5 miles of continuous incline by an architect-designed and engineered PianoPorte. It consisted of 9 pairs of cycles and their intrepid riders. Local children, National and International pianists took it in turn to play the specially composed piece, Piano Cycle. Throughout the Valley there are several examples of notable buildings - old and new - including the Gatehouse, a fine example of the work of the eminent architect, Edgar Wood.
- Said to be over 300 years old, the Cragg Vale Spa was famous across the valley, and the 1st Sunday in May saw people flocking to take "Take the Waters". Happily this tradition is now revived, to the delight of all who join in. 201 is the 200th anniversary of the completion of Stoodley Pike, one of the first Peace monuments in the world, built to celebrate the Anglo-French Treaty of Paris. And 2015 is the 1st anniversary of the world famous "I'm bunting for Cragg Vale" Guinness Book of World Records challenge, ispired by the coming of the Tour de France.
- In Midsummer, Cragg Vale can offer idyllic places for a few days' break - babbling brooks, busy buzzing bees, rolling pastures, lovely places to stay - cottages and caravans - with a great choice of eating and drinking at award-winning establishments. In 2014, Midsummer Madness saw "the Longest Hill, the Longest Cycle Climb and the Longest Choir" entertain residents, friends and visitors alike.
- ..... long time popular in the area - some say "despite the 5.5 miles of continuous incline" on steep winding roads! with plenty of opportunities for off-road and all weather cycling. The Tour de France visited in 2014 with Cragg Vale at the halfway mark of the Grand Depart Stage 2, 6 July. This attracted celebrities and inspired the Tour de Cragg with its variety of cycle based events, complete with specially designed Moidore Medals.
- Cragg Vale is not just about countryside and cycling. The area has been home to a wealth of commercial enterprise from front room retailers in mill days, a Co-op of course, chicken breeding, pig farming and now business parks with a wide variety of enterprises, including "Stage Winner" beer, brewed to spotlight the first Briton to win a Tour de France stage back in 1958.
- Having a plentiful supply of water from the moors, Cragg Vale was always likely to become home to industry based on water power. so, in Medieval times, the Yeoman farmers became (woollen) clothiers. The weaving took place in the cottages and the cloth sold at market. All this changed with the coming of the industrial period and the area became home to 11 large (mainly) cotton mills. Four Gates End, near the Church was the biggest, with 6 storeys and a 36ft diameter water wheel. Little remains of any of the mills.
- All of the above can be found in and around Cragg Vale. Some are old and some are not so old - or at least not yet! - as we continue to preserve and extend our cultural heritage. Why not explore the area to try to find them. Answers are available on request to the CVCA.
- In the 18th century, David Hartley and the Cragg Vale coiners looked for their pot of gold over at Bell House. Their superior method of counterfeiting - clipping, die stamping - became well known across the country. Moidores were in wide circulation then and had both a higher face value and were easier to copy. The coining operation involved many different people throughout the area. But, before we judge too harshly, people then had to struggle long and hard to eke out a bare subsistence living.
- Until 1815 there was no church in the village. Going to service, marriage and burials involved a long walk north over the moors to the Parish of Heptonstall. Flat stones were used at intervals during the journey to set the coffin down. The Rev Thomas Crowther, Child Labour opponent, was the 1st vicar of the unusually named St John The Baptist In The Wilderness. And every christmas a set of not so well-known 19th century carols are sung in the Church and at local events, so preserving these traditional pieces.