Thursday 12 August 2021, Cragg Hall was remembered – 100 years and 1 day after a terrible fire raged through the wonderfully eclectic mansion and destroyed so much of its structure and practically all of its contents. And it was remembered very well.

In St John’s Church, Cragg Vale Local History Group (CVLHG) and 80 ticket holders listening intently to every word spoken by Shirley Daniel, a founder member of CVLHG, as she told the story of the Hall, ably supported by Roy Collinge, another founder member of CVLHG, and his slideshow of photographs, maps and illustrations, supplementing Shirley’s words. The story started with the building of the first cotton mill in the area, by Richard Hinchliffe, the grandfather of Hinchliffe Hinchliffe, the man who built the Hall originally, and whose daughter, Helen, along with her 3rd husband, William Algernon Simpson, extended that original building beyond recognition, around 1905, only for fire to destroy it on that fateful early morning of Thursday 11 August 1921.

The following Saturday 14 August 2021, the fortunate few (48 in total) were taken on a guided tour of the village from the Church, past The Hinchliffe, along the Withens valley and through Cragg Hall Grounds, a journey through time, late 1700s to the present day. Roy Collinge and Roger Hellowell led the tours - each with his own inimitable style.

That same weekend, and the following two weekends, saw a steady stream of visitors to The Cragg Hall Story Exhibition in the Upper Room of St John’s. They were entertained with a display of banners detailing the story of the Hall, with supporting papers, reference documents and photographs. The attendees were also treated to Roger’s family collection of memorabilia related to the Hinchliffe family and the varied connections between Roger’s family and the Hinchliffes in the story of the Hall. And lastly, many had a very pleasant interlude watching the Cragg Hall Slideshow, another eclectic mix, provided by Roy. There were over 200 Exhibition attendees over the weekends, some being repeat visitors.


The Book, “Remembering Cragg Hall 1750 – 2021” has been produced as a permanent record of all the research undertaken over the last two years. It is a 64-page colour A5 publication, and will be available for sale very soon. Also available to purchase will be videos of the events in DVD format, as well as available online, details to follow. All proceeds will go to support the Group’s activities, including any future ventures into preserving other elements of the history of this very interesting locality.


Kindly supported by Hebden Royd Town Council