Elmet Hits the Headlines

‘Big Turn Ups in ‘Trouser Town’, Liverpool Echo, 17 July 2018

 

  

 

Journalist Barrie Mills was bowled over by Elmet Farmhouse during his visit to Hebden Bridge and Calderdale:

‘Home base was Elmet Farmhouse in the tiny village of Pecket Well high up above the bustling market town of Hebden Bridge. From its stone mullion windows or from a seat in the garden, you look out across Hebden Bridge and neighbouring Heptonstall, enjoying the same view immortalised by photographer Fay Godwin on the cover of the book she produced in 1979 with the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, entitled Remains of Elmet.’

To read the full article, please click here

Also published in Camarthen Journal, Derby Telegraph, Leicester Mercury, Llaneli Star, South Wales Echo, Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Teeside Evening Gazette and Stoke Sentinel (16-18 July 2018)

Snowmageddon

Snowmaggedon

2018 has been one of the snowiest winters we have ever known, with repeated snowfall from January right through to April. In late February and March we were hit by two onslaughts from the Beast from the East (see snow sculpture portrait below) bringing  icy blasts straight from Siberia. The combination of blizzards and strong winds caused deep snowdrifts on roads and footpaths, so our guests in Elmet Farmhouse were (happily) snowed in for several days.

 

The snow proved a big hit with our February half-term guests, who borrowed our vintage wooden sledge. The gently sloping fields at Elmet Farmhouse are ideal for sledging. Many of our visitors come from parts of the country which rarely see snow, whereas for us, 1000 ft up on top of the Pennines, it’s a fairly regular occurrence during the winter months. This year has been exceptional though and we’re not even sure whether we’ve seen the last of it yet. The last snowfall was over Easter.

 

  

 

© Text and photos copyright Lesley Jackson

The Old Ways – Limers Gate

An invigorating early morning hike from Elmet Farmhouse to watch the sunrise on Limers Gate above the village of Pecket Well. Crisp snow, blue skies and pinkish light on the hills beyond Crimsworth Dean.

Initially climbing up onto Wadsworth Moor along Deer Stones Edge, then up to the trig point at High Brown Knoll, which has been painted with a red heart. From here, walking along Limers Gate in fairly deep snow, the path rather difficult to follow. Amazingly clear views all the way to Upper and Lower Gorple Reservoirs and beyond to Widdop Reservoir, the dam clearly visible covered in snow and the water bright blue.

Dropping down off the ridge to Wilcock Dam, wonderful colour contrasts between the orange grass and the pristine white snow, the dam astonishingly vivid blue. Sublime views of Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike during the descent to Pecket Well.

7  February 2018

Photos of the Month 2018

Elmet Farmhouse Photos of the Month: 2018

A choice selection of photos featuring views from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge and snapshots of the surrounding countryside and wildlife in and around the Upper Calder Valley

 

August 2018

Roe deer high up on the moor between Crimsworth Dean and Walshaw

 

A stag and a hind – a startling sight against the skyline

 

Moorland and high meadows above Crimsworth Dean

 

Roe deer on Walshaw Moor

 

View over the heather on Walshaw Moor

 

View along Crimsworth Dean from Grain Farm

 

Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean

 

Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean

 

Some much-needed rain to green up the meadows, triggering swathes of mist in Hardcastle Crags

 

Roe deer on Wadsworth Moor

 

Hare in the field above Pecket Well

 

The last of this season’s lapwings

 

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

 

July 2018

Barn Owl on one of his regular dusk hunting missions around Pecket Well

 

The hay meadows at Elmet Farmhouse provide a rich hunting ground

 

Field mice and voles offer rich pickings for the Barn Owl, who takes them back to the nest and feed his chicks

July was incredibly dry so the hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse turned whiter and whiter each day

 

Kestrel in Crimsworth Dean

 

Buzzard riding the thermals over Crimsworth Dean

Lapwing chick in Crimsworth Dean, the last of this year’s fledglings

 

Curlew hidden among the long grass in Crimsworth Dean

 

Curlew hanging out with the sheep in Crimsworth Dean, the long grass provides cover

 

View along Hebden Dale and Hardcastle Crags towards Hebden Bridge from Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill

 

Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike from Pecket Well War Memorial during this summer’s drought

 

Crimsworth Dean looking incredibly parched during the long hot dry summer

 

Bleached meadows above the green wooded valley of Crimsworth Dean

 

Sheep sheltering from the sun under a tree at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

Willow warbler catches an insect among the bracken in Crimsworth Dean

 

Willow warbler with an insect in its beak in Crimsworth Dean

 

Meadow pipits are ubiquitous throughout the area, particularly in Crimsworth Dean

 

Meadow pipits are often seen on the high meadows and up on the moorland alongside the skylarks

 

Meadow pipit with a juicy morsel

 

Another idyllic summer evening at Elmet Farmhouse, one of many this year

 

The evening light from the west bathing the hay meadow and spilling over the hills

 

Highland cattle in Pecket Well – alarming horns but tranquil temperament

 

Highland cattle near Sprutts Farm in Pecket Well, overlooking Pecket Well War Memorial and Hardcastle Crags

 

Mini-beasts: Highland cattle calves

 

Pair of Herdwick sheep on Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well

 

A rare sighting of a Redpoll at Colden

 

© Photographphs copyright Lesley Jackson

 

June 2018

Little Owl giving me the hard stare near Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

Ahem, are you looking at me?

 

Little owls frequent this particular spot below Cross Ends in Crimsworth Dean and even have a cottage named after them

 

On the wire – kestrel suveying its hunting grounds in Crimsworth Dean

 

Golden plover on the moor above Crimsworth Dean

 

Golden plover amongst the bog cotton

Bog cotton near the Haworth Old Road at Stairs above Crimsworth Dean, a haven for Golden Plovers

 

Golden plovers amongst the bog cotton in the early morning sunshine

 

 

 

Crimsworth Dean is Curlew Country

 

Curlew in fine voice in Crimsworth Dean

 

Curlew making a hue and cry

 

Curlew on a mission, striding through the hilltop meadow at Thurrish above Crimsworth Dean

 

 

Oystercatcher stepping out in Crimsworth Dean

 

Lapwing near Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well

 

Recently fledged lapwing chick with small crest

 

 

Female pheasant on the moorland near White Hole Farm above Crimsworth Dean

 

Crimsworth Dean resplendent in the early morning sunshine

 

Foxgloves in Crimsworth Dean – who needs a garden?

 

The sensuous contours of Crimsworth Dean – a valley that never disappoints

 

Crimsworth Dean and the uplands beyond

 

Perfect end to the day at Elmet Farmhouse – Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall on the horizon

 

Early evening sunshine on the hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well

 

Looking across the fields from Elmet Farmhouse towards Pecket Well War Memorial and Hardcastle Crags

 

Hebden Water running through Hardcastle Crags towards Blake Dean

 

Climbing up the steps from Blake Dean through the bracken

 

Blake Dean at the far end of the National Trust estate of Hardcastle Crags

 

Looking down on Hebden Water from Widdop Gate towards the wooded section of Hardcastle Crags

 

Blake Dean from Widdop Gate at midsummer

 

‘To the Crags’ – the rocky outcrops on the top of wooded knolls that give Hardcastle Crags its name

 

Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags

 

Gibson Mill reflected in the millpond

 

Beech grove in Hardcastle Crags

 

Footbridge crossing Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags

 

Hebden Water

 

Bridges crisscross the river in Hardcastle Crags

 

Although the river levels are low this summer, these bridges have been regularly washed by floods in the past

 

Hardcastle Crags in all its verdant summer glory

 

Bracken-covered slopes of Hardcastle Crags near Widdop Gate

 

Two small reservoirs on the tops above Luddenden Dean

 

Sun glistening on the water in the sunken reservoir above Luddenden Dean, a wildlife oasis

 

Looking down on Crimsworth Dean from High Greave

 

Hay meadows at Thurrish Farm above Crimsworth Dean

 

Crimsworth Dean from near Grain Water Bridge

 

Spring view along Crimsworth Dean towards Stoodley Pike

 

Big skies above Grain Farm and Cross Ends in Crimsworth Dean

 

Meadow pipit with a juicy morsel in Crimsworth Dean

 

Looking up through the hay meadow towards Elmet Farmhouse in early June

 

Cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse in June

 

A constellation of candelabra primulas in the garden at Elmet Farmhouse – pinky orange Harlow Carr just love it here!

 

 

Eating out at altitude – dining room with a view at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse in peak condition at the end of June

 

Bleached fields near Heptonstall as the drought starts to take hold

 

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Pecket Well, with Elmet Farmhouse hay meadow looking more like a field of wheat in the foreground 

 

Lapwings come to breed and rear their chicks on the uplands above Hebden Bridge each year

 

June is the best time to see lapwings at close quarters as the fledgling chicks are still on the ground

 

Lapwings abound on the fringes of the moor above valleys such as Crimsworth Dean

 

Golden plovers are another of the ground-nesting birds that return to the area each year to breed

 

It’s only when you see them close up that you can admire thee golden plumage that gives these plovers their name

 

Other coastal birds such as oystercatchers also head inland to the Pennine moors to breed

 

Bog cotton near Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor

As its name suggests, bog cotton thrives on the blanket bog on the moor

 

Curlew among the bog cotton on Wadsworth Moor, another of the ground-nesting birds that favours this area to breed

 

Snipe at Wilcock Dam about Pecket Well, with its extraordinarily long beak

 

Lapwing in Crimsworth Dean

Curlew perched on a wall in Crimsworth Dean

 

A remarkably cooperative curlew posing in Crimsworth Dean

 

The early morning light and blue sky make for good photographs

 

The curlew’s long curved beak is ideal for digging into the ground for worms

 

Curlew at Thurrish, one of the highest farms in Crimsworth Dean

 

Curlew in the buttercup meadow at Thurrish in Crimsworth Dean

 

 

Juvenile pied wagtail near White Hole Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

Goldfinch in Pecket Well

 

Greenfinch in Pecket Well

 

One of the many warm sunny evenings we enjoyed this year at Elmet Farmhouse

Beautiful soft evening sunshine on the hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike in the distance beyond Hardcastle Crags

 

Roe deer kid born in the field at Elmet Farmhouse at the end of the May, growing fast, changing colour and becoming more independent during June

 

River of mist at Elmet Farmhouse on 10 June 2018

The swirling mist shifts around in the valley minute by minute, as this photographic sequence shows

 

Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike hovering above the river of mist

 

Sun trying to break through, creating a pinkish glow

 

The view framed by plants in the garden

 

An atmospheric view of Heptonstall church

 

Homage to Fay Godwin’s photograph of Heptonstall on the cover of Ted Hughes’s Remains of Elmet

 

The bigger picture, taking in Pecket Well War Memorial as well as Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

 

View from Elmet Farmhouse with cows in the foreground and a river of mist in Hardcastle Crags below Pecket Well War Memorial

 

Lumb Bank, an 18th century millowner’s house, once owned by Ted Hughes, now the Yorkshire base for the Arvon Foundation

 

Arched recesses for beehives built into the hillside below stables at Lumb Bank in Colden Clough

 

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

 

May 2018

Bluebellerama!

 

A sequence of photos taken in Hardcastle Crags during May

 

…when the bluebells were at their peak

 

This year the bluebell season was short but sweet…

The start of the bluebell season was delayed by the long winter…

 

 

… and the length of the bluebell season was curtailed by the extraordinarily hot dry spring

 

Bluebells amongst the ferns

 

The dramatic steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags in spring

 

Bluebells aboung on the slippery slopes of Hebden Dale (aka Hardcastle Crags)

 

Heavenly walkway through the bluebells in Hardcastle Crags

 

Narrow path through the bluebells on the precarious upper slopes of Hardcastle Crags

 

It’s the ground that’s sloping, not the camera!

 

Intoxicating aroma and good enough to eat

 

A deep pile carpet of bluebells in Hardcastle Crags

 

Bluebells cascading down the hillside in Hardcastle Crags

 

Bluebells and stitchwort, the perfect combination

 

Three views of Stoodley Pike, here with bog cotton in the foreground

 

You can tell it’s a dry spring – look at this sandy path along the ridge to Stoodley Pike

 

Blue skies behind Stoodley Pike – the perfect day for an ascent with the reward of magnificent views

 

 

Pecket Well Mill across a buttercup meadow

 

Wild flower meadow in Pecket Well with red clover in the foreground

 

Green, yellow and white – the multi-coloured meadows of Pecket Well

Wild flower meadow with abundant clover below Purprise Farm on the slopes of Crimsworth Dean

 

Highland cattle near Sprutts Farm in Pecket Well

 

View from above Pecket Well village towards War Memorial and Hardcastle Crags

 

Hilltop hay meadows full of buttercups at Pecket Well with Heptonstall beyond

18th century Elmet Farmhouse with peonies and chaerophyllum in the foreground

 

Cottage garden in full bloom at Elmet Farmhouse at the end of May with irises and aquilegia

 

Harlow Carr hybrid candelabra primula coming into flower in the garden at Elmet Farmhouse

Idyllic early evening scene at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well with roe deer in hay meadow

Watchful roe deer hind amongst the saplings at the bottom of the field in front of Elmet Farmhouse

 

Roe deer hind surveying us from the bottom of the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse, having just given birth to triplets, which she doesn’t want us to find

 

New-born roe deer kid with beautiful markings no bigger than a kitten, curled up in long grass at the bottom of the field at Elmet Farmhouse

 

We thought there was only one kid but we later discovered that there were three!

 

The proud (and protective) mother of the infant roe deer above

 

Watchful roe deer hind in the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Roe deer hind with early evening sunshine on the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Triple take – Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill in the foreground, Heptonstall Church on horizon and Stoodley Pike floating in the mist

 

Looking over a buttercup meadow towards Old Town

 

Disembodied mill chimneys near Lumb Bank in Colden Clough

 

Stoodley Pike from across the Calder Valley near Blackshaw Head

 

Stile above Todmorden

 

Stone-paved causeway through the bilberries and heather above Todmorden

 

Early morning sunshine in Crimsworth Dean

 

A perfect spring morning in Crimsworth Dean

 

Lambs sunning themselves on the steep slopes of Crimsworth Dean

 

Meadow pipit in Hardcastle Crags

 

Bridge over Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags

 

Cliff-like banks in the river gorge in the heart of Hardcastle Crags

 

Newly-unfurled leaves on the trees on the riverbank in Hardcastle Crags

 

Looking over Hardcastle Crags from the Widdop Road

 

Golden meadow by Pecket Well Mill, just across the road from Elmet Farmhouse

 

Cottage garden in the spring at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Geums in the cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Chaerophyllum thrives in the cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Stoodley stoat, spotted on the slopes of Stoodley Pike

 

Although it’s early May, he’s still wearing his white bib and tucker as it’s been a long hard winter

 

Stoodley Pike from Mankinholes

 

Blue skies over Stoodley Pike – spring has finally sprung

 

Gadding about at Gaddings – the beach in the corner of the hilltop reservoir

 

Gaddings Dam, hidden away on top of the moor above Todmorden

 

May Bank Holiday – blue skies reflected in the reservoir

 

Stoodley Pike just visible on the horizon across Gaddings Dam

 

Rushes on the edge of Gaddings Dam

 

Stoodley Pike on the skyline on beautiful day in early May

 

Meadow pipit on Wadsworth Moor above Elmet Farmhouse

 

Glorious early spring view from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with the leaves just coming out on the trees in Pecket Well Clough and Hardcastle Crags

 

Swaledale ewe and lambs at Plumpton Farm in Pecket Well

 

A cosy nook for two Swaledale lambs

 

The toad he went a-courting

 

New foliage unfurling on the trees below Walshaw in Hardcastle Crags

 

View across Hardcastle Crags with Slack Heptonstall on the ridge and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

 

Hazy May day in Crimsworth Dean with Old Town Mill chimney on the hillside

 

The first bluebells of the season unfurling in Hardcastle Crags

 

Bluebells taking hold in Hardcastle Crags

 

A sea of bluebells in Hardcastle Crags

Beech trees in Crimsworth Dean

 

A river of ramsons in Crimsworth Dean

 

Or a gorge of wild garlic, take your pick

 

Crimsworth Dean, looking towards Midgehole

 

Fifty shades of green on Shackleton Hill

 

Tiptoe through the bluebells in Crimsworth Dean

 

Bluebells on the steep slopes of Hardcastle Crags

 

Cuckoo flower in Crimsworth Dean

 

A flotilla of ducklings in one of the dams in Crimsworth Dean

 

The first cut: early haymaking in Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

 

April 2018

Sun burning off the early morning mist in Crimsworth Dean 

 

Percy the Pheasant on the garden wall at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Percy’s handsome plumage

 

Blue skies on a cold frosty morning in Crimsworth Dean

 

Sheep in Crimsworth Dean

Icy wall in Crimsworth Dean

 

Crimsworth Dean on a crisp April morning

 

Valley slopes below Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

Ice-coated dry stone wall in Crimsworth Dean

 

Winter meets spring: frost-coated green meadows

 

Long shadows cast by a leafless tree in Crimsworth Dean

 

Snow-capped Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean

 

Hungry sheep chasing farmer delivering fodder in Crimsworth Dean

 

 

 

Crimsworth Dean with Grain Farm in the foreground and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

 

Pied wagtail in Crimsworth Dean

 

New-born lamb in Crimsworth Dean 18 April 2018

 

Digging in the dugs with their tails wagging behind them

 

Pooped, one and all!

 

Blue tit heralding the spring with a good old sing!

 

Pecket Well blue tit

 

Stoodley Pike from Wadsworth Moor with early morning mist in the Calder Valley

 

Skylark with crest, all-pervasive on the moors above Elmet Farmhouse but almost impossible to photograph

 

Formation lambs at Colden

 

More of a free-for-all at Colden

 

New-born lambs at Colden, all present and correct

 

Twins snuggling up together in Crimsworth Dean

 

‘I’m all ears!’ Curious lamb at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

Swaledale lambs literally tucking in near Hilltop Farm at Pecket Well

 

 

New-born Swaledale lamb in Pecket Well

 

 

‘Just stretching my legs’

 

Billy Goat Gruff in Crimsworth Dean

 

Oystercatcher in Crimsworth Dean, dirty beak belies a recent spell of digging

 

Top o’ the world- Big skies on the tops above Crimsworth Dean

 

From moor to meadow – no mistaking the division with the shift in colour

 

Bright skies and skudding clouds on the path over to Walshaw from Crimsworth Dean

 

Yorkshire palette in April: bright green hilltop meadow and bleached tussocky moorland

 

Crimsworth Dean lambs near White Hole Farm

 

Mother and child standing their ground in Crimsworth Dean

 

New-born twins, still a bit wrinkly until their creases drop out

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

 

March 2018

 

Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been snowy!

 

Very snowy!

 

These are the snowdrifts just outside the door…

 

And these are the drifts around one of the doorways

 

The culprit! Also known as The Beast from the East!

 

Walking has been somewhat challenging as many pathways were blocked…

 

But it was a bit more sheltered under the trees

 

This was the scene at Crimsworth Beck, just along from Midgehole

 

Hidden beneath the snow and ice is a dam in Crimsworth Dean

 

View from packhorse bridge at Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean

 

Looking along the river downstream in Crimsworth Dean

 

As well as the snow, there were some stupendous icicles

 

 

Crimsworth Dean near the converegence with Hardcastle Crags

 

Deep snow drifts against the dry stone walls in Pecket Well

 

Footpath through the top field at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Snowy wallscape

 

Pecket Well War Memorial with yet another coating of snow 

 

Kittling Bridge in Pecket Well Clough

 

Packhorse track over Kittling Bridge in Pecket Well Clough

 

Atmospheric misty morning looking downstream in Pecket Well Clough

 

The dramatic view from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

 

Sun breaking through over Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

 

Sunlight bouncing off the snow-capped Pennine hills

 

Finally a thaw. Up on the tops near White Hole Farm above Crimsworth Dean

 

Ruined barn on the fringes of the moor, looking towards Stairs in Crimsworth Dean

 

Amidst all the snow, the lapwings are settling into their spring quarters in Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

 

February 2018

 

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well on a snowy February morning with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

 

Sunrise over Stoodley Pike

 

Dappled pink early morning sun on the snowy ridge of Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well

 

Snowy moorland below Limers Gate

 

Sunrise at High Brown Knoll on Limers Gate above Pecket Well

 

Gorple Reservoirs from Wadsworth Moor at sunrise

 

Wilcock Dam above Pecket Well Mill

 

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well

 

Pecket Well War Memorial just poking up above the trees from across the fields at Elmet Farmhouse

 

Elmet Farmhouse with snowy fields and vivid blue sky

 

View from Elmet Farmhouse over the fields towards Hardcastle Crags, Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

 

The same view but a wider panorama, incorporating Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill on the right

 

Spoilt for choice with the spectacular views of snow-capped Pennine hills from Elmet Farmhouse this month

 

The village of Heptonstall perched on the hilltop opposite Elmet Farmhouse 

 

Stoodley Pike towering over the Calder Valley,  as seen from Elmet Farmhouse

 

Frosty morning in Crimsworth Dean near Grain Water Bridge

 

Pair of trees in Crimsworth Dean casting spider’s web shadows

 

Drystone walls running up the snowy hillside near Stoodley Pike with moody skies

 

Triple whammy: Pecket Well War Memorial echoing the obelisk form of Stoodley Pike with Heptonstall sandwiched in between

 

Frozen bullrushes on dam in Crimsworth Dean

 

Sun hitting the steep snowy hillside near Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean 

 

A beautifully crafted drystone wall running up the hillside in Crimsworth Dean

 

A dusting of snow in Crimsworth Dean

 

Late winter sunshine bouncing off the meadows in Crimsworth Dean

 

Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean with heather moorland above

 

Drystone walls and leafless trees at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

On the tops above Walshaw looking towards Blake Dean at the head of Hardcastle Crags

 

Gorple and Widdop Reservoirs beyond Blake Dean at the far end of Hardcastle Crags

 

A row of leafless trees heralding the approach to Walshaw Lodge above Hardcastle Crags

 

Looking across Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw with Slack Heptonstall on the ridge and Stoodley Pike beyond

 

Hazy February afternoon in Crimsworth Dean, looking along the valley towards Stoodley Pike

 

Pair of leafless trees at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

Big sky above the three reservoirs at Walshaw Dean

 

Snowy hillside on the tops above Hebden Bridge

 

Sunset from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Hardcastle Crags in the valley and Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the far hilltops – 27 February 2018

 

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

 

January 2018

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

 

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall Church on the horizon

 

Crimsworth Dean on a frosty January morning

 

Grain Farm and Cross Ends Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with sun streaming through the clouds over Heptonstall

 

The village of Hpetonstall from Pecket Well

 

 

Expectant ewes on Shackleton Hill in Hardcastle Crags

 

 

Bracken-covered slopes of Hardcastle Crags at Blake Dean

 

Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean

 

Crimsworth Dean above Midgehole

 

Winter sunshine on Shackleton Hill from Crimsworth Dean

 

View along Crimsworth Dean near Grain Water Bridge

 

Afternoon sunshine in Crimsworth Dean – still full of colour even in the middle of winter

 

Bracken in Crimsworth Dean near Lumb Falls

 

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

Hebden Bridge Holiday Cottage

Elmet Farmhouse Holiday Cottage – Hebden Bridge – Haworth – Yorkshire Dales

Breathtaking Views, Inspiring Interiors, Yorkshire at its Finest

 

 

Looking for somewhere magical for your holidays this year?

Elmet Farmhouse is a holiday cottage like no other, a truly special place to stay.

Perched on a hill above the picturesque town of Hebden Bridge, not far from Haworth, this is a spectacular part of the Yorkshire Dales. ‘So hilly it makes your ears pop!’ as one of our guests exclaimed.

Surrounded by hay meadows in the hilltop village of Pecket Well, Elmet Farmhouse has breathtaking views across the steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags towards the ancient village of Heptonstall. With its bluebell woods, buttercup meadows and rolling heather moors, this is a unique corner of Yorkshire – the landscape that inspired the Brontë sisters and poet Ted Hughes.

 

 

If you love the countryside and the great outdoors, you’ll be in your element at Elmet Farmhouse. Set in a walkers’ paradise, the Dales are literally on your doorstep. There are fantastic walks in every direction along riverside paths, moorland tracks and stone-paved packhorse trails. With pheasants, deer and owls in our meadows, sheep, cattle and ponies grazing in the neighbouring fields, and curlews and lapwings nesting up on ‘the tops’, Elmet offers a rural idyll in a dramatic landscape which is a haven for wildlife.

 

 

Finalist in Welcome to Yorkshire’s 2016 White Rose Awards, Elmet Farmhouse itself is a pure delight. A handsome 18th-century yeoman clothier’s house, it has stone mullion windows, a huge carved stone fireplace and a cosy wood-burning stove. Beautifully furnished and exquisitely decorated, the farmhouse has a wonderful atmosphere and the interiors are as stunning as the views. Natural wood furniture, textile hangings and lovely lamps and wallpapers by local designer Hannah Nunn are just a few of the treats in store.

With 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, Elmet Farmhouse accommodates 6 people very comfortably so it’s ideal for families and groups of friends. The spacious lounge and roomy farmhouse kitchen have ample seating and the whole house is very well equipped. As well as WiFi, TV, DVD, washing machine and dishwasher, there are maps, walks leaflets and vintage games.

 

 

Elmet’s pretty cottage garden brimming with flowers is a wonderful place to sit out and enjoy the fabulous views. There are two outdoor dining areas overlooking our beautiful hay meadows next to the vegetable garden and historic barn. There’s plenty of space for children to run around in the garden and field.

 

Hebden Bridge

The vibrant town of Hebden Bridge is just two miles away down in the valley. Voted Best Small Market Town in the Great British High Street Awards, Hebden Bridge is renowned for its quirky independent shops and its distinctive double-decker terraced houses clinging to the hills. Hebden Bridge has butchers, bakers and designer-makers, as well as a 1920s cinema and numerous cafes and pubs.

 

Hardcastle Crags

The woodland paradise of Hardcastle Crags – one of the jewels in the National Trust’s crown – is within easy walking distance. You can hike to Stoodley Pike or Top Withins (Wuthering Heights) or explore the intriguing hidden valleys of Crimsworth Dean and Luddenden Dean.  The nearby village of Heptonstall with its ruined 13th century church, handloom weavers’ cottages and octagonal Methodist chapel is another fascinating place to explore.

 

 

Heptonstall

 

 

Haworth

Haworth, where the Brontë sisters wrote their famous novels, is a short scenic drive or hike over the moor. As well as being the perfect base for exploring Brontë Country, Elmet Farmhouse is within easy reach of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, including Wharfedale, Bolton Abbey, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove.

 

 

Yorkshire Dales

 

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire, the magnificent newly-restored Piece Hall in Halifax, the elegant spa towns of Ilkley and Harrogate, the award-winning Hepworth Museum and Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the vibrant cities of Leeds and York are all within range so there are lots of interesting things to do.

 

 

Saltaire

 

 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

 

How to contact us:

Email: enquiries@elmetfarmhouse.co.uk   Tel: 01422 842026    Mob: 07910 075952

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Architectural Gems of Leeds

Architectural Gems of Leeds

 

Leeds is a splendid Victorian city with a treasure trove of colourful flamboyant buildings dating from the late 19th and early 20th century. Architectural highlights include the Leeds Corn Exchange with its domed wooden roof resembling the hull of a boat, designed by Cuthbert Brodrick in 1864. 

 

  

The stunning County Arcade designed by theatre architect Frank Matcham, built between 1898-1904, is one of several well-preserved Victorian shopping arcades in Leeds. The glazed faience decoration that adorns the interior of this arcade was made by the local firm of Burmantofts.

 

  

 The terracotta cladding on the facade of  nearby Leeds City Market on Kirkgate is also very spectacular. Designed by Joseph and John Leeming in 1904, the market hall’s cast-iron structure is painted in polychrome. The market itself is one of the most vibrant in the UK.

 

  

On the other side of the city is Leeds Civic Hall with its dazzling golden owls, a late Art Deco building designed by Vincent Harris dating  from 1931-3.

 

  

Dominating the Headrow is the imposing Leeds Town Hall, another highly ornate Victorian building designed by Cuthbert Brodrick, built between 1853-8.

 

  

Next door is Leeds Art Gallery, whose newly-restored top-lit galleries provide a stunning setting for its excellent collection of 20th century paintings and sculpture. The Art Gallery’s fabulous Victorian tiled café is not to be missed. 

 

  

On the other side of the Headrow in the elegant setting of Park Square is St Paul’s House. A Victorian warehouse and cloth cutting works designed in the Moorish-Venetian style by Thomas Ambler in 1878, this extraordinary building is another of the architectural gems of Leeds.

 

  

  

Just 30 miles from Elmet Farmhouse, Leeds is easily reached by train from Hebden Bridge and makes an excellent day out.

For more information about Leeds, follow these links:

Architecture

Tourist information

Glorious Gardens

Dove Cottage Nursery and Garden

Shibden, near Halifax

 

An outstanding nursery specialising in hardy perennials with a wonderful hillside garden  featured several times on Gardeners World, most recently in August 2017. The planting is lush and impressionistic, mixing grasses with tall herbaceous perennials to create a wild naturalistic effects with plants cascading over the winding paths. The garden is open from mid to late summer when the flowers and grasses are at their peak. Most of the plants in the herbaceous border at Elmet Farmhouse came from Dove Cottage Nursery.

Shibden Hall Road, Halifax HX3 9XA

Tel. 01422 203553

Email: info@dovecottagenursery.co.uk

www.dovecottagenursery.co.uk

Nursery open March-September. Garden open June – September

 

Slack Top Alpine Nursery and Garden

Heptonstall, near Hebden Bridge

 

 

If you’re interested in alpines, the award-winning Slack Top Alpine Nursery and Garden near Heptonstall, above Hebden Bridge, is the place to come – not just in Yorkshire, but nationwide. Situated in a stunning location on top of the Pennines above Hardcastle Crags, the nursery specialises in hardy alpine plants which flourish at high altitude. Run by  alpine experts Michael and Allison Mitchell, Slack Top Alpines has been profiled in the RHS magazine The Garden and featured on Gardeners’ World. All the plants are grown on site and many  can be seen in the adjoining garden in specially-made troughs and striking rock and scree beds. Whether you’re an alpine lover or a novice gardener, Slack Top  is an inspiring place to visit and offers one of the best selections of alpines in the UK.

Slack Top Nursery and Garden, Alpine House, 22A Slack Top, near Heptonstall, Hebden Bridges, West Yorkshire HX7 7HA

Tel. 01422 845348

Email: enquiries@slacktopnurseries.co.uk

www.slacktopnurseries.co.uk

Open from March to September, Fridays-Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am – 5pm

 

Parcevall Hall Gardens

Skyreholme, near Skipton

 

A renowned plantsman’s garden located at the heart of Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Located at the head of a small valley, there are 24 acres of formal and woodland gardens which rise up the hillside for 200 feet giving wonderful views in every direction. The gardens were laid out by the late Sir William Milner from 1927 onwards, and are planted with specimens from around the world, many collected from Western China and the Himalayas. The gardens have many different facets, including woodland walks, formal south facing terraces, a bedrock limestone rock garden and a beautiful rose garden, all set against the stunning back-drop of the Yorkshire Dales.

Parcevall Hall Gardens, Skyreholme, Skipton BD23 6DE

Tel. 01756 720311

Email: parcevallhall@btconnect.com

www.parcevallhallgardens.co.uk

Open daily from April – October, 10am – 6pm

 

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

near Ripon

 

 

The picturesque ruins of 12th century Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, make a splendid excursion from Elmet Farmhouse. Adjoining the abbey grounds are the serene 18th century water gardens created by John and Wiliam Aislabie on their Studley Royal estate. Newly restored by the National Trust, who own both properties, the gardens consist of a series of lakes, ponds and canals adorned with classical statues, overlooked by temples, towers and viewpoints. These vistas, along with the stunning views of nearby Fountains Abbey, combine to create an unforgettable landscape experience.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, near Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3DY

Tel: 01765608888

Email: fountainsabbey@nationaltrust.org.uk

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey-and-studley-royal-water-garden

Open daily 10am – 6pm

 

York Gate Garden

Adel, near Leeds

 

 

An exquisite one-acre garden lovingly hand-crafted by the mother and son duo of Sybil and Robin Spencer during the second half of the 20th century. A highly personal creation, York Gate is divided into small intimate areas by yew and beech hedges, with beautiful paving and choice plants. Highlights include the Herb Garden with its unusual topiary and the Dell with its attractive shrubs and hidden stream. A wonderful combination of architectural structure and inspired planting, York Gate is run by the charity Perennial (formerly known as the Gardeners’ Benevolent Society), to whom it was bequeathed in 1994.

Back Church Lane, Adel, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS16 8DW

Tel: 0113 267 8240

Email: yorkgate@perennial.org.uk

www.perennial.org.uk/garden/york-gate-garden/

Open Sunday to Thursday (and Bank Holiday Mondays) 12.30 am – 4.30 pm

 

 

© Text and photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Piece Hall Halifax

Halifax Piece Hall – An Architectural Gem

 

 

After several years of renovation, Halifax’s magnificent 18th century cloth market – The Piece Hall – reopened on 1 August 2017 (Yorkshire Day). Originally built in 1779 as a market hall for merchants selling hand-woven woollen and worsted cloth produced by independent yeoman clothiers from the surrounding area, this spectacular Grade I Listed building is an architectural masterpiece.

Constructed from fine-grained local sandstone with a stone slate roof, the Piece Hall is the most significant surviving monument to the domestic textile industry in Britain. The building takes its name from the 30 yard lengths of cloth, known as ‘pieces’, which were the mainstay of its trade, along with raw wool.

A large rectangular building housing 315 small rooms, the Piece Hall is believed to have been designed by Thomas Bradley, a Halifax architect and builder who was Surveyor for the Calder Navigation Company. Taking the form of a quadrangle, the Piece Hall has a large open square in the centre measuring approximately 110 yards by 91 yards. Constructed on a slope, the western side has a ground floor with one upper storey, while the east face is on three levels, with internal staircases at each corner.

Classical in style, the Piece Hall draws inspiration from Roman and Italian Renaissance buildings. The merchants’ rooms are set back behind elegant colonnades. The lower arcade has round-headed arches on square piers. The middle level has Rustic pillars with Tuscan capitals. The upper colonnade has circular Doric columns.

There are arched gateways on three sides of the buildingThe north gateway, which was originally the main entrance, has a pediment topped by  a classical urn, and is inscribed ‘Opened January 1st 1779’. The west gateway has a classical cupola with a bell, surmounted by a Golden Fleece and a weather vane. The south gateway features elaborate multi-coloured cast iron gates dating from 1871.

Trading at the Piece Hall was strictly regulated and took place between 10 am and 12 noon each saturday morning. Originally cloth was transported to the Piece Hall by packhorses after being collected from farms and cottages on the surrounding uplands where it was made. The cloth was then distributed throughout Britain and Europe.

Following the Industrial Revolution, textile manufacturing processes were mechanised and production shifted to water- and steam-powered mills in the valleys. This radically altered the system of trade, as a  result of which the Piece Hall rapidly became defunct. From the early 19th century onwards the building was used for a variety of additional purposes, including firework displays, religious sermons and political rallies. In 1867 the Piece Hall was transferred to the Halifax Corporation and from 1871 onwards it was used as a wholesale fish, fruit and market. This continued for the next 100 years.

By the early 1970s when the wholesale market ceased, the Piece Hall had fallen into disrepair and was threatened with demolition. Thankfully it was saved, however, and after being renovated, the building reopened in 1976 housing shops and an outdoor market.

Following another major restoration project grant-aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Piece Hall has been given a new lease of life in 2017. Now managed by the Piece Hall Trust, it incorporates shops, galleries, cafes and bars, as well as displays about the history of  this iconic building. A varied programme of outdoor events – from street theatre to art installations and concerts – will be held in the repaved central square, a stunning public space.

Adjoining the Piece Hall  is the newly-extended Square Chapel Arts Centre, a lively arts complex including a cinema, theatre and cafe bar. Housed in the historic Square Chapel, a red-brick Georgian chapel dating back to 1772, this is a key element in Halifax’s new Cultural Quarter, along with the new Central Library and Archive incorporating the spire of the 19th century Square Church. The library houses a Visitor Information Centre and provides direct access to the Piece Hall from Halifax railway station and  neighbouring Eureka! The National Children’s Museum.

 

 

www.thepiecehall.co.uk

www.squarechapel.co.uk

www.historicengland.org.uk

 

 

© Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson

Bingley Five Rise Locks

Bingley’s Five Rise Locks

One of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways

 

 

Less than 3 miles from Saltaire along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are the famous Five Rise Locks at Bingley, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’. Built  in 1774, the five adjoining locks raise boats over 59 feet (18 metres) over a distance of 320 feet.

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal, connecting two major cities on either side of the Pennines, spans 127 miles and is the longest canal in the UK. Bingley’s Five Rise Locks are 16 miles from Leeds. Known as staircase locks because they open directly into each other, with the top gate of one lock forming the bottom gate of the next, Bingley’s Five Rise Locks are the steepest in the  country. A few hundred yards along the canal is another shorter flight of locks: the Bingley Three Rise Locks.

Designed by John Longbotham of Halifax, the Five Rise Locks were built by four local stonemasons: John Sugden of Wilsden and Barnabus Morvil, Jonathan Farrar and William Wild of Bingley.

The locks are a remarkable feat of engineering and are still in use today, operated by lock keepers. The photographs show two narrow boats passing through the Five Rise Locks in August 2017. 

 

For more information, follow these links:

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Pennine Waterways

Canal and River Trust

www.penninewaterways.co.uk

© Text and photographs copyright Lesley Jackson