Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site

Saltaire near Shipley – only 16 miles from Elmet Farmhouse – is great place for a day out. A model village built in the mid 19th century by the philanthropic industrialist Sir Titus Salt (1803-1876), it was created to provide high-quality housing for the thousands of workers at Salt’s Mill, his huge complex of textile factories next to the River Aire.

Almost every aspect of this extraordinary development was the brainchild of this visionary man, from the magnificent Italianate Salt’s Mill (1853) designed by Lockwood and Mawson, to the elegant Congregational Church (1859) with its circular tower, and the imposing Saltaire Institute, 1869, flanked by four majestic carved stone lion sculptures by Thomas Milnes. Saltaire is so unusual and well-preserved that the whole village has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take a walk around the village and admire the handsome stone terraced houses designed in a variety of different styles. Don’t miss the shops and cafes on Victoria Road in Saltaire Village and the regular vintage fairs in the grand Victoria Hall. There’s more to see in Roberts Park (opened in 1871) across the footbridge over the river, where you can watch the cricket, stroll along the promenade, listen to the band or take tea in the Half Moon Cafe. Nearby Shipley Glen Tramway, dating from 1895, is open during the summer months.

Salt’s Mill                                                                                                                            

Although the textile industry is long gone, Salt’s Mill has been resurrected as an exciting cultural and creative hub. Beautifully restored, it houses a dynamic complex of galleries, shops and restaurants, including two enormous bookshops, an antiques centre, a buzzing diner and a design shop called The Home.

A unique feature of Salt’s Mill are the hundreds of works of art by multi-talented Bradford-born artist David Hockney, informally displayed all over the building. Hockney’s work is lively and colourful, and the work on show spans his long and varied career, including paintings, prints, photomontages and posters, as well as his latest digital paintings created using an ipad.

Complementing Hockney’s vibrant paintings is an exuberant collection of Victorian ceramics made by the Burmantofts Pottery in Leeds. Decorated with brightly-coloured glazes, these large pots are a visual delight and reflect another aspect of the creativity in the West Riding.

Saltaire’s Textile Heritage                                                                                                                                                            

Saltaire’s textile heritage is recorded in a fascinating series of paintings by Leeds-born artist Henry Carr R.A. illustrating textile manufacturing processes. Specially commissioned by Salt’s Mill between 1957-59, many of the paintings are on unusual irregular-shaped canvases. They accurately record each stage of the manufacturing process, from sorting, scouring and combing the wool, to spinning the yarn and weaving the cloth, to dyeing and inspecting the fabric. Recently restored, these wonderful paintings are now displayed in various parts of the mill.

Salt’s Mill, Saltaire BD18 3LA. Tel 01274 531163. www.saltsmill.org.uk

Saltaire Village: www.saltairevillage.info/

© Text and photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

Yorkshire Birdwatching Hotspot

Birds of many feathers flock together in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge                                                                                                                                                           

                                              

Whether you’re a serious birdwatcher or simply enjoy observing garden birds, there’s a wealth of birdlife in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge. Because of its hilltop location, Elmet Farmhouse is the perfect place for birdwatching. Surrounded by meadows, with woods and rivers in the valley below and open moorland on the uplands above, there’s an unusually diverse array of species in close proximity.

From golden plovers, lapwings and curlews up on ‘the tops’, to kestrels, swallows and pheasants in the fields, to woodpeckers, tawny owls and treecreepers in the woods and herons, dippers and grey wagtails by the river, there’s great scope for bird-watching in the Upper Calder Valley. These photos record some of the birds we’ve encountered locally in the last few years.

Blue Tits

Barn Owls

Blackbirds

Buzzards

Canada Geese

Coal Tits

Curlews

Dippers

Fieldfares

Golden Plovers

Goldfinches

Great Spotted Woodpeckers 

Greenfinches

Grey Herons

Grey Wagtails

House Sparrows

Jackdaws

Jays

Kestrels

Lapwings

Little Owls

Mallard Ducks

Meadow Pipits

Mistlethrushes

Northern Wheatear

Oystercatchers

Pheasants

Pied Wagtails

Red Grouse

Redshanks

Redwings

Sandpipers

Short-Eared Owls

Skylarks

Snipe

Starlings

Swallows

Tawny Owls

Treecreepers

Willow Warblers

Wrens

For up to date news about sightings by keen local birdwatchers, visit Calderdale Birds

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

February Forays

February hikes in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, a wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

January Jaunts

January hikes in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, a wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Photos of the Month 2019

Elmet Farmhouse Photos of the Month: 2019

Photos of the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, a wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of the most dramatic landscapes in Yorkshire

February 2019

Stoodley Pike from Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well
Path across Wadsworth Moor from Deer Stones Edge to Luddenden Dean
Ventilation shaft for underground watercourse running beneath Wadsworth Moor carrying water from Widdop Reservoir to Halifax
Snow on Wadsworth Moor between Pecket Well and Luddenden Dean
Luddenden Dean from Wadsworth Moor
Snow on dry stone wall above Luddenden Dean
Frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean

Frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean
Tree shadows reflected in the ice of frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean
Luddenden Dean looking towards Castle Carr

Frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean photographed from opposite corner
‘We Two Together’: our shadows silhouetted in the frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean
Second reservoir above Luddenden Dean, fuller and only partially frozen

Ice flow on reservoir above Luddenden Dean

Ice flow on reservoir above Luddenden Dean

Patterns in the ice on reservoir above Luddenden Dean
Sun on the snowy hillside near Stoodley Pike
Stoodley Pike with pattern of drystone walls in the snow photographed from above Old Town
Drystone walls and trees on snowy hillside above Hebden Bridge
Vew from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well in the snow with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall
Stoodley Pike from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well in the snow
Heptonstall above Hebden Bridge in the snow
Stoodley Pike and the hilltop village of Heptonstall above Hebden Bridge in the snow
Pecket Well in the snow from Plumpton Farm
View from Deer Stone Edge above Pecket Well with Heptonstall in the distance
Swaledale sheep on snowy hillside above Horsehold and Hebden Bridge
Hardy Swaledale sheep in the snow near Stoodley Pike
Snowscape with rushes en route to Stoodley Pike
The ascent to Stoodley Pike via the Pennine Way from Hebden Bridge
View towards Pecket Well from Pennine Way leading up to Stoodley Pike
Rows of drystone walls slicing through the snow above Horsehold and Hebden Bridge
Drytstone walls near Stoodley Pike
View towards Todmorden from the summit at Stoodley Pike

Wainsgate Baptist Chapel, Old Town near Hebden Bridge
Graveyard at Wainsgate Baptist Chapel, Old Town near Hebden Bridge
Hardcastle Crags from Akroyd Lane between Pecket Well and Old Town above Hebden Bridge
Snowy vista from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall
A beautiful gate in Pecket Well after heavy snow
River of Mist from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall

River of Mist in Hardcastle Crags with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall floating above
Stoodley Pike with River of Mist in Pecket Well Clough
Swathes of mist on the hillside above Hebden Bridge below Stoodley Pike
Mist drifting through Pecket Well Clough after freezing fog
River of Mist in Pecket Well Clough below Elmet Farmhouse with Stoodley Pike on the horizon
Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall Church floating above River of Mistin Hardcastle Crags
River of mist below Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge on 5 February 2019
Church in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salt’s Mill in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salt’s Mill in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salt’s Mill in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salt’s Mill in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site
Blake Dean, Hardcastle Crags

Blake Dean, Hardcastle Crags
Winter beech trees in Hardcastle Crags National Trust estate near Hebden Bridge

Winter trees in Hardcastle Crags National Trust estate near Hebden Bridge
Sheep in Crimsworth Dean
Sunny February morning in Crimsworth Dean
Early morning mist in Crimsworth Dean

Early morning mist in Crimsworth Dean with Old Town Mill on hillside
Thrush in Crimsworth Dean near Hebden Bridge
Sheep grazing at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean
Kestrel in Crimsworth Dean near Elmet Farmhouse holiday cottage
Crimsworth Dean with Haworth Old Road ascending Stairs at the end
Grain Farm and Cross Ends in Crimsworth Dean
Looking towards Widdop from Walshaw Moor

Looking towards Widdop from Walshaw Moor
Trees near Walshaw Lodge above Hardcastle Crags
View across Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw
Treeline above Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw
Donkeys at Abel Cote Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Donkeys at Abel Cote Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Goat at Abel Cote Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Goat at Abel Cote Farm in Crimsworth Dean
Mist rising on a warm February morning in Crimsworth Dean

Mist on the hilltop meadows above Crimsworth Dean
Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean
Sheep near Grain Water Bridge in Crimsworth Dean

Sheep in Crimsworth Dean
First lapwings of the season newly arrived at Thurrish in Crimsworth Dean

First lapwings of the season newly arrived at Thurrish in Crimsworth Dean
Dunnock in Crimsworth Dean

Starlings in Crimsworth Dean
View from Deer Stones Edge across Wadsworth Moor

Misty morning on Deer Stones Edge across Wadsworth Moor
Greylag geese on Wilcock Dam above Pecket Well
Lonk sheep on farm above Pecket Well

Highland Cattle near Plumpton Farm above Pecket Well
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall in the early morning sunshine
Pheasant at Elmet Farmhouse, Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge
Pheasant with stunning plumage

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

January 2019

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge on a frosty January morning
Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall with Hardcastle Crags in the valley below
The ancient village of Heptonstall on the hilltop opposite Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well
Stoodley Pike monument to the Battle of Waterloo on Langfield Edge above Hebden Bridge
Turneresque sunrise with moon sinking over Wadsworth Moor
A dusting of snow on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well

Sunrise over Stoodley Pike from Deer Stones Edge on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Sunrise at High Brown Knoll on Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor at Pecket Well
Snowy view across Wadsworth Moor towards Widdop at sunrise
View across Hardcastle Crags to Slack Heptonstall from Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Snow-dusted Heptonstall village bathed in pink early morning sunshine
Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well at sunrise
Lower Gorple Reservoir from Heptonstall Moor
Fieldfare at Colden near Heptonstall
Coal tit on birdfeeder by the Rochdale Canal near Hebden Bridge
Four pheasants on the wall at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge
Winter view from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall Church and Stoodley Pike on the horizon above Hardcastle Crags
Roe deer grazing on the hillside in Crimsworth Dean near Hardcastle Crags
Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean
Ruins of Staups Mill in Jumble Hole Clough below Blackshaw Head
Remains of Staups Mill, an early 19th century textile mill in Jumble Hole Clough
Stone steps up steep hillside in Jumble Hole Clough, one of the spurs off the Calder Upper Valley
Beautifully crafted dry stone wall on the hillside above Mytholmroyd
Ancient packhorse track bounded by dry stone walls on the hillside above Mytholmroyd
Sunny winter’s morning at Blake Dean in Hardcastle Crags
Hebden Water running through the National Trust estate of Hardcastle Crags
Shadows cast by leafless trees in the winter sunshine in Hardcastle Crags
Chapel of St Thomas a Becket next to Church of St Thomas the Apostle in Heptonstall
13th century Chapel of St Thomas a Becket in Heptonstall with tower dating from 15th century
Inside the ruins of the Chapel of St Thomas a Becket in the ancient village of Heptonstall

Chapel of St Thomas a Becket in Heptonstall dating back to the 13th century
The grave of poet Sylvia Plath in Heptonstall Churchyard, with a posy of fresh flowers from the garden at Elmet Farmhouse on 17 January 2019
Crimsworth Dean in January with Stoodley Pike on the far horizon
Crimsworth Dean at dusk with full moon rising
Full moon over Crimsworth Dean
Snowy panorama from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well on 30 January 2019
Snow-covered trees at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well
Elmet Farmhouse – frozen outside, toasty indoors

Snow-laden trees near Sprutts Farm in Pecket Well

Swaledale sheep negotiating the snow on Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well
Swaledale sheep in the snow on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Foggy frosty morning in Crimsworth Dean
Snow-encrusted trees near Mididgehole in Crimsworth Dean
Snow-covered beech trees above one of the dams in Crimsworth Dean
Foggy frozen treescape in Crimsworth Dean – looks like someone has sifted flour on the woods
Looking up the steep snowy hillside near Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean
Every branch and every twig encrusted with ice crystals in Crimsworth Dean
Entering the woods near Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean to take the path up to Pecket Well
Crystallised beechnuts in Crimsworth Dean 31 January 2019

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Mid-Century Modern Design

Mid-Century Modern Design at Elmet Farmhouse                                                                                                                                                                                     

Elmet Farmhouse is full of surprises. That’s why our guests enjoy it so much, because every room contains unexpected design delights. Wherever you go, there are inspiring things to look at, not just in the living room but in the kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms as well.                                                                                                                                                             

Brown Abstract 4
Brown Abstract 1

An intriguing mixture of ancient and modern, the interiors blend original 18th century features with choice vintage and contemporary design. A holiday cottage like no other, Elmet Farmhouse is wonderfully quirky and totally unique.                                                                                                                      

Purple Abstract 2
Purple Abstract 1

Mid-Century Modern Textiles

One of the most popular features at Elmet are the striking vintage fabrics used throughout the farmhouse for curtains, cushions and textile hangings. Specially chosen by design historian Lesley Jackson, who decorated and ‘curated’ the interiors, the fabrics date from the 1950s and 60s, an extremely rich period for textile design.                                                                                                          

Edinburgh Weavers 2
Edinburgh Weavers 3

Highlights include the magnificent Edinburgh Weavers curtains and cushions in the living room, screen-printed  with an arresting large-scale design called Kalabu, dating from the late 1960s. The heavy linen cloth was woven at Edinburgh Weavers’ mill in Carlisle and the fabric was printed in Lancaster by their sister company, Standfast Dyers and Printers, who are still going strong today.                                                                                                            

Joan Charnley 1
Joan Charnley 2

Hanging on the wall in the lounge is a delightful stylised leaf-patterned fabric by Joan Charnley, a local designer who studied at Manchester School of Art and designed for Edinburgh Weavers. Hand screen-printed on rayon by the designer herself, it reflects the early post-war ‘Contemporary’ design aesthetic associated with Lucienne Day.                                                                                                    

Hull Traders 1
Hull Traders 2

Upstairs in the front bedroom are some beautiful chintz curtains hand screen-printed by Hull Traders, an outstanding local company based less than 20 miles away at Trawden, near Colne. The pattern is called Rose Branch and was designed by Guy Irwin in 1958.                                                                                                                                                             

David Whitehead 2
David Whitehead 1

The deer and leaf-patterned printed fabric hanging on the wall in the front bedroom is by David Whitehead, another important Lancashire firm based not far away at Rawtenstall. Designed by Cawthra Mulock in 1955,  it epitomises the vibrant colours and dynamic graphic style of the post-war era.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Tibor Raw Coral 1
Tibor Mexico 1

Elmet Farmhouse features two impressive ‘Textureprints’  by Hungarian-born textile designer Tibor Reich, produced in the mid 1950s for his company Tibor. A long length of Coral, a striking black and grey design with overlapping organic motifs, hangs in the attic stairwell.                                                                                                                           

Tibor Raw Coral 2
F Bathroom 2

Mid-Century Modern Furniture                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Elmet Farmhouse also contains a fine collection of MidCentury Modern furniture. Ercol – one of the leading British furniture manufacturers of the post-war period – features prominently. There’s a comfortable armchair from Ercol’s Windsor Contemporary range next to the fireplace in the living room. An Ercol classic dating from 1953, the 203 Bergere Easy Chair was specially re-upholstered at the Ercol factory in Buckinghamshire, which is still going strong today.                                                                                                                                                                                                

Upstairs in the bedrooms and bathrooms are two more Ercol icons, the 369 Goldsmith’s Dining Chair and the 400 Chair, dating from 1957-58. Made from a combination of beech and elm, both have the familiar Ercol stick backs, inspired by traditional Windsor chairs. The 400 Chair, a descendant of Ercol’s legendary 4A Chair developed for the Utility furniture scheme during the Second World War, features Ercol’s trademark steam-bent bow frame.                                                                                                                                                                              

Elmet Farmhouse also contains some choice pieces of Scandinavian Modern furniture in warm-coloured natural wood. The beech-framed stick-back Kadett Sofa in the living room is by O&M Design for the Danish firm Skippers Mobler. This piece dates from the 1990s but was inspired by Borge Mogensen’s Spokeback Sofa, conceived in 1945.                                                                                                                                                                                        

The stylish Arild Sideboard was designed by Nils Jonsson for the Swedish firm Troeds in 1961. Made of teak, the sleek form of this long low credenza displays the clean lines of post-war Modernist design. It is complemented by the light oak wall cabinet in the opposite corner of the room. Made by the Danish company Faarup Mobler, it was designed the architect Ib Kofod Larsen, who also did freelance work for the G-Plan in the 1960s.                                                                                                                                                                                                

All the natural beech cupboards, draw units and bookcases in the bedrooms and attic shower room are also Danish. The multi-coloured Chest of Drawers in the attic was designed by Frank Guille for Austinsuite in the 1960s. This piece has been upcycled by a vintage furniture dealer, each drawer painted a different colour, which is rather fun.  

Many of the designers and manufacturers displayed in Elmet Farmhouse are featured in Lesley Jackson’s books on post-war textiles, furniture and design. You can peruse these publications in Elmet’s library during your stay and some are available to buy.

20th Century Pattern Design: Textile and Wallpaper Pioneers by Lesley Jackson (Mitchell Beazley)

Alastair Morton and Edinburgh Weavers: Visionary Textiles and Modern Art by Lesley Jackson (V&A Publishing)

Shirley Craven and Hull Traders: Revolutionary Fabrics and Furniture 1957-1980 by Lesley Jackson (Antique Collectors’ Club)

Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Contemporary Design by Lesley Jackson (Mitchell Beazley)

Ercol: Furniture in the Making by Lesley Jackson (Richard Dennis Publications)

Modern British Furniture: Design Since 1945 by Lesley Jackson (V&A Publishing)

‘Contemporary’ Architecture and Interiors of the 1950s by Lesley Jackson (Phaidon)

The Sixties: Decade of Design Revolution by Lesley Jackson (Phaidon)

© Text and photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

Autumnwatch

Golden Glory

There are times in the year when the countryside around Elmet Farmhouse just looks so heart-achingly beautiful that you’d like to stop the clock! Late autumn is one of those moments. After the lush green of the fields and woodlands summer months, the landscape becomes a blaze of colour as the bracken takes on russet hues and the leaves on the trees turn diverse shades of copper-red and gold.

These photographs were taken on walks from Elmet Farmhouse in the beautiful National Trust woodlands of Hardcastle Crags, Pecket Well Clough and Crimsworth Dean during late October and early November. Whether you’re strolling down by the riverside, wending your way up the steep wooded hillsides or looking down on the woods from the meadows and crags above, the palette of autumnal colours is inspiring and makes your heart sing.

Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson

Brimham Rocks

Rocking out at Brimham

The weird and wonderful rock formations at Brimham Rocks are one of the geological marvels of Yorkshire. Sculpted by the elements over hundreds of millions of years, they loom up out of the heather moorland high up above Nidderdale near Pateley Bridge.

Defying gravity, these monumental sandstone forms were once thought to man-made, so curious and unlikely are their shapes. But their extraordinary sculptural forms are an entirely natural phenomenon, the result of abrasion and erosion by wind, rain and ice.

Dotted in clusters over 400 acres, it takes several hours to see all rocks – and longer if you want to climb up on top or explore their nooks and crannies. Each rock is different in character and they completely change in shape when viewed from different angles.

A firm favourite with children, a challenge for climbers and a delight for naturalists, Brimham Rocks is managed by the National Trust and provides a great day out from Elmet Farmhouse. Geologists will be in seventh heaven and artists and photographers will be inspired.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brimham-rocks

Text and photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

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