Photo Journal – February 2016

Have you had your Five a Day?

Five photos taken each day on walks in the countryside around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, interspersed with views from Elmet Farmhouse in the village of Pecket Well. Yorkshire at its finest. Enjoy!                        (Lesley Jackson)

29 February 2016


Feathery silhouettes of leafless trees against the backdrop of a pale green frosty meadow in Crimsworth Dean



Frost creates a subtle patchwork in Crimsworth Dean – where moor meets meadow, and meadow collides with wood



A steep slope of bracken running down to Crimsworth Dean Beck, with a strip of woodland  clinging to the precipitous hillside on the other side. Above, a bank of frosty meadows with early morning sun glinting over the top of the hill.



The roller-coaster terrain of Crimsworth Dean – one minute you’re up, the next minute you’re down



Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean, sheltered by a few judiciously placed trees. Stoodley Pike ever present on the horizon


© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


28 February 2016


Views from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well, with the steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags below and Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon







View across the fields from Elmet Farmhouse towards Pecket Well War Memorial, with Hardcastle Crags in the valley below

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


27 February 2016


Bridestones, a spectacular collection of gritstone outcrops on the moorland above Todmorden



The stone on the right with the narrow base is known as the Bottleneck Bridestone



At one time there were two similar stones here side by side, the Bride and Groom, but today only the Bride remains



More of the Bridestones group with massive powerful forms sculpted by the ice, wind and rain



It’s easy to see where Yorkshire sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore got the inspiration for their work

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson



26 February 2016


Hebden Water near Midgehole at Hardcastle Crags, with Lower Mill cottages in the valley and steep wooded hillside below Old Town above



Pecket Well Clough, a steep wooded valley owned by the National Trust leading from Hardcastle Crags up to the village of Pecket Well



Steep stone-paved packhorse track leading down to Kitling Bridge in Pecket Well Clough, a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse



Packhorse track leading down from Pecket Well to Hardcastle Crags through Pecket Well Clough



Moss cushioning a drystone wall in Pecket Well Clough. Woodpeckers starting to rattle, staking out their territory in the woods


© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


25 February 2016


Stoodley Pike from Colden on a perfect winter’s morning at 7.50 am. The frost was so thick after sub-zero temperatures overnight that it looked like snow. 



Climbing up from Colden through a bank of frost-drenched heather after joining the Pennine Way



Looking back towards Heptonstall from Heptonstall Moor on the Pennine Way, with Emley Moor transmitter in the distance over towards Huddersfield



Huge millstone grit flagstones marking the Pennine Way on Heptonstall Moor above Hardcastle Crags 



Looking towards the high moorland above Gorple and Widdop Reservoirs from the Pennine Way, with purplish heather and rocky outcrops on the hills. First lapwings of the year sighted near here. Curlews and golden plovers also heard on Heptonstall Moor.

To see more photos of this morning’s walk, please click here


© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


24 February 2016


Sometimes the best views are on your doorstep… Well, that’s certainly the case at Elmet Farmhouse



The bigger picture – taken at 9.59 am. Hard to believe it’s February with such vibrant green grass and blue sky.



Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall in perfect equilibrium. Who needs Capability Brown with a vista like this?



Two hours earlier up on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well before the frost on the heather has melted…



… or the ice has thawed. Shortly afterwards, a fly-past by a small flock of golden plovers returning to breed on the moor.


© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


23 February 2016


Flock of sheep being herded into a lower field on the tops near Walshaw above Hardcastle Crags, with Stoodley Pike in the distance



Frosty meadows at Slack, above Heptonstall, viewed across Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw, with Stoodley Pike on the horizon



Looking towards the top end of Hardcastle Crags at Blake Dean from high meadows above Walshaw on a cold frosty February morning


Pink early morning sunshine bathing the hills at the top end of Crimsworth Dean



Abel Cross, a pair of coffin stones near Abel Cote in Crimsworth Dean, as featured in a photograph by Fay Godwin and a poem by Ted Hughes in Remains of Elmet

To see more photos showing this morning’s walk on the Crimsworth Walshaw Loop in full, click here

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


22 February 2016


Derelict farm on the tops above Crimsworth Dean



Early morning sunshine on the hay meadows above Crimsworth Dean, looking towards Old Town. The curlews returned to the valley today after their winter vacation.



View from Grain Farm along Crimsworth Dean, with Stoodley Pike in the distance



A copse of Scots Pine marking the entrance to the National Trust woodland in Crimsworth Dean, with the tower of Heptonstall Church just visible on the left and Stoodley Pike on the horizon on the right



View of the top end of Crimsworth Dean from the moorland on the tops.

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


21 February 2016



In praise of drystone walls… Living in this area, it’s easy to take them granted, but visitors find them particularly striking. These photographs were all taken in Crimsworth Dean.




Built from locally quarried millstone grit, these walls are an extension of the landscape and represent hundreds of years of human endeavour. 




Although built for a practical purpose, they’re also works of art. Stone stiles such as these will last much longer than wooden structures.



Packhorse bridges are also a familiar sight throughout the Upper Calder Valley, such as this one crossing Crimsworth Beck in Crimsworth Dean



Built to provide crossing points over the numerous streams and rivers for packhorses transporting wool and cloth to outlying farms and villages, they reflect the significance of the textile trade in this area long before the industrial revolution.

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


20 February 2016


Derelict farmhouse in Crimsworth Dean



Potential des res!


Fixtures and fittings included!


Elevated position – wonderful views!



Dry stone wall in Crimsworth Dean


© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


19 February 2016


Heptonstall Church silhouetted against the sunrise



Sunrise at Colden Clough, viewed from Slack Top, above Heptonstall



Stoodley Pike from across the Calder Valley below Blackshaw Head, near Heptonstall



Ruined mill at Jumble Hole Clough, a narrow steep-sided valley below Blackshaw Head,  near Heptonstall, as featured in a photograph by Fay Godwin in Ted Hughes’s Remain of Elmet (1979).



17th century house at Hippins Bridge, near Blackshaw Head, with date stone for 1650 over the doorway.


18 February 2016


Today’s sequence is devoted to the magnificent Stoodley Pike, a landmark on the hilltop between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden throughout the Upper Calder Valley



Erected in 1815 to celebrate the end of the Napoleonic Wars following Wellington’s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, Stoodley Pike was rebuilt in 1856 after the original monument collapsed following a lightning strike two years earlier.



Stoodley Pike is 121 ft (37 metres) in height and the hilltop on which it stands is 1300 ft (400 metres).



These photographs were taken between 8 am and 9 am on a cold frosty morning on 18 February 2016. The ascent to Stoodley Pike was from the village of Mankinholes via the Pennine Way.



Swathes of mist clinging to the hills above the village of Lumbutts, near Mankinholes, photographed following my descent from Stoodley Pike at 9.05 am.

To see more photos of this morning’s walk up to Stoodley Pike, click here

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


17 February 2016


Hellebore (Christmas rose) blooming in the cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse



Looking through a red-stemmed cornus (dogwood) towards the stone mullion windows at Elmet Farmhouse



Herbaceous border in front of the Grade II Listed barn next to Elmet Farmhouse, with a row of red-stemmed cornus adding winter colour and wallflowers already in bloom



Hellebores and cornus in the cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse, against the backdrop of fields, valleys and hills. 



The cottage garden in front of Elmet Farmhouse has been planned so that a sequence of bulbs and herbaceous perennials will bloom in sequence throughout the year, with shrubs and grasses providing colour during the winter months.

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


16 February 2016


Heron reflected in millpond near Gibson  Mill at Hardcastle Crags



Gibson Mill, an early 19th century cotton mill in the National Trust estate of Hardcastle Crags



Early morning sunshine on the steep wooded hillside at Hardcastle Crags



Looking up Graining Water from Blake Dean at the head of Hardcastle Crags on a frosty February morning



View across Hardcastle Crags towards Walshaw Moor, with Walshaw Lodge on the right. Photo taken at 9.17 am on a cold sunny morning when the fields were still white with frost

To see more photos of this morning’s walk in full, please click here

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


15 February 2016


Early morning sunshine at the trig point at Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well



Rocky millstone grip outcrops on Limers Gate, a packhorse route across Wadsworth Moor originally used for transporting lime to improve the land on the nearby hill farms



Small reservoir above Pecket Well, built to provide water storage for the textile mill in the village below


Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well with drystone wall and frosty meadows



Blackface sheep on a frosty morning at Pecket Well, looking very spruce after the recent heavy rain

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


14 February 2016


Slack, near Heptonstall, with Hardcastle Crags in the foreground and Stoodley Pike in the distance, on a beautiful crisp frosty February morning



Stoodley Pike monument towering over the Upper Calder Valley, built to commemorate the end of the Napoleonic Wars



Walshaw Lodge, hunting lodge built by the Savile Estate overlooking Hardcastle Crags



Sheep grazing on Shackleton Hill between Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean



View of Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike from Pecket Well War Memorial, sunshine bouncing off the meadows on the shoulder of the hill

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


13 February 2016


Late afternoon sunshine in Crimsworth Dean



The dead bracken adds colour to the landscape, offsetting the vibrant green grass



Crimsworth Dean bathed in soft hazy February sunshine



Sheep tucking into the lush grass in the meadows of Crimsworth Dean



Pair of leafless trees silhouetted against the hills and sky in Crimsworth Dean 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


12 February 2016


We’re all ears! 




Heavy frost on bracken in Crimsworth Dean



Misty frosty early morning in Crimsworth Dean (8.14 am)



© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


11 February 2016


An old packhorse bridge over Colden Clough, near Heptonstall, constructed from huge slabs of stone.



This bridge must be very strong as it has withstood torrents that have washed away wooden footbridges in neighbouring valleys.



Running alongside Colden Water are a series of small reservoirs where water was stored to power the textile mills lower down the river. These are now silted up and overgrown, providing a haven for wildlife.



Although the wooded valley of Colden Clough has now been reclaimed by nature, it was once a hive of industry…


…As witnessed by the numerous stone paths running up and down the hillside, originally built as vital access routes for packhorses and millworkers. They show no sign of wearing out – the beauty of millstone grit.


© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


10 February 2016


The glorious view from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well near Hebden Bridge on Wednesday 10 February 2016 at 9.12 am. Normal service is resumed. The sun is shining again – Hallelujah!



Early morning sunshine in Crimsworth Dean (8.49 am)



Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean. This imposing monument, which can be seen throughout the Upper Calder Valley, was built to commemorate the peace treaty between Britain and France after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.



A copse of Scots Pine in Crimsworth Dean, with Stoodley Pike in the distance



A remarkably clean ewe in Crimsworth Dean

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


9 February 2016


Crimsworth Beck in full flow in Crimsworth Dean after a night of heavy rain



Raised meadow on the lower slopes of Shackleton Hill , viewed from Crimsworth Dean, with Hardcastle Crags in the distance



Looking across Crimsworth Dean towards Shackleton Hill



Millpond in Crimsworth Dean, part of a network of watercourses built to supply the water-powered mills lower down the valley during the early 19th century



Early February morning in Crimsworth Dean (7.47 am)

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


8 February 2016


View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well, above Hebden Bridge, looking towards Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike – a Remains of Elmet moment as the sun broke through the clouds after heavy rain



Heptonstall, former home of Ted Hughes’s parents and burial place of Sylvia Plath



View of Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike from Elmet Farmhouse. Similar to Fay Godwin’s photograph on the cover of Ted Hughes’s Remains of Elmet (1979). 



Pecket Well War Memorial overlooking Hardcastle Crags, photographed from Elmet Farmhouse



Hellebores in the garden at Elmet Farmhouse

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

7 February 2016



Crimsworth Dean – ‘the secret valley’ where Ted Hughes roamed as a child, the inspiration for several poems in Remains of Elmet


Above: Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean, a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse



Some Crimsworth Dean residents



Crimsworth Beck, fast-flowing river running through the steep-sided valley of Crimsworth Dean



Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean, two waterfalls side by side, with a deep pool below – the setting for Ted Hughes’s poem ‘Six Young Men’.

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

6 February 2016



The famous River of Mist in the valley below Elmet Farmhouse – like a Turner painting in 3D. 


P1040892  P1040891



These photos were all taken within the space of a couple of minutes shortly after 8am. On the horizon are Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall Church.

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

5 February 2016



Fringe of leafless trees along the top edge of the wood at Hardcastle Crags, the National Trust estate near Hebden Bridge



A beautiful place in all seasons, even in the middle of winter.



The crags that give Hardcastle Crags its name are rocky outcrops poking out above the trees on the tops of wooded knolls.



The streams and waterfalls cascading down the hills into Hebden Water – the river running through Hardcastle Crags – are particularly impressive after heavy rain.



© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson


4 February 2016



Lumb Bank near Heptonstall, an 18th century millowner’s house formerly belonging to the poet Ted Hughes, now owned by the Arvon Foundation and used for creative writing courses. 



Mill chimneys in Colden Clough below Lumb Bank, evocative relics from the numerous textile mills that once lined the river. 



Colden Water, the river running through Colden Clough


Steep stone steps, originally used by millworkers, now provide a network of paths for walkers.

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

3 February 2016



View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well, with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall on the horizon and the wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags below. Photo taken at 9.15 am on 3 February 2016



Sheep above Pecket Well following light snowfall overnight (7.40 am).  


Sunrise casting a pink glow over Wadsworth Moor (8.05 am)




© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

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