Calderdale Heritage Walks winter newsletter, Jan 2023

Happy New Year!  Here is our winter newsletter with an update on what’s happening at Calderdale Heritage Walks until the end of March.

Did you know that there are fifteen Grade 1 listed buildings in Calderdale?  How many can you name? During 2023 we will be visiting several. ( may help you!

Our very popular walk to Dobroyd Castle in March has now sold out, but we plan to repeat the walk in the summer programme. We have added two more walks. The Coiners in Halifax on 12th March; and Halifax Murders, sudden deaths and other events on the evening of 27th March. You will need to book for these late additions on

Sunday 15th January : ‘Cornholme Cornucopia’, meeting Anne Mealia at 1.30pm outside the Waggon & Horses OL14 8NQ.  You’ll have the chance to learn more about the village’s industrial, literary and supernatural past.

29th January : Join Anne Kirker on a wander round Ripponden looking at its fine buildings, textile history and much more. Meet at Ripponden Parish Church gates HX6 4DG at 1.30pm.

For these and all our remaining winter walks there is no need to book – just turn up and pay the guide £4.

The Winter Programme, available on shows what is to come in February and March including Shibden Hall parkland; northern Elland; a new walk around Dean Clough and Bowling Dyke; pubs and beer houses in Norwood Green; and buildings around Arden Road, Halifax.

We expect to publish our summer programme in late February or early March. It will be emailed to all our members and will also be available as a printed programme in local libraries, The Hub and various other outlets;  on our own website, and Calderdale What’s On.

We hope that you find something of interest over the next few months, and we look forward to seeing you on one or more of our walks. Remember to wrap up warm and to come prepared for seasonal wet, cold and windy weather! It’s also a good idea to check our facebook page for updates on what’s happening, and in case a walk has to be unexpectedly cancelled at short notice.

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From the Discover Brackenbed Park Event May 7th

The pandemic highlighted, in an unprecedented way, the importance of having local and accessible green spaces in our communities. Now, more than ever, we understand the interconnection between wellbeing, good mental health and being active in and around nature. As we are bombarded with news of climate events and the destruction of biodiversity, we are called to work together to reverse some of the damage and give nature a helping hand to recover. And so it has never been a more important time to treasure our local green spaces.


Some people may know Brackenbed park by its other names – Shroggs Tip, the Ash Tips or Shroggs Valley. Others may remember it from its previous uses as a municipal waste site, or latterly as a recreation sports site which was unfortunately demolished due to the threat of methane. Or perhaps you didn’t know about this hidden gem nestled in the Shroggs valley, sitting discreetly behind the high walls in Pellon and Park ward and the dense tree line in Warley and Central Halifax, a large and beautiful green space, brimming with nature and steeped in history.

Despite its obvious potential and some previous work to install benches and paths five years ago, many areas of Brackenbed Park remain neglected, suffering from heavy littering and fly tipping as well as attracting anti-social behaviour. More recently, community groups have removed over 250 bags of litter from the area, repaired a bench at one of the entrances and cleared years of mud and leaves that had rendered another entrance difficult to navigate. Now the methane has been vented and the area is safe, it would seem an opportune time to begin the work of restoring Brackenbed Park in line with the community’s vision and reclaiming it for community use.

Discover Brackenbed Park event, organised by colleagues from North Halifax Partnership and Halifax Opportunities Trust, aimed to bring people into the space who might not have known about it, or encourage people to come back, and together, imagine a new future and identity for this wonderful asset sitting at the heart of several of our communities.

We were fortunate to have David Glover host a fascinating history walk that led participants from an already well known and loved People’s Park to show just how close it is to Brackenbed Park, and to find out about the history of the surrounding area as well as the history of Brackenbed Park itself. It couldn’t have been a better way to provide a grand entrance to the park, as when turning the corner from the snicket on Pellon Lane across from James Chambers, the group gasped an audible ‘wow’ as the full park came into view.

When the walking party arrived, they were greeted by artist Frank Darnley (and his giant penguin sculpture!) to have a go at creating art from the things found on site such as packets, plastic and cans, highlighting both the issues with littering and reimagining a use for the things that would otherwise go to waste.

Alison Jones, from Halifax Opportunities Trust, offered kite making for families from colourful recycled things. Dan Marham, from North Halifax Partnership hosted a bug finding activity – it was wonderful to see the children really engage with this, excitedly sharing the wide array of different insects they found on site. Dan also brought Tommy and Shellby the Horsefield Tortoises which both the adults and children in attendance enjoyed holding and learning a little bit about the species. Natalie Ratner, also from North Halifax Partnership, was on hand to record people’s thoughts and ideas for the space, helping to imagine how it could be in future.

Leah Greig, from Positive Impact Sports, brought music and sports with lots of people having a go at archery which hinted at the possibilities of bringing sports facilities back to the park. Along with Leah, Charley, from CLT Creations, helped to create a fun party atmosphere with face painting.



To see families engaging in different activities and taking part in this sporting opportunity, utilising the green space it was lovely to see.

Leah says: ‘The potential power of archery in communities to support wellbeing is massive. Archery is not only one of the most inclusive sports, it is also the perfect activity in our socially distant times and there are many benefits to Archery:

  • Improves your focus : For mental health, archery provides active meditation, which can improve your mood, and ease anxiety and depression. Because archery requires focus, archers with post-traumatic stress disorder often find relief by practicing. It quiets the mind and helps them focus on something they can control.
  • Improves your hand-eye coordination.
  • Improves your upper strength.
  • Improves your social skills.
  • Improves your confidence.

From speaking to the families who attend they showed a key interest of getting the space back in use with different active opportunities such as a park, MUGGA, courts for juniors session such as Netball and Basketball. Additionally, on the back hand of this the Archery session went down a treat as one child in particular mentioned they didn’t like sport however they “really enjoyed the Archery”.

From a sport perspective I believe it’s a matter of urgency to get this space in use again with sporting opportunities for families in the local community. This would have such a positive impact to the local community activity levels. To progress in the right direction, we need to build on the awareness and a clear up of the area (litter pick) before we can formally put sporting activities on for the community to engage with. There are many benefits of Urban green spaces, such as parks, playgrounds, and residential greenery, as they can promote mental and physical health, and reduce morbidity and mortality in urban residents by providing psychological relaxation and stress alleviation, stimulating social cohesion, supporting physical activity, and reducing exposure to air. But most importantly it’s the active element that brings the community together.’

It was fantastic to see people really enjoying the activities and using the space in a different way, helping us all to imagine a different future for Brackenbed Park as place to play, have fun, engage with nature and connect with neighbours and our communities.

Liz Kenny described discovering Brackenbed Park for the first time at the event in an article for the Halifax Directory: ‘Last month, I attended an event that took me to a beautiful, green open space in Halifax that’s steeped in history and full of potential for our wider and local community.

I joined a Saturday morning walking tour that led me from People’s Park, across Park Ward via Queens road and over to a surprising part of the town that I’ve never seen before. I walked down a snicket, just off Pellon Lane opposite Queens road and was rewarded with a WOW moment view over the top of what was Shroggs Tip. It is now open land with park benches and paths.

I returned the next day with my family, we walked the dog there and it was still so lovely.’

Zain Ghani from Staying Well reflected on the event: ‘I attended the Heritage Walk led by David from Calderdale Heritage Walks who was incredibly proficient and detailed in leading the walk. I attended the event at Brackenbed Park which seemed to have gone really well and with lots of people attending. The event had a lovely community feel to it, and of course snacks and treats on offer went down well! It was great to see a range of ages present and an active listening project in capturing local voices on their thoughts about the space. I think the space at Brackenbed Park can be used for various things such as events, physical activity, orienteering, a place of expression and discovery, and more! From a Staying Well perspective, I believe this space can encourage adults to access green spaces to move more, socialise, learn about wildlife and feel part of their local community. There is lots of interesting history about this place and bringing people to share history and displaying this could be a purposeful and mindful activity.’

Some of the ideas imagined for Brackenbed Park included an enclosed dog park, wild flowers and butterflies, cycling tracks, orienteering, sports facilities, a playground or adventure park and a large festival type event.

If you would like to join with other members of the community as part of a group to create a vision for the space and oversee its development, please join the Whatsapp group here: or scan the QR code. You can also follow the Facebook page ‘Brackenbed Park’ to keep up to date with developments. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact or

We hope this is just the beginning and look forward to everyone being involved in the next chapter!

Cultural Events and talks by Calderdale Heritage Walks

As well as their local history inspired walks, the Calderdale Heritage Walks group are hosting a series of talks and cultural events around Halifax.

Please note face masks may well be essential at these events

Talk evenings with David Glover
Illustrated Historical Talks Wednesdays @ Grayston Unity at 8:15pm

£5.00 entry + service fee – Advance Booking only via


The story of Halifax Zoo and Amusement Park by David Glover
Illustrated Halifax Antiquarian Society Lecture
Tuesday 18th January – 7.30pm
At the Graygill Rooms, Halifax Piece Hall

Entry via donation on door

Just over 100 years ago, Halifax had a Zoo. Opened in 1909, this early “theme park” at Chevinedge housed many wild animals, yet also had other attractions – the first cinema in Halifax, a roller-coaster, and a miniature railway. Tales abound of special events, including balloon flights and an early aeroplane display in the skies above. Then there was the meandering bear!

Calderdale Heritage Walks

For the Calderdale Heritage Walks, view the full Winter schedule on the Calderdale Heritage Walks website

Because of Covid, and more limited numbers, Walks must be paid for and prebooked via

Upcoming walks highlights – Full walk details here

  • January 19th – Some Calderdale Murders – 1858-1957
    From the Wadsworth Moor murder of 1858, through to the tragic killing of Emily Pye in Gibbet Street, Halifax, in 1957; looking at six different tragedies, and how they were investigated.
  • Sunday 23rd January 2022 – Lost Churches and Chapels of Halifax
    And there were many! We visit the sites of over twenty; a few remain, given new uses. From Square Congregational Chapel and Church, we move to the sites of vanished buildings.
  • February 16th – More Calderdale Murders – 1556-1964
    Who killed Holdsworth, Vicar of Halifax in his home? Why was the Excise Collector slain in Savile Park Road? Who went mad and killed his boss in the newspaper office?


For more information visit Calderdale Heritage Walks

Calderdale Heritage Walks Winter schedule

After 2 years, the Calderdale Heritage Walks can now recommence.

These walks take place on most Sundays and last 2-2 1/2 hours.

You can find the full walk schedule and advisory below.

The walks are open to all. Please note which walks have restrictions.

You can also download full information here

For more information visit Calderdale Heritage Walks

Skirting Around the Moor: Calderdale Heritage Walks



The summer programme has fortnightly walks plus extra ones including Bank Holiday Mondays.
No pre-booking required, just turn up and pay the Guide – its £3 (all ages).

Almost all starting points are served by public transport. Well behaved dogs on leads are allowed on walks unless indicated by the No Dogs symbol.

The next Heritage Walk is on;

Sunday 7 July 2019; Skirting Around the Moor – a journey through some of the people, buildings and events around Skircoat Moor.

Meet Anne Kirker at 2:15pm at St. Jude’s Church on Free School Lane.

Keep an eye on the Facebook page to see any late alterations.

The complete Summer Walks Programme as shown below can be downloaded here.

Calderdale Heritage Walks: Anne Lister’s Halifax – Her Public Face


The summer programme has fortnightly walks plus extra ones including Bank Holiday Mondays.

Unusually, for this walk pre-booking is essential at £4 with tickets available from Halifax Visitor Centre, The Piece Hall, Halifax HX1 1RE.

The Centre is open 7 days a week 10:30am to 5:30pm. Bookings can be made in person, by phone on 01422 368725.

The walk is on Sunday 17 July, 2:30pm to Shibden, to recreate Anne Lister’s estate in 1832.

On 7th May, she returned home from her travels despondent, betrayed by yet one more woman’s marriage plans. Then reacquaintance with neighbouring heiress Ann Walker of Lightcliffe changed her life forever.

Anne Lister deployed all her considerable skills to enthral and seduce this wealthy young woman – all out of sight of Halifax’s prying eyes.

Meet Jill Liddington – details of the meeting place will be given when tickets are booked.

Walking boots/shoes are advised, and bring a packed lunch/snacks.

The walk includes short readings from Nature’s Domain, and ends at 4:30pm with Q&A plus tea and cake.

Bus back to Halifax as this is a linear walk.

The complete Summer Walks Programme as shown below can be downloaded here.

Cattle Market, Debtors’ Gaol & Lister Lane Cemetery: Calderdale Heritage Walks



The summer programme has fortnightly walks plus extra ones including Bank Holiday Mondays.
No pre-booking required, just turn up and pay the Guide – its £3 (all ages).

Almost all starting points are served by public transport. Well behaved dogs on leads are allowed on walks unless indicated by the No Dogs symbol.

The next Heritage Walk is on;

Saturday 1 June; Cattle Market, Debtors’ Gaol & Lister Lane Cemetery.

Rediscovering vanished facilities and buildings including the Halifax Fairground, ‘St Helena’ Debtors’ Gaol, St Augustine’s Church, and The Workhouse.

Concludes with a 90 minute tour of Lister Lane Cemetery – now a European Cemetery of Significance – where thousands of noted local residents lie buried.

Meet David Glover at Victoria Road, Halifax HX1 5PT at 2:15pm.

A linear walk ending at Lister Lane Cemetery.

The cemetery section not very suitable for wheelchairs / prams.

Keep an eye on the Facebook page to see any late alterations.

The complete Summer Walks Programme as shown below can be downloaded here.