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Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers

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Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers
Author: Penistone Line, Published: 21 Sep 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide
West Yorkshire, Shepley
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide boot Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide boot Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide
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A 6 mile linear walk (can be shortened to a 2 mile circular walk) from Shepley rail station to Stocksmoor rail station in West Yorkshire, enjoying the beautiful rolling countryside. You will discover the textile industrial heritage of Shepley, where tailors known as Higglers once thrived. Leaving Shepley, the walk takes you through beautiful steep hillside valleys and along ancient tracks, following part of the Trans Pennine Trail to reach nearby Stocksmoor rail station. The return leg can be completed by a simple 2-minute train journey.

The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout, including a few steep sections. The paths are a mixture of roadside pavements, woodland paths, field-side paths and ancient tracks. Some of the surfaces can be very slippery when wet, so boots with a good grip are recommended. There are a couple of short sections along country lanes so take care of traffic here. The first two miles (which can be completed as a stand-alone circular walk) includes several stone squeeze gaps (these are quite narrow so could pose a problem for broader people and dogs), kissing gates, two fence stiles and two stone stiles (all these stiles should be easy for most dogs to pass over or alongside). The remainder of the linear route includes further squeeze gaps, kissing gates plus two fence stiles and one stone stile (larger dogs may need a hand over these two fence stiles). Most of the paths are enclosed away from livestock, however you will cross one horse paddock in the first part then, in the second part, another horse paddock, one sheep field and one pasture which sometimes holds cattle. Allow 3 hours.

This walk is one of the Penistone Line Collection, published through a collaboration between The Penistone Line Partnership and iFootpath to help visitors discover the beautiful countryside and attractions accessible by train between Huddersfield and Sheffield.

The walk starts at Shepley rail station making it ideal for arriving by public transport. If you are coming by car, there is roadside parking available along Station Road. Approximate post code HD8 8DU. If you complete the full linear route, the return leg is via train, with normal service being hourly Mon-Sat and every two hours on Sundays, but please check before you travel.

Walk Sections

Start to Textile Bench
Start to Textile Bench

Start point: 53.5887 lat, -1.7049 long
End point: 53.5858 lat, -1.7038 long

Leave the Shepley rail platform up to the bridge and head south along Station Road, leading you gently uphill between houses. Where the road bears right, turn left into Yew Tree Road. Go through the dip and continue up to reach the junction with the main road. Cross over the main road (using the crossing point just to your right) and then turn left along the pavement to reach the Shepley stone sculptural seat known as Green Moor Seat. Installed to mark the millennium in 2000, the seat was designed by Dave Bradbury to celebrate the textile industry that once thrived here.

You will notice the stacks of cloth and bobbins that form the two arms. This makes the perfect place to perch and begin our tale of Shepley’s textile industry. The village name translates as a clearing where sheep are kept. Farming would have been the main industry here, but from the 1300s the wool industry began to grow. This in turn led to the development of a strong weaving and textile industry and by 1901, the village was home to 16 tailors, each employing up to 10 girls to cut out patterns and sew. The 1896 edition of The Master Tailor and Cutters' Gazette, described Shepley as the richest village in England - a tailor's paradise. To get orders, the tailors began to travel to outlying areas, perhaps by pack horse or pony and trap to start with, but as soon as Shepley rail station opened, around 1850, they travelled by train along the Penistone Line. These travelling salesmen were known as Higglers. They carried with them a small suitcase containing cloth samples, a tape measure, notebook and pencil in order to measure their clients in their own homes and bring back orders for tailored suits. Parcels of clothing were dispatched each day from Shepley rail station.

Textile Bench to Carr Lane
Textile Bench to Carr Lane

Start point: 53.5858 lat, -1.7038 long
End point: 53.5785 lat, -1.6973 long

When you are ready to continue, follow the pavement leading you into the side road, The Knowle. This lane leads you down past some old mill buildings, now housing a bottled water company. Where the lane bends left, turn right (leaving the Trans Pennine Trail) to follow the (unsigned) tarmac access lane between a house on your left and mill buildings on your right. Keep straight ahead to join the narrow tarmac path between walls and cross the fence stile (just to the left of the field gate) to enter a crop field.

Follow the grass footpath leading you uphill with a boundary hedge on your left. At the top corner, turn right for a few paces and then turn left past a disused stile to enter a second crop field. Keep ahead, continuing uphill with a hedge on your left. At the top, turn right for a few paces (enjoying the views to the right), ignore the stone gateway on your left and then turn left after this, staying in the same field with the stone wall on your left. In the corner, pass through the stone squeeze gap and walk ahead along the left-hand boundary of this third crop field.

Pass through the next squeeze gap, follow the left-hand boundary of a fourth crop field and take the gated squeeze stile ahead to enter a horse paddock. Cross this at 1 o’clock to exit via a fence stile and keep ahead for a short distance to reach the road (Carr Lane) via a low stone stile.

Carr Lane to War Memorial
Carr Lane to War Memorial

Start point: 53.5785 lat, -1.6973 long
End point: 53.5818 lat, -1.7048 long

Turn right along the lane, taking care of traffic. Ignore the first footpath signed to the left and the first footpath signed to the right. About 150 metres later, turn right through the beautiful old stone gateway for Shepley Carr House (signed as a public footpath). Follow the beautiful tree-lined drive and as you reach wooden gates, take the small footpath gate ahead. Keep ahead between properties. Just before the garages ahead, turn left down a narrow stone alleyway between walls to reach a stone kissing gate.

Pass through this to reach the corner of a hillside meadow. Turn immediately right, following the obvious footpath across the centre of the field, heading for the left-hand edge of a woodland belt. As you reach a hedge ahead, take the narrow arched gap through this (which may be protected via a pallet gate).

At the far side, go down the stone steps into the field and walk straight ahead to take a stone squeeze gap into the woodland belt. Follow the woodland footpath directly ahead. As you reach a bench on your right, look back over your left shoulder to see the beautiful war memorial set within these woods.

War Memorial to Churchyard
War Memorial to Churchyard

Start point: 53.5818 lat, -1.7048 long
End point: 53.5842 lat, -1.7107 long

Continue on the woodland path and you will emerge via a footbridge to a football pitch. Turn right around the boundary to reach the far-right corner where you join a tarmac alleyway. Follow this past the school grounds on your left and down the slope ahead to reach a junction with the main road. Use the zebra crossing (just to your right) to cross the main road and go ahead into the side road, passing the village pub on your left.

Immediately after the pub, turn right into Station Road. Continue to the top of the rise (where the road bears right). Here we take a small detour to visit another interesting attraction. Turn left into Jos Lane and turn immediately left into the cul-de-sac, Church Close. Walk to the end of the close to reach house number 8 ahead. Turn left through the half-hidden gates to enter a cemetery.

On the back wall, you will find a white marble grave for Reverend Ben Swift Chambers and his wife Elizabeth. Reverend Chambers was born in nearby Stocksmoor but lived in the Shepley school house while his father was the schoolmaster there. He trained as a Methodist Minister and was later appointed minister of St Domingo’s Chapel in Everton. Ben encouraged young men from the congregation to play both cricket and football. The football club was very successful, changing its name from St Domingo’s FC to Everton FC in 1879. They moved to a new stadium in Anfield Road and in 1891 they were champions of the football league. The following year brought a row with the club’s landlord when he raised the rent. Several members (including St Domingo’s organist) were expelled, but argued successfully that they still had claim to the name Everton FC. From this point, Everton FC built a new ground, Goodison Park, and the players that remained at Anfield were renamed as Liverpool FC. From these events, it is now accepted by both teams that they share a founder in Reverend Chambers, hence the blue and red flowers on the grave.

Churchyard to Shepley Dike
Churchyard to Shepley Dike

Start point: 53.5842 lat, -1.7107 long
End point: 53.5954 lat, -1.7113 long

When you have finished in the cemetery, head back along Church Close, turn right for a few paces and then turn left along Station Road. Continue to the crossroads with Field Head and at this point you have two choices. If you are following the 2 mile circular walk, simply keep ahead to reach Shepley rail station to end your walk. For the full 6 mile linear walk, turn left into Field Head.

Continue to the end of the road and then keep ahead to join the stone track signed as the Trans Pennine Trail. This is an ancient thoroughfare known as Long Lane. As you pass a bench on your left, stay with the main bridleway track which turns right. The track leads you over the railway via a beautiful stone bridge. Soon afterwards, ignore the footpath signed off to the right, instead stay with the bridleway path which leads you ahead and then into a woodland belt. A few paces in, you will come to a fork.

Take the right-hand branch, heading downhill with a wall on your right. At the bottom of the track you will emerge to a quiet lane. Turn right along this, passing between former mill buildings and then swinging left to cross the stream, Shepley Dike.

Shepley Dike to All Hallows
Shepley Dike to All Hallows

Start point: 53.5954 lat, -1.7113 long
End point: 53.6072 lat, -1.7023 long

At the top of the access lane you will reach a T-junction. Turn right along the pavement heading steeply uphill (signed as the Trans Pennine Trail). At the top, you will reach another T-junction (this time with the main road), turn left along the pavement (signed as the Trans Pennine Trail to Kirkburton). Swap to the right-hand pavement as soon as you can, pass the 50 mph signs and then turn right into the farm access drive (staying on the Trans Pennine Trail).

Further along a hedge begins on your right and, soon after, you will reach a fork. Take the right-hand branch, leaving the tarmac driveway and heading uphill between walls and hedgerows. This is another ancient thoroughfare, this one known as Box Ings Lane. Follow this enclosed path, ignoring any side paths, for almost a mile. You will emerge to join a tarmac access lane, with Shelley Lodge just behind to your right. Keep ahead for 40 paces and then turn left to pass the lych gate and churchyard of All Hallows Church on your right.

All Hallows to Thunder Bridge Dike
All Hallows to Thunder Bridge Dike

Start point: 53.6072 lat, -1.7023 long
End point: 53.6055 lat, -1.7137 long

Keep ahead along the stone access track, passing between several houses to reach the road at a sharp bend. Turn left along the road edge for a few paces, then fork left to join a grass path with a low stone wall running on your left. Ignore the stile on your left, instead continue on the grass path between walls. At the end of the path you will come to a stile ahead (there is a low wall on one side and the stile isn’t too tall, but some dogs may need a hand). Cross the stile to enter the pasture (which may be holding cattle). Walk straight ahead, staying close to the wall on your right, then exit via the narrow metal gate ahead.

Follow the narrow, enclosed path leading you out to a road. Turn left along the pavement for about 40 paces and then turn right over the road into the entrance drive for the hillside stone property. Join the grass enclosed footpath which runs along the left-hand edge of this driveway. At the bottom of the short slope, cross the stone stile on your left to enter the sheep pasture. Walk straight ahead down the hill with the boundary wall running on your right. Cross the stile at the bottom (large dogs may need a hand over this one) with extreme care as it emerges directly to the edge of a main road.

Cross the road with care and take the stone squeeze gap ahead to enter the woodland. Head down the steep steps and then follow the woodland path which swings left. Take care as this is uneven and slippery in part. The path crosses two small streams and then leads you through a squeeze gap in a stone wall to enter a rough hillside paddock (which may hold horses). Stay ahead on the path downhill and at the bottom cross Thunder Bridge Dike via the footbridge.

Thunder Bridge Dike to End
Thunder Bridge Dike to End

Start point: 53.6055 lat, -1.7137 long
End point: 53.5946 lat, -1.7237 long

At the far side, pass through the kissing gate, walk ahead across the grass clearing and enter the woodland, Saville Wood, via an old stone stile (which is now just a rough slope). Follow the woodland path leading you first steadily and then more steeply uphill. Eventually the path levels off and leads you to a crossroads of paths, by the corner of a stone wall.

Turn left here to join a permissive path, with a stone wall running on your right and the woodland on your left. The path leads you to a field gate ahead. Pass through the squeeze gap to the left of this to enter a meadow. Continue straight along the left-hand edge of this meadow, with the stone wall and woodland running on your left. At the bottom of the field, pass alongside the gate to reach the road.

Bear left to join the road, taking care of traffic, and follow it downhill past the property, Grangefield, on your right. Stay with the lane as it swings sharp left between old converted stone properties, noticing that The Dyehouse still retains its old stone chimney. Follow the lane across Thunder Bridge Dike to reach the road junction in Thunder Bridge.

Cross over to the far pavement and turn right along this, heading uphill along Birks Lane (signed as the Trans Pennine Trail to Stocksmoor). Follow the pavement climbing for half a mile to reach the 30mph signs at the edge of Stocksmoor. Take the first left turn into Station Road, pass the pub on your left and soon afterwards you will reach Stocksmoor rail station on your left. Look out for the mosaic wall panels on the station platform, created by local artist Zoe Stainton, working with local communities. They reflect the local countryside and were created to mark 20 years of the Penistone Line Partnership promoting this train line between Huddersfield and Sheffield. From Stocksmoor station, you can catch a train along the Penistone Line back to Shepley where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author Penistone and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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9053_0Penistone1506006817 Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide Image by: Penistone Line
Uploaded: 21 Sep 2017
The war memorial.
9053_1Penistone1506006817 Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide Image by: Penistone Line
Uploaded: 21 Sep 2017
It is now accepted by both Everton and Liverpool that they share a founder in Reverend Chambers, hence the blue and red flowers on the grave.
9053_2Penistone1506006817 Penistone Line: Shepley Hills and Higglers Walking Guide Image by: Penistone Line
Uploaded: 21 Sep 2017
The Dyehouse

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