Coiners Homeland

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Between the Yorkshire town of Halifax and the border with Lancashire to the west at Todmorden, lies a deep valley surrounded by bleak moor land. Another valley branches off at Mytholmroyd, and it is the area surrounding this valley, known locally as Cragg Vale, that provides the setting for the events that took place in the second half of the 18th Century.

The remote farmsteads of the moors above the valley were homes to farmers and weavers, many of whom would work long hours on hand looms to produce one piece of cloth each week, which could be sold at the ‘Piece Hall’ in Halifax. The income from selling their cloth, combined with home grown produce would allow these people to sustain a basic existence.

One such remote farm stood at the head of a bell shaped depression in the side of the valley above Mytholmroyd was Bell House. Surrounded in the main by open moor land, and on the other the steep sides of Bell Hole, it provided the perfect base for the leaders of the Cragg Vale Coiners to supervise their operation from.

The photo above illustrates just how remote the location of Bell House is, surrounded by moorland making surprise visits by law enforcers virtually impossible, whilst the photo below shows bell house as it stands today.