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.