Heptonstall

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Coordinates: 53°45′11″N 2°02′14″W / 53.75309°N 2.03716°W / 53.75309; -2.03716

Heptonstall is a small village and civil parish within the Calderdale borough of West Yorkshire, England. The population of Heptonstall, including the hamlets of Colden and Slack, is 1,448.[1] The town of Hebden Bridge lies directly to the southeast. Although Heptonstall comes under Hebden Bridge as a post town, it is not within the Hebden Royd town boundaries.

Contents

History

Historically a centre for hand-loom weaving, it was also the site of a battle in 1643 during the early part of the English Civil War.[2] The foundation stone of its octagonal Methodist chapel, the oldest still in continued use, was laid following the visit of John Wesley in 1764.[3]

Heptonstall cottages and terraced houses were characterised by their large first floor windows to maximise the light for weaving.[4]

The older churchyard claims "King" David Hartley amongst notable graves there.[3] Hartley was founder of the Cragg Coiners and lived as a rogue in the Calderdale area until he was hanged at Tyburn near York in 1774.[2]

The American poet Sylvia Plath, who was married to Ted Hughes from nearby Mytholmroyd, is buried in the new St. Thomas a' Beckett's churchyard.[3] Plath's headstone is regularly vandalised by removing Hughes's surname from the memorial, because some of her fans believe he was responsible for her death. Other members of Hughes's family are buried in this graveyard including his mother and father and his uncle, Richard Arthur Uttley. Uttley was known by the local 'by-name' of Dick Straightup and Hughes composed a poem about him of that title which appears in the collection Lupercal.

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