Friday, 9 September 2011
This photo gives you a good idea of what Heptonstall village as a whole looks like - really not much changed (at least on the surface) from what it was 200 years ago. It's now a conservation area so in many ways it is 'frozen in time'. The streets' stone setts have been reinstated, and the old handloom weavers' cottages like those on the left (dating to around 1800) still stand, with their large upper windows, designed to give maximum light for the weavers, who sometimes worked 12 hour days to catch the light. The last handloom weaver of Heptonstall (and one of the last remaining in the Pennines), John Sutcliffe, died in 1902.
Apart from the fact that it always seems to be dull weather when I visit, the village has a rather dark, forbidding look, largely due to the soot-blackened buildings that, unlike many in Yorkshire, have never been cleaned up.