(Further details of all these publications, including how to purchase, can be found by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)
Hipperholme & Lightcliffe Local History Calendar 2024.
Twelve images of Lightcliffe & district, plus a cover photograph of Hipperholme crossroads with setts, tramlines and no traffic, each with an accompanying paragraph of description. A4 size. £6.
Village Voices (2007), compiled by Bob Horne & John Brooke.
This book was compiled to celebrate the first ten years of the Lightcliffe & District Local History Society. It contains summaries, with photographs, of the talks delivered during those years, covering many aspects of the history of this interesting village.
It is out of print, but used copies are sometimes available at www.abebooks.co.uk. At the time of writing there are two such copies.
Educating the Generations (2020), John Brooke. (245x170mm) 100 pages, 79 illustrations. Reduced to £5.
The first pupils were admitted to Lightcliffe National Schools in February 1869. The buildings were generously paid for by Evan Charles Sutherland Walker of Crow Nest mansion, who also provided the land. We can look back with pride at its long history, from a time when universal elementary education was merely an aspiration, to the present day when all have the opportunity to be educated.
‘As a social historian, John Brooke recognises the fundamental part that Lightcliffe School has played in the history of our village. In Educating the Generations he conveys this with clarity and understanding.’
In the Shadow of Lightcliffe’s Old Tower: Two Churches and a Churchyard (2022),
Dorothy Barker & Ian Philp. (245x170mm) 102 pages, 51 illustrations. £10.
The story of these two Lightcliffe churches, the large churchyard and many of the people from the village of Lightcliffe and other local villages is told here.
A church was established in Lightcliffe in 1529. A newer church, funded by William Walker of Crow Nest, was built in 1775. Only the iconic tower of this Georgian church now remains, set in the large churchyard,
The new St. Matthew’s parish church is about 400 metres further up Wakefield Road from the churchyard. It opened in 1875 and was largely funded by Major Johnston Jonas Foster of Cliffe Hill.
Walterclough Valley: A History (2022), John Wharton. (270x215mm) 48 pages, 63 illustrations. £10.
Walterclough front
Walterclough front
 The Walterclough Valley, in Calderdale, separates Southowram and Hipperholme, two suburbs of Halifax. The valley is a southern continuation of the Shibden valley and has historical connections with both the Lister and Walker Families. The valley’s name derives from the historic Walterclough Hall, built by the Hemingway family in the fourteenth century on the west (Southowram) side of the Valley. The Walker family acquired the hall in the seventeenth century. They later built Crow Nest at Lightcliffe.
The eastern side of the valley was part of the Lister estate and contains Sutcliffe Wood Bottom Farm, home of the Sowden Family, who are portrayed in the television series ‘Gentleman Jack’.
The valley has always been recognised as a beauty spot and has survived mills, mines and brickworks, which have come and gone leaving the natural beauty of the valley to thrive once more.
The beauty of the valley inspired Joseph Bunce to create a pleasure garden, named Sunny Vale Gardens. Sunny Vale attracted thousands of visitors between 1880 and 1950, a seventy-year period of huge success.
Drawn on the Landscape (2023), Alan Greenwood. (250x200mm) 144 pages, 95 illustrations. £15.
From the earliest times the east-west route through Halifax and onto Lightcliffe, Leeds and Wakefield was an important link for both local and long-distance travel. This book tells the story that reflects the changes in the roads and transport travelling east from Halifax. The local gentry were intimately involved in this road development as were increasingly the growing class of businessmen growing wealthy on a burgeoning textile trade. Anne Lister features too in an attempt to maintain her privacy in the face of increasing traffic on the roads. But it was ordinary people whose efforts helped make enormous changes to the system over time.
For centuries the only way goods could be moved in such hilly country was by packhorses. As Halifax expanded, local people carved out routes and improved the roads, linking to the growing towns of the West Riding, for wheeled vehicles. By the mid-nineteenth century, where this book finished, they had created the road system that we enjoy today.
Hipperholme and Lightcliffe Memorial Stray: The First Fifty Years (2023), Bob Horne. (250x200mm) 160 pages, 127 illustrations. £15.
stray cover
stray cover
 The Hipperholme and Lightcliffe Memorial Stray was opened on 9 September 1923, when the granite obelisk, commemorating the 110 villagers who lost their lives in the First World War, was unveiled. The area had previously been pasture land, at one time in the possession of Ann Walker, who lived for a few years at nearby Lidgate House, before she took up residence at Shibden Hall with her lover, Anne Lister.
In 1907, having been owned by the Smithson family for nearly forty years, the fields were divided into building lots and offered for sale by auction. Why were none of these lots sold? What other memorial schemes were considered before Hipperholme Council decided to provide a public open space? How was the money raised? All these questions, and many others, are answered within the pages of this book.
Bob Horne looks closely at the management of the Stray in its first half-century, as facilities were developed with the provision of a shelter, public conveniences, the planting of trees and flower beds and the provision of swings and other playing equipment. Find out why a Park Ranger was appointed to patrol the park during summer evenings. Read about ‘Holidays at Home’ during the Second World War, the many football teams, and one cricket team, who played their matches here.
Hipperholme & Lightcliffe Memorial Stray: The First Fifty Years provides a history of these acres from the early nineteenth century to the Silver Jubilee Gala of 1977, with more than a hundred and twenty illustrations.