History of Widdop


myself at 'Worlds End' farm ruins Widdop,Heptonstall

NEW LINKS on 'Mid 19th Century page' -------- 1. 1851 map with superimposed reservoir 2. Discovering Widdop farms

My Widdop Shackletons page
''Tracking ALL Shackletons ''
FREE and UNFREE tenants


calderdale area map

Widdop Valley lies approximately 5 miles to the north-west of Hebden Bridge and the village of Heptonstall in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

widdop map

The valley was originally divided by the stream, Hebden Water, which marked the boundary line between the two 'townships' of HEPTONSTALL [to the south-west] and WADSWORTH [to the north-east]

  Most visitors to this site will probably already know Widdop having visited on one of the activities mentioned earlier. Widdop is an oval shaped, wide valley enclosed by rocky crags at the top of the Pennines very close to the Lancashire border. In the 1379 Poll Tax it is recorded as 'Wydhope' literally meaning 'wide-valley'. Though remote, high up, windswept, almost treeless and with poor soil, it's sheltered, bowl shape was always going to attract settlement, particularly on the south facing slopes.

  Much of the valley floor is now filled by the Yorkshire Water Board's reservoir, originally completed by 1878. This 'finished off' the decline of the community which according to the documentary evidence, had existed since at least the 16th century.


It's always important to keep in mind that the bulk of the site is concerned with Widdop, WADSWORTH--there is a separate page for Widdop, HEPTONSTALL.
  Also, please keep in mind that my original focus was researching my SHACKLETON FAMILY HISTORY which gradually expanded to include whatever documentary evidence was available.

1.The lists of tenants are for ALL Wadsworth township which rarely SPECIFY Widdop.
2. The lists are complete recording all available 'UNFREE' and 'FREE' tenants; where there are gaps there are NO lists.


Superimposed 1715 map of Widdop, WADSWORTH to north-east [from Savile Survey 1715] on 1851 OS map showing 'superimposed' reservoir and Widdop, HEPTONSTALL to south west

  Each historical section includes paragraphs which explain
  1.The national context
  2.The local context
  3.The archives
  4.Analysis of archives
  I would advise you to refer to the archives BEFORE the 'analysis'!

Many thanks must be expressed to the staff of the various offices I've visited ; I've quoted the available references on the enclosed 'documents'. The offices were--

  Halifax Library; Local Reference Section

  West Yorkshire Archive Services[WYAS] at
Halifax [Calderdale Library
Huddersfield[Kirklees] Library
  Nottingham County Archive Office,Nottingham

Lancashire County Record office, Preston

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