Wednesday, September 02, 2020

The Great Wall Of Northowram


This is another of my photographs taken in Howes Lane, Northowram around fifty years or so ago. This time it is looking towards the head of Shibden Valley, in the direction of Ambler Thorn. The photograph captures one of the great walls of Northowram, a huge stone structure built to enclose a raised field. No doubt there are sound historical reasons for someone having built this monumental edifice: the ancient burial tombs of the legendary Pharaohs of Northowram and Shelf, perhaps!


  1. If you remember, a similar wall propped up the garden of our Northowram next door neighbor. Like the wall in your photograph, the location was next door to a stone quarry.

    1. I. must admit I had forgotten Horace's garden wall. Thought you might be interested in this reply I got to the post via my Wordpress sight:-

      Alan, It is a Judd Wall. I am told they were a peculiarity of the Shibden Valley and its immediate surrounding areas, although the best examples, now gone, were the ‘Walls of Jericho’ at Egypt, near Thornton. Their purpose was a product of the valuable minerals to be found in the hills of this part of the West Riding. Spoil from quarries had to go somewhere, and the answer was to build walls using the unsaleable poor quality stone, and deposit spoil behind them to create a new, flat field.
      They are a reminder of Daniel Defoe’s comment in, “A tour thro’ the whole island of Great Britain, divided into circuits or journies” that the hills of Halifax were of more utility than those of the Lake District, because the latter provided nothing of value, or words to that effect.
      With reference your yesterday’s post they also tell us that the green Shibden Valley is actually a post industrial landscape.


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