Walk 2
East Field, Bank Top and Ranelands

Head down Main Street, passing on the left the Old School Tea Rooms. As the name suggests this was until 1983 the village school. Within a few yards turn left through a kissing gate signed "Hebden Suspension Bridge" and "Hartlington Raikes". The path follows the return route of Walk 1, passing the mill dams before crossing the beck and reaching the four-way signpost (1).

The route is signed left to "Bank Top" with a further sign at the wall corner above. Follow the direction indicated towards a gate to the right of a large barn (2). Most of the route now lies within what was originally a large common pasture before the lower portions were turned into meadow or arable land to create the medieval East Field.

Once past the barn it is a gradual climb to the top left-hand corner of the field where there is a narrow gate. This leads into a close once known as Bull Coppy, where the community bull was housed conveniently near to the pasture and his potential wives! To the right is Ratlock Lathe (3) in Kecklocks Field - both names thought to be asso-ciated with cow parsley-while the rocky hill behind them is Eagle Crags.

The route ahead is clearly signed over a couple of ladder stiles. After the second stile, veer slightly away from the wall on the left and soon Bank Top Farm on the main Grassington to Pateley Bridge road comes into view. Head towards the modern barn on its left and the signed route to the road is soon clear. Turn right and follow the road past Bank Top (4), which was long owned by the Swale family. The encounter with potential traffic is only brief, as immediately past the farm turn right through a stile with a sign "Hartlington Raikes".

After another stile follow the wall on the left, continuing to do so when it turns a right angle. After a gate with a narrow stile at its side, veer right to face the forestry on Burnsall Fell and head towards a wall corner. Keep the wall on the left and pass through a stile with a top gate on either side. Both in the sixteenth century and at the time of the 1846 Tithe Award much of this area (5) was known as Bents - a name associated with relatively poor pasture.

Head towards the left of the tallest tree on the skyline, a metal gate giving access to Hartlington Raikes road. Turn right down the road for 350yds to reach a ladder stile opposite South View Farm (6). Take the path signed "Hebden", the route over three successive stiles also being clearly signed.

Follow the wall on the left past two trees, a finger-post indicating the point where the path veers right in the direction of the TV mast on the far skyline. At this point, in the centre of a field of 25 acres (10 hectares), it is possible to get the feel of the old common pasture with the land stretching away on every side and few nearby walls in sight. Soon there are splendid views over towards Hebden, the river, Thorpe"s reef knolls and Burnsall Fell.

On the brow of the hill, with Bents Lathe well to the right, pick up a green track that snakes down to a gate. The track continues to drop steeply down to double metal gates at the entrance to Ranelands Farm (7). The only Hebden farm created entirely within a former common field, the earliest documentation of the house is in 1747. Note the fine weathervane with a bull on it.

Pass through the gate to the left of the barn with its 1790 datestone. Head diagonally across the field to the far corner, passing through two stiles to reach the four-way sign-post close to the start of the walk ("1"). Return to the village by the outward route.

Maintained by Hebden Parish Council

Top