So I spent yesterday afternoon at Hebden Bridge Archives. My goal was to find any references to Lily Hall, and to find out anything about Mr John Cousins who owned the hall in 1837. He was also joint owner of Mitchel Brothers Mill in Old Town, the little village high above Hebden bridge which, unlike Hebden, was mentioned in the Domesday Book. There were two experts on hand to help me in my search, and it was so much fun digging around in boxes of uncatalogued documents – Ok. What a nerd! I even found myself volunteering to go back for a three hour stint tomorrow to help document the documents! It turns out that this wall of boxes of barely catalogued documents were actually scheduled to be burned in a big bonfire in 2000, when a house was being sold, and the old owners had to clear out everything before the new people took possession. hebden Bridge historical society got word of the issue and stepped in and took the thousands of documents which had not been touch for 50 years into their library. Of course, in my search for Lily Hall related papers (several of which I found) I got diverted. I even found an acceptance of a proposal of marriage, as well as papers that would take hours to decipher, from the late 1600’s. One of the experts was looking online for a wonderful website that has been down since Christmas because of security issues. It is called Malcolm Bull’s Calderdale companion and it’s an amazing resource, which I’ve made some contribution to as I further my own research. However, as he typed in ‘Calderdale Companion’ the screen filled with photos of ‘Asian girls, just for you in Hebden Bridge’ and ‘Russian ladies are waiting for it in Hebden Bridge.’ We burst out laughing which brought a swift response from the other researchers who laughed along with us and commented, ‘You’re having too much fun!’ We’d barely got back to our online search when we were disturbed by a lady nailing picture hooks into the wall in the corridor outside the library. “Too much banging out there” called my expert. It took a minute for the penny to drop before the whole library erupted in fits of laughter.

My quilt project is coming along. I’ve just spent a couple of days assembling the three layers which is my least favourite part of the project. Now comes the hand quilting part.

I found this reference to Lily Hall in a 1898 newspaper:

Leeds Times – Saturday 02 April 1898

The body of Dawson Greenwood, a young married man, who resides at Lily Hall, Heptonstall. was  taken out of a reservoir in the Hardcastle Crags Valley on Friday. Greenwood had been missing from home for several days.

Drowned himself in keypit Holm Dam. Temporarily insane – West Yorkshire deaths.


I found this map of where the tragedy occurred. Sarah and Anna have been to this Mill dam at Hardcastle Crags. With Anna I walked down to it from Heptonstall.


Record of repairs to Lily Hall



The assembled quilt