10. Riots & Protests – Radical history around Todmorden

Riots & Protests – Radical history around Todmorden

The first of two walks telling the story of the early radical social movements of the Upper Calder Valley while enjoying its unique topography and scenery.

On this walk you will visit a hilltop gathering place (the Basin Stones) where Chartists in the 1840s demanded the right of all men to vote; learn about the local struggle to resist building a large workhouse; and see where the Plug Riots and one of the Anti-Poor Law Riots took place. If you listen to the mobile app. downloads you will hear modern renderings of ancient Chartist songs and re-enactments of the riots.

This trail (and the accompanying one starting from Hebden Bridge) will take you back to the earlier roots of the contemporary cooperative spirit of the Upper Calder Valley; to the Chartists, the Suffragettes, the Worker’s Cooperatives, the Trade Union Movement, the early housing cooperatives and the radical Clarion Cycle Clubs. You will visit the spots associated with the predecessors of the Upper Calder Valley’s present day radicalism, not only the buildings of the Industrial Revolution but also the open spaces surrounding them where the protesters were as likely to gather to protest but also to enjoy life.

About the Trail


The walk is about 8 miles taking about 4-5 hours with rests and refreshments. Can be done as a shorter (4 mile) walk, by catching a bus back at the halfway point.

How strenuous:

This walk involves some fairly steep climbs and descents which would be described as moderate difficulty in walking guides. It requires walking boots and certainly should not be undertaken in very rainy and misty weather.

Not suitable for very young children.

Start & Finish:

The trail begins and ends at Todmorden Railway Station (Postcode: OL14 7AA, OS Grid Reference: SD 935 243).

Several buses and trains run each hour from Halifax, Leeds, Manchester, Burnley and Rochdale.

To read the script for the audio commentary, please click here Radical Todmorden

Listen to the E-trail commentaries at home

If you don’t have a mobile phone or tablet, don’t worry.  You can also listen to the E-trails on your computer at home by clicking  HERE.