4. The Sam Hill Story – Fortunes, feuds and scandals

Sam Hill

Follow the trail of Sam Hill, an 18th century pioneer in the Yorkshire wool trade whose personal life was full of strife.

In the early 1700s, well before the industrial revolution, Sam Hill made millions with his strong business sense. He was known, in his time, as ‘one of the greatest manufacturers in the kingdom’ – and all this happened in our seemingly quiet Ryburn Valley. He transformed the sleepy hamlet of Soyland and the area around Ripponden and Kebroyd into a highly profitable hub of international wool trading.

You will discover that while his ‘empire’ of mills, grand houses and property spread across this industrious valley, his personal life was dogged by trials and tribulations. Come and find out about Sam Hill.

About the Trail


This 3½ mile (5.6km) e-Trail will take you about 2½ hours (a bit longer if you have children with you).

How strenuous:

There are two steep hills, and two steep downhills.

Start & Finish:

The trail starts and finishes at St Bartholomew’s Church in the centre of Ripponden. (Postcode is HX6 4DF, OS Grid reference: SE04055 19769).

Come by bus from Halifax, (651\652) Hebden Bridge (900, 901) or Rochdale (X58).Get off at the bus stop by the Brig Royd surgery. Bus numbers may change, please check: www.wymetro.com

If you come by car, there are two car parks in the centre of Ripponden. Take the B6113 signposted Greetland, after 200 metres at the bottom of the hill, take a right turn called Mill Fold Way to a car park.

To read the script for the audio commentary, please click here The story of Sam Hill

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.