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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.

Where to download the app:

For iPhone/iPad: Go to the Apple Store from your iPhone or iPad & search for Pennine Horizons. ** For iPads you must select the tab 'for iPhone only', or it will not find the Pennine Horizon App.

For Android: Open the Play Store & search for Pennine Horizons. Click on the application & follow the instructions to download.

Where to buy a guide:

The guide is available in various bookshops & Tourist Information Centres around the area.

You can also buy a copy, by popping in to the Birchcliffe Centre, Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8DG. Or dropping us a line at info@pennine-horizons.org.uk or calling on 01422 844450.

More information

For more information about the area where Sam Hill lived and worked visit the Ryburn Valley History Society website www.ryburnhistory.org.uk.

Phyllis Bentley’s book Manhold, which is based on Sam Hill’s story, is out of print, but it may be available from your local library or online.

Other walks in the area:
  • Ripponden Parish Council has produced a leaflet with information and walks in the Ripponden area. You can pick one up at Toll House Jewellers, Green Door Café, and The Bridge Inn in the centre of Ripponden.
  • Hebden Bridge Walkers Action has produced a series of walks from the 901 bus. Several of the walks are in the Ryburn Valley area. Details at www.hbwalkersaction.org.uk.
  • Calderdale Heritage Walks have a guided walk about Sam Hill, led by Anne Kirker. Details at www.calderdaleheritagewalks.org.uk.
  • ‘Walks around Ripponden’ – a leaflet with three short walks in the area. Available from Tourist Information Centres.

With thanks to; Anne Kirker for her invaluable knowledge about Sam Hill. The volunteer group who researched, walked and wrote the walk and audio downloads. The volunteer actors who brought Sam's story to life - Peter Armitage, Michael Hellawell and Char March. CROWS (Community Rights of Way Service) volunteers who upgraded and way-marked the route.