The valley is crossed by Butternab Road.
By the 1840s, the area was home to the Dean Wood Beer House — later known as the Odd Fellows' Arms and then the Big Valley Hotel — and a small number of properties at Delves, along with properties on what is now known as Wood End Road.
The main route along the valley side was the Lockwood and Meltham Turnpike (est. 1818) — now known as Meltham Road — with access through to Armitage Bridge via a steep path leading down from Wood End to Armitage Fold. The 1854 Ordnance Survey map also shows a footpath running along the bottom of the valley.
In January 1862, plans were announced for the building of a new road from Big Valley to Armitage Fold and for the stopping-up of the access route via Wood End. The new road was to cross fields belonging to John Brooke and local dyeworks owner George Senior Tolson, and was described as being "twenty-one feet wide, including a footway three feet wide."
In April 1865, workmen clearing a quickset hedge in the area found the remains of a horse pistol, which some believed to have been one of the four used to shoot mill-owner William Horsfall in 1812.
The 1880s saw improvements and widening of the road to Butternab, to provide access to the southern entrances of Beaumont Park.
By 1892, a row of properties known as Spring Vale Terrace had been built at the lower end of Big Valley.
The last remaining building to be named after the area, Big Valley Garage, was demolished in September 2017.