Leeds Mercury (30/May/1930) - "To Hades and Back for 1/-"

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


Neither Fire Nor Brimstone.

(From Our Special Correspondent.) HADES (Yorks.), Thursday.

I went to Hades yesterday. Aptly enough, the journey was made via Paris, and the travelling expenses amounted to one shilling. Unfortunately the Paris I visited had no boulevards. This was balanced by the fact that Hades had neither fire nor brimstone.

Hades is a delightful little hamlet about two miles from Holmfirth. It can only be visited after an arduous walk. Leaving the 'bus at Newmill, I climbed the steep Greenhill Bank Road to the village of Totties. On through the straggling village of Scholes to a smaller village with the quaint name of Paris.

The road then led through the beautiful Dean Valley to Hepworth, and then to the right between Morton Wood and Dean Wood, the latter a small coppice from which at intervals came bursts of song from a cuckoo. The road here changes somewhat from the smooth surface to the country type, with huge rocks thrusting their way upwards through the brown, sandy surface.

Passing Cartworth Reservoir on the right, I reached Snittlegate, where the shining oil lamps in the windows contrasted with the mills and machinery in the valley below. Turning left, Mount Pleasant and Magnum came into sight, the latter place having a little church of which the residents are very proud. I was shown the inside of this church, and the information was volunteered to me that they have some “reight gooid times” there in winter. The pews and pulpit are “sided.” and while “th’owd uns are laking cards, t’young uns set to dancing.” And this is moorland 1,000 feet above sea level.


Just ahead lay the pathetic figure of Cook’s Study, a familiar landmark for many generations The building was formerly used as a shooting box by the Stanhopes of Cannon Hall, and afterwards was a study for a Holmfirth clergyman. Its glory is now almost departed, and the storms which beat incessantly on this ragged spur of moorland have battered it to the ground. It is now little but a crumbling ruin, and its value as a landmark is almost gone

In the valley below, nestling among the hills, I came across Hades, which lies between two small woods extending down to the edge of a small reservoir. Its appearance is remarkable; a more typically English scene cannot be imagined.

Passing through an old farmyard, I found my way barred by two bristling dogs, somewhat like the dog Cerberus, which guarded the Hades of old. They were hauled indoors by a farmer, and I proceeded towards Hades.

The place surprised me. Although smoke issued peacefully from a small squat chimney, there was no sound from the surrounding farms. The only inhabitants seemed to be a small group of industrious bens and a few curious sheep and lambs.


Although I wandered long among the trees and buildings. Hades still appeared to sleep, and the ghostly silence of the place was only broken by the occasional barking of a dog from the farm above, and the whirring ascent of a pheasant or grouse.

I climbed fences, crossed streams and closely examined the houses and surrounding outbuildings, but the inhabitants refused to be drawn from their seclusion. Hades slumbered on.

I left the place as quietly as I entered it, crossing an old weather-beaten stone bridge and along a footpath through once-cultivated land which is now fighting a losing battle against the advancing moors.

Cook’s Study was left behind in the shadowy distance, like the Dark Tower in Browning’s “Childe Roland.”