Calder Vale

Situated on the edge of the Forest of Bowland in a deep valley, lies the small village of Calder Vale.  The beautiful and tranquil setting of the village, which  surprisingly does not have a through road, is a very peaceful location and the only distant sounds that can be heard are from the gentle clatter of Lappet Mill’s weaving looms – but only on certain days!

The village is well known for its four story mill and mill pond, known as Lappet Mill or Calder Vale Mill, which was build in 1835 as a cotton spinning mill, powered by the River Calder.  The mill was erected by Quakers,  Richard and Jonathan Jackson and was also associated with Low Mill, where the weaving operations took place, approximately 1.5km downstream.  The brothers had a genuine concern for their workforce and their welfare and built many terraced homes with gardens, close to the mill, for the workers and their families. Whilst the majority of cotton mills have ceased to exist, Lappet Mill still operates today manufacturing the highest quality Arab head shawls also known as Shemag, Keffiyeh and Kufiya.  The head shawls are often used for protection from the desert wind and sun but are also now worn as a fashion accessory in some parts of the world.

The local church lies above the village, linking the village by a woodland path, and was built by public subscription and is situated between Calder Vale and Oakenclough.  It  was consecrated in 1863 and was dedicated to St. John the Evangelist;  the church has a lovely stone pulpit which was dedicated to WJ Garnett who provided the site for the church.

Next to St. John’s church is the village primary school, Calder Vale Church of England School, which was built at the same time as the church.  It is a very small school with about thirty pupils and two teachers.  There is also a Methodist Chapel in the centre of the village and a village hall.

For those exploring this little corner of the Forest of Bowland, there are some lovely walks around the village, particularly along the mill path, as well as walks in the beautiful surrounding countryside.  Whilst parking is very limited, being mainly for residents and mill workers, there may be some availability in the Calder Vale Country Club car park.

Nearby walk here
Wikipedia here