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Woodcraft Folk's Height Gate is 25

Saturday 8 June 2024

Admiring the firepit, and remembering camp fires past

Today, members, past members and supporters of the Woodcraft Folk, celebrated 25 years since Height Gate was opened as a camping barn.

Height Gate is a seventeenth century farmhouse high above the Calder Valley between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. It is owned by the Woodcraft Folk

On 10 October, 1999, the then Guardian northern correspondent, Martin Wainwright, with the help of young Woodcraft elfins, unveiled the plaque.

Christine McCafferty, our MP at the time, gave a speech and planted a rowan tree. The Woodcraft children performed the Height Gate Rap.

Sadly, the rowan tree didn't survive but was replaced shortly afterwards by two oak trees which are still thriving.

As part of the birthday celebration, the Mayor of Todmorden, Ben Jancovich, assisted by some of the younger visitors, planted a third oak tree - see above.

Those who hadn't visited for some years saw many changes, including beds for over 30 people, a well-equipped kitchen, main living room with wood-pellet stove and a downstairs wheelchair accessible bedroom with a bunk bed. The field for tents which, 25 years ago, was the only accommodation, is still there for those preferring to sleep under canvas.

After the tree planting and a tour of the building and outdoors, it was time for the young ones to serve cake.

There was plenty of time to mingle and catch up with old friends.

Situated just below Stoodley Pike, Height Gate is reached by a hilly farm track about one mile up from the main A646. There are limited passing places along the track, so long steep reversing may be required. With dozens of nearby footpaths, the barn is ideally situated for walking and exploring the hills, moors and woods that surround it.

See also

HebWeb report, unchanged from October 1999. The Internet was very much in its infancy and the photos were taken with the first generation of digital cameras.

HebWeb Woodcraft page - also unchanged in 25 years.

Height Gate Barn - for booking and more info

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