HEPTONSTALL, a chapelry, in the parish of Halifax, union of Todmorden, wapentake of Morley, W. riding of York; consisting of the townships of Erringden, Heptonstall, Langfield, Stansfield, and Wadsworth; and containing 24,345 inhabitants, of whom 4791 are in the township of Heptonstall, 4 miles (N. E.) from Todmorden, and 8¼ (W. by N.) from Halifax. The township comprises about 5320 acres, of which a very considerable portion is uncultivated. It is bounded on the south by the river Calder, which passes through the chapelry, along a valley, for the space of about six miles, separating several of the townships from each other; the road from Halifax to Burnley also runs along this valley, as do the Rochdale canal and the Leeds and Manchester railway. The lands are chiefly meadow and pasture. The surface is extremely uneven, rising in some parts into hills precipitously steep, and in others being intersected with narrow rocky dells; and the higher grounds, especially Whitehill Nook and the Eaves, both of lofty elevation, command extensive views. Large stones of the sandstone kind are obtained in different places.
The village, a portion of which was burnt by the parliamentary forces in the reign of Charles I., whose cause the inhabitants had warmly embraced, is situated on the bleak and lofty summit of a precipitous hill, and is accessible by a road that traverses the steep ascent obliquely. It contains several houses of very ancient appearance; and is principally inhabited by persons employed in the numerous cotton-mills scattered throughout the neighbourhood, some of which are placed near waterfalls, and in situations of the most wildly romantic character. Fairs are held in Easter-week and in July. The chapel, dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket, was founded in the thirteenth century, and rebuilt in 1500: it is a substantial structure with a massive tower, and well adapted for the exposed situation in which it is built; it was thoroughly repaired in 1822, and contains 1000 sittings, whereof 700 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Vicar of Halifax: the income, previously £120, was augmented with £30 per annum by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in 1841. In Erringden is a second incumbency. There are places of worship for Baptists, Wesleyans, and others. The free grammar school was founded in 1642, by the Rev. Charles Greenwood, who built the school-house, and assigned property which now yields for its support, after the payment of repairs of buildings and other contingent expenses, about £60 per annum. John Greenwood, Esq., in 1823 bequeathed a rent-charge of £18. 3. 6. for the support of a Sunday school, and of a choir in the chapel. There is a mineral spring, called the Widdup Ochre Spring.