Book Now

The Cragg Vale Coiners

Many books and articles have been written about the infamous Cragg Vale Coiners, such as Clip a Bright Guinea by John Marsh, and The Yorkshire Coiners by Steve Hartley but arguably the best known is The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers. All follow the same true story of David Hartley who inspired a group of local men to embark on a criminal enterprise which brought short term financial gain but ultimately led to his death by hanging on April 28 1770 at Tynburn near York.

David Hartley was a local lad who moved to Birmingham to learn metal working and after he got into a bit of trouble, he bid a hasty retreat back to Bell House Farmhouse in Cragg Vale near Mytholmroyd in the Calder Valley. Using his iron skills, he set up a gold coining business where he trimmed shavings off legal tender and cast new ones which were put into local circulation via the obliging publicans nearby. Soon about 30 other local land workers joined the gang but eventually rumours of their activities reached the local excise man William Deighton so a plot was initiated to get rid of him. He was murdered on November 10 1769 and the government offered a £100 reward for information.

To find out what happened next you need to watch a new 3 part series starting on Wed 31 May at 21.00 on BBC2. Based on the book The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers, Shane Meadows (creator of ‘This is England’) is the screenwriter with Michael Sorcha of ‘This is England’ fame playing “King David” Hartley and also Tom Burke recently seen as Cormoran Strike in ‘Strike’, George McKay, Thomas Turgoose and Sophie McShera. Filmed in Calderdale, this is the latest Callywood drama.

For more information about the Cragg Vale Coiners, we suggest you visit the Bankfield Museum in Halifax and take a look at

If you fancy a walk around the area where it all took place, take a look at an illustrated 10km walk produced by local cartographer Christopher Goddard which incorporates the main coining locations, ancient woods, stunning moorlands and amazing views.

Clip a Bright Guinea (John Marsh)
The Coiners Walk (Christopher Goddard)

Please follow and like us:
Book Now

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved