Life in heavenly Huddersfield hamlet where everyone wants to live but fear the microclimate

"We have a neighbour who moved in who says this place is like heaven - it is so peaceful and quiet."

With views across the rolling pasture to Emley Moor mast, Castle Hill and, in the other direction, Black Dick's Tower, there's no denying that the hamlet of Houses Hill is an oasis of calm, even if the M1 and M62 motorways aren't too distant.

Back in the mists of time, Houses Hill, between Lepton and Kirkheaton, Huddersfield, would have been a hive of activity as it was surrounded by mines and mills, but today you will mostly hear birdsong, cows, and the occasional hiker or cyclist. Sometimes, there are foxes, badgers and even wild deer.

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First-time visitors to the hamlet may immediately spot the bizarrely named Long Tongue Scrog Lane. Even locals think it's an odd name for a road. Last year the road sign disappeared, probably stolen by someone with an eye for the strange.

The late historian George Redmonds explained the origins of the name a while back, saying: "Scrog is a dialect word meaning scrubby - the lane is Scrog Lane, but it runs along a narrow field which looks like a long tongue."

Being a dead end, Long Tong Scrog Lane is normally very quiet, but locals do sometimes see confused drivers turning around having relied on a sat-nav that doesn't realise the road tapers off into a narrow and overgrown footpath. Follow it and you will arrive at the bottom of Kirkheaton.

Grace, who is the fourth generation to live in Houses Hill, says it once had a chapel, a club and a 'shop in a house' but now there are only fields and a few houses, some old and some modern. One of Huddersfield's oldest houses, Royd Farm, built around 1350, can be found on Long Tongue Scrog Lane.

Grace says newcomers tend to marvel at the beauty and seclusion offered by Houses Hill.

"It has become a sought-after place. My sister in law says Houses Hill is a place where people go to get out of the way and off the radar."

She says a neighbour referred to the hamlet as 'heaven' because it is so peaceful.

"It's a nice place. You do feel like you are in the middle of the countryside. It's secluded and you feel like you are in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales."

Andrew, 56, who was visiting a relative in Houses Hill, says not everyone writes out their address as 'Long Tongue Scrog Lane'.

"We don't put it down as it's a faff. It's easier to just put the house number and then Houses Hill."

He does think it's an amusing name.

"It raises a smile. It's an interesting name isn't it, a bit unusual."

But for newcomers, the relative peace can easily be shattered by the Pennine weather which can be harsh. In the distance, lofty Castle Hill appears to be about level with Houses Hill which itself is quite an elevated settlement.

Stuart, who has lived in the hamlet since 1979, says Houses Hills sits at around 780ft above sea level. He's particularly fond of the view out towards Lascelles Hall Cricket Club.

He and Grace say it's obvious when bad weather is on its way.

"We can see the wet and windy weather coming," says Grace. "But if you go out and down to Mirfield the weather is different down there."

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