Snickets and ginnels are Northern terms for what Southerners call alleyways – similarly, cat steps are an East Lancashire and West Yorkshire term for a type of stone made short cut on a steep hill. In short, cat steps are a local term for stone steps or setts on a steep hill that provide a short cut from one place to another.
In a Historic England List Entry (Number: 1001557) on Shroggs Park states ‘The steps lead to the paths that are surfaced with stone setts, which incorporate a distinctive raised run of setts at frequent intervals. This configuration is known locally as cat steps and was designed to aid grip on the stone paths.’
Cat steps or catsteps, also known as cat’s steps. A man-made set of steps, usually made of stone, that create a shortcut on a steep hill. They often lead from a residential or more rural area to and industrial area and, in the past, they often provided a short cut to mills and quarries. A common configuration for cat steps is stone setts with raised runs and this configuration is particularly common in more industrial towns such as Halifax. Not all steep inclines with a configuration of stone setts with raised runs are cat steps – if this were the case, every short run of this type on a towpath by a lock or on a residential footpath would be cat steps. It is a defining characteristic that cat steps are short cuts that take you from one distinct area to another. Some cat steps are partly made of boarded soil but this is probably because the stone has been lost over time or the steps have been extended. The term cat steps is similar to snicket or ginnel. Snickets and ginnels are Northern terms for what Southerners call alleyways – similarly, cat steps are an East Lancashire and West Yorkshire term for a type of stone made short cut on a steep hill.
CAT STEPS IN HOLYWELL GREEN
The cat steps in Holywell Green are a short cut from Shaw Park to Jagger Green, This public footpath was found by the Parish Council to be in a state of disrepair the walls having fallen down and the pathway was overgrown with weeds and undergrowth. The bollards at the bottom had become broken and rusted.
Before & after renovation photos