The village is perhaps most well known for its association with the Cragg Vale coiners, a criminal gang who clipped the edges of gold coins to make counterfeit money in the eighteenth century. Despite having murdered an official sent to investigate their activities several members were eventually captured and at least two were hanged for their crimes.
The story was fictionalised in a graphic novel entitled "The Last Coiner" by Peter Kershaw and also "The Gallows Pole" by Ben Myers, the latter title having been recently serialised as a BBC TV drama.
The road which leads through Cragg Vale carries on out of Calderdale and over moorland to Blackstone Edge. Popular as a challenge for cyclists, the Cragg Vale ascent out of the valley is claimed to be the longest continual road ascent in England, and featured in the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014.