Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HUDDERSFIELD

HUDDERSFIELD, a town, a township, a parish, a.sub-district, and a district, in W. R. Yorkshire. The town stands on the declivities of an eminence, in the valley of the river Colne, almost in the centre of the great woollen region of Yorkshire, 10 miles N of the boundary with Derbyshire, 11 E of the boundary with Lancashire, 45 SW of York, and 189 by road, but 213 by railway, NNW of London. Railways go from it in three directions; and, by their ramifications and their junctions, give it communication with all parts of the kingdom. The Huddersfield and Ramsden canal also connects it, on the one hand, by a cut of 4 miles with the Calder navigation, giving communication with Halifax, Wakefield, Leeds, York, and Hull; on the other hand, by a cut of 19¾ miles, past Marsden, and through a tunnel of 3¼ miles among the backbone mountains of England, with the Ashton and Oldham canal near Ashton-under-Lyne, giving communication with Manchester and the Mersey. The name Huddersfield is said to be derived from Oder, or Hudder, the first Saxon resident; and, in Domesday book, it is spelt Oderesfelt. The town does not now show any mark of antiquity; nor does it make any very noticeable figure in history; yet it seems to stand on or near a seat of ancient population. Some Druidical remains, including several enormous rocking stones, are in the neighbourhood; and the site of a cromlech is still pointed out. The Roman station Campodunnm also has long been thought to have been in the neighbourhood; and, from the result of excavations made at Slack, in the township of Longwood, in 1865-6, it seems certainly to have been here. A Roman settlement appears likewise to have been on the site of the town itself; for, in 1743, the foundations of a Roman temple were found here, with many beautifully ornamented bricks, and with an altar having at the summit a patera, on one side a cornucopia, on the other side an augural staff. The town is mentioned in charters of the time of Richard II., which grant "free warren in Huddersfield to the prior and canons of Nostel;" and it appears, from a grant by Colin de Dammeville to the abbots and monks of Stanlaw, to have had profitable mills as early as 1200. But the town, as it now exists, owes its prosperity, we might say its origin, to modern manufacture; and has more than quadrupled, in both wealth and population, since the commencement of the present century. The town, besides being large in itself, is connected at the outskirts, on to considerable distances, with numerous hamlets and villages. The commissioners on parliamentary boundaries felt a difficulty in assigning limits to it as a parliamentary borough, and said, " If Moldgreen be included, no good reason can be given for shutting out the villages of Lockwood and Almondbury; and if these were taken in, together with all places containing houses which are connected with each other and the town of Huddersfield, a large tract of surrounding country would be included. The town is built almost wholly of stone; it underwent, during a number of years till 1866, great and various improvements; it presents a substantial, pleasant, prosperous, and very handsome appearance; and it has decidedly picturesque outskirts and environs. St. George's square is the most conspicuous of the improvements; has, on its different sides, the railway station and Station hotel, the Lion arcade, the George hotel, and a pile of warehouses called Britannia Buildings; and contains on a stone platform, opposite the portico of the station, a Russian trophy of two large cannons from Sebastopol. The station is a large edifice in the Grecian style, with a beautiful Corinthian portico, and was opened in 1848; the Lion arcade consists externally of elegant shops and warehouses, in the Italian style; the George hotel stands close to the station, and is one of the finest structures of its class in England; and the Britannia Buildings afford an excellent example of a bold treatment of Italian renaissance. The Union Bank, built in 1867, is in the Venetian-Gothic style, with fine tower; stands insulated, with all fronts ornamental; and its ground floor is an exchange, and two rooms the chamber of Commerce. A pile of warehouses, erected in 1 861, in St. Peter's street, challenges attention for good treatment of a feature which always requires care in the handling, the feature of rustication. John William street and several other new streets also contain numerous excellent shops, offices, and warehouses. The cloth hall was built in 1768 by Sir John Ramsden, Bart., and enlarged in 1780 by his son; is a brick structure, two stories high, forming a circle of 880 yards; has a diametrical range, one story high, dividing the interior into two semicircles; receives all its light from the inner face, there being no windows on the outside; is arranged, on the one side, into several compartments or shops, -on the other side, into open stalls; and is open for business on Tuesdays and Fridays, and attended by many hundreds of manufacturers from the surrounding villages. The gymnasium hall, in Ramsden street, was erected in 1847; is 104 feet long, 33 wide, 30 high, and handsomely fitted up; has a prosceninm and drop scene, ante rooms, gallery, top and north lights; and is used for lectures, concerts, assemblies, art exhibitions, and other public purposes. The riding school, also in Ramsden street, was erected also in 1847; is a handsome edifice, with large entrance gate, flanked by well executed has reliefs of horses in full gallop; and, besides being used as a riding academy, is now occupied also as an armoury by the Rifle Volunteers. The masonic hall, in South parade, was erected in 1838; has a gallery and organ; and includes several ante and retiring rooms. The chamber of commerce was opened in 1853, and has a well supplied reading room. The police station, for the upper Agbrigg division of the West Riding, is situated in Princess street; was opened in 1848; and contains a lock up with 5 cells, and the superintendent's house. The court house, over the lock up, was built in 1859; and is used for petty sessions every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The borough police station is in Victoria street; and the police force, in 1864, comprised 31 men, maintained at an annual cost of £2, 215. St. Peter's church was rebuilt in 1836, at a cost of nearly £10, 000; is in the perpendicular English style; comprises nave, aisles, S transept, and chancel, with a beautiful pinnacled tower; has a fine E window with five lights, and many stained glass windows; and contains a carved stone pulpit, many handsome tablets, and about 1,800 sittings. St. Paul's church, in Ramsden street, was built in 1830; is in the early English style; consists of nave, two aisles, and apse, with tower and handsome spire; and contains 1, 243 sittings. Trinity church, at Westfield, was built in 1819, at a cost of £16, 000; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower; figures picturesquely on a commanding site; and contains 1, 500 sittings. St. John's church was built in 1853, at a cost of above £7, 000; is in the perpendicular English style; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with tower and spire; has E and W windows of stained glass, in fanciful devices; and contains about 700 sittings. All Saints church, at Paddock, was built in 1830; and is in the perpendicular style, with a tower. St. Thomas' church, at Longroyd bridge, was built in 1859, at a cost of about £10, 000; was done at the expense and in memory of the Starkey family; is in the pointed style of the 13th and 14th centuries; consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and side chapels, with tower and spire; contains a reredos, a pulpit, and a font of Caen stone; and has, in the tower wall, opposite the font, an elaborate memorial tablet to the Starkeys. Christ church stands on an eminence at Woodhouse; and was built and endowed by J. Whitacre, Esq. The Independent chapel at Hillhouse was built in 1865, at a cost of nearly £3, 000; is a cruciform edifice, with geometrical tracery; and has, at an angle where two streets meet, a tower and spire 120 feet high. The Independent chapel in Highfields was rebuilt in 1844, and contains 1, 000 sittings. The Independent chapel in Ramsden street was built in 1825, and contains 1, 300 sittings. The Wesleyan chapel in Queen street was built in 1819, at a cost of £8, 000; and contains about 2, 400 sittings. The Free Wesleyan chapel in Brunswick street was built in 1859, at a cost of £7, 000; is in the Roman Corinthian style; and contains 1, 400 sittings. The Methodist New Connexion chapel, in High street, was rebuilt in 1866; and is an ornamented edifice, in the pointed style. There are other chapels also for Indepen dents, Baptists, Primitive Methodists, Bible Christians, Unitarians, and Roman Catholics. The cemetery, near New North road, was opened in 1855; comprises 12½ acres, beautifully laid out and planted; and has, in the centre, two chapels in the pointed style, joined by a wide arch, with surmounting spire. The college, in New North road, was built in 1838, for affording a liberal education to the sons of gentry; is a castellated edifice; comprises two schools, the lower or preparatory, and the upper or collegiate; and is affiliated to the London university. The collegiate institution, at Clare hill, was erected in 1839, also for the education of the sons of gentry; is an edifice in the pointed style, with grounds of about 2¼ acres; and has an exhibition of £20 a year. There are national schools, British schools, and schools connected with churches and with chapels. The philosophical hall, in Ramsden street, was erected in 1837, at a cost of about £3, 000; is in the Grecian style; has been transformed into a theatre; and is used also for lectures, concerts, assemblies, and public meetings. The mechanics' institution, in Northumberland street, was built in 1861, at a cost of £4, 500; is a three story edifice, in the Italian style; and contains a large hall, 17 class rooms, library, and reading rooms. There are likewise a female educational institute, a Huddersfield church institute, and a literary and scientific society. The Huddersfield and Upper Agbrigg infirmary, in New North road, was built in 1831, at a cost of £7, 518, and extended shortly before 1861, at a cost of £4, 000; is in the Doric style, with tetrastyle portico; and has accommodation for about 60 patients. The institution for the blind was built in 1868; and is a plain Gothic edifice, four stories high. The model lodging house in Chapel hill, was erected in 1854. The endowed charities amount to about £250 a year. The town has a head post office, ‡ a telegraph station, and five banking offices; is a polling place, and the seat of a county court; and publishes two weekly newspapers. Weekly markets for woollen goods are held on Tuesday and Friday; a weekly market for general produce, on Saturday; and fairs on 31 March, 14 May, and 4 Oct. A large amount of water power, for the driving of machinery, is afforded by the streams in the town and in its neighbourhood; and this has very greatly fostered manufacturing industry. Coal also is abundant in the neighbourhood, giving an annual output of nearly 400 tons; and this has contributed to the same result. The woollen. manufacture has here one of its chief seats; and is carried on in all varieties of plain and fancy fabrics, both broad and narrow, and in serges, cashmeretts, pilots, mohair cloths, sealskin cloths, and woollen and Bedford cords. The manufacture of an endless variety of fancy goods, in worsted, silk, and cotton, including trouserings, waistcoatings, shawls, fancy dress skirts, and elegant, delicate, and prime dresses, is carried on. The cotton trade likewise is prominent and increasing; and includes spinning, doubling, and cotton work manufacturing. Silk spinning is carried on in several mills. The manufacture of steam engines, engine boilers, hydraulic presses, and the various kinds of machines and implements used in the several sorts of factories, is carried on in several extensive foundries. There are also dye houses, breweries, and an extensive organ manufactory. The households, for the most part, bake their own bread; so that there are few bakers' shops. Public and subscription baths are at Lockwood. A supply of water, to the amount of 13 gallons per head daily, is obtained from water works, constructed at considerable cost and occupying an area of 12 acres, at Longwood; and a scheme for fully doubling the supply was projected in 1865, to be carried out at an estimated cost of £100, 000 or £120, 000. The town is governed by a board of 21 commissioners, appointed in terms of a local act of 1848; and it was created a borough, with one parliamentary representative, by the act of 1832. The parliamentary borough and the township are co extensive; but the boundary of the jurisdiction of the Improvement Commissioners is 1, 200 yards from the old market place. Acres of the borough, 3, 950. Constituency in 1865, 2, 138. Real property in 1860, £138, 264; of which £1, 830 were in mines, £92 in quarries, £540 in canals, and £3, 000 in gas works. Pop. in 1851, 30, 880; in 1861, 34, 877. Houses, 6, 955. The township, as already stated, is conterminate with the borough; but it nevertheless includes the hamlets of Fartown, Bradley, Deighton-with-Sheepridge, and Marsh-with-Paddock.—The parish contains also the townships of Slaithwaite, Golcar, Longwood, Scammonden, Lindley-cum-Quarmby, and part of Marsden. Acres, 15, 080. Real property in 1860, exclusive of the part of Marsden township, £176, 324; of which £2, 230 were in mines, and £252 in quarries. Pop. in 1851, 46, 130; in 1861, 52, 254. Houses, 10, 437. The manor belongs to Sir John W. Ramsden, Bart. The. livings are St. Peter, St. Paul, Holy Trinity, St. John, St. Thomas, Christ Church-with-Bradley, All Saints, Golcar, Lindley, Longwood, Scammonden, and Slaithwaite-with-Lingards. Seven of them are vicarages, the others p. curacies, in the dio. Of Ripon. Value of St. Peter, £503;* of St. Paul, £300; * of H.T., £228; of St. J., £200; of ST.T., £290; ofwith-B., A. S., and Long., each £150;* of G. and Lind., each £300;* of Sc., £186; * of Sl., £192. Patron of St. Peter and St. John, Sir J. W. Ramsden, Bart.; of H. T., B. H. Allen, Esq.; of St. T., Mrs Starkey; of C.with-Bradley, the Bishop; of the others, the Vicar of H. The sub-district is conterminate with the borough or township.—The district comprehends also the sub-district of Golcar, containing the townships of Golcar, Longwood, Scammonden, and Lindley-cum-Quarmby; the sub-district of Slaithwaite, partly in Almondbury parish, and containing the townships of Slaithwaite, Marsden, Lingards, and part of Linthwaite; the sub-district of Meltham, containing the Almondbury townships of Meltham and South Crosland; the sub-district of Houley, containing the Almondbury townships of Honley and Netherthong; the sub-district of Holmfirth, containing the Almondbury townships of Holme, Upperthong, and Austonley, and parts of the Kirkburton townships of Cartworth and Wooldale; the sub-district of Newmill, all in Kirkburton parish, and containing the townships of Hepworth and Fulstone, and parts of Cartworth and Wooldale; the sub-district of Kirkburton, chiefly in Kirkburton parish, but partly also in Elmley, Silkstone, and High Hoyland parishes, and containing the townships of Thurstonland, Shepley, Shelley, Kirkburton, Cumberworth, and Half-Cumberworth; the sub-district of Almondbury, containing the Almondbury townships of Almondbury and Farnley-Tyas; the sub-district of Kirkheaton, conterminate with Kirkheaton parish; and the sub-district of Lockwood, all in Almondbury parish, and containing the township of Lockwood and part of Linthwaite. Acres, 66, 560. Poor rates in 1863, £32,773. Pop. in 1851, 123,860; in 1861, 131,336. Houses, 26,646. Marriages in 1862, 1,121; births, 4,797-of which 363 were illegitimate; deaths, 2,940, -of which 1,206 were at ages under 5 years, and 26 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 9,994; births, 47,690; deaths, 28,016. The places of worship, in 1851, were 41 of the Church of England, with 26,375 sittings; 1 of the English Presbyterian Church, with 100 s.; 14 of Independents, with 6,434 s.; 11 of Baptists, with 5,487 s.; 2 of Quakers, with 665 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 220 s.; 37 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 11,930 s.; 10 of New Connexion Methodists, with 3,084 s.; 1 5 of Primitive Methodists, with 2,190 s.; 3 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 656 s.; 1 of the New Church, with 452 s.; 3 undefined, with 300 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 250 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 400 s. The schools were 83 public day schools, with 9, 682 scholars; 171 private day schools, with 5, 334 s.; 130 Sunday schools, with 22,800 s.; and 26 evening schools for adults, with 1, 254 s. There are four workhouses, in respectively Huddersfield, Golcar, Deanhouse, and Kirkheaton. Plans for a new workhouse at Birkby were before the Board of Guardians in Feb. 1865; the main building to be three stories high, 268 feet long, and 52 feet wide; an attached hospital to be also three stories high, 68 feet long and style, to accommodate 456 inmates, and to cost between £11,000 and £12,000. But at April 1866 the erection was indefinitely postponed.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Yorkshire AncC
Place: Huddersfield

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