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HUDDERSFIELD: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

"HUDDERSFIELD, a parish in the upper division of the wapentake of AGBRIGG, West riding of the county of YORK, comprising the market-town of Huddersfield, the chapelries of Lindley, Longwood, Scammonden, and Slaithwaite, and a portion of Marsden, and the township of Golcar, and containing 24,220 inhabitants, of which number, 13,284 are in the town of Huddersfield, 40 miles S.W. from York, and 189 N.N.W. from London. The town possesses no claim to antiquity, having sprung up within the last century, almost entirely in consequence of the progress of the woollen manufacture, of which it is one of the principal marts in the county. The origin of its name is uncertain; though Gough, in his additions to Camden, is of opinion that it is derived from Hudard, a Saxon, whom he supposes to have gained a victory here. The town is situ- ated on the river Colne, on the high road between Leeds and Manchester, partly on the declivity, and partly on the summit, of an eminence, which is surrounded by others of superior height. The streets are regular and well paved, and contain several houses of considerable respectability; but the chief ornaments of the _townare the churches and chapels, which are principally constructed of stone; there are also several extensive mills, erected lately, for the manufacture of woollen cloth. In 1765, Sir John Ramsden, of Byram, near Ferrybridge, to whom nearly the whole of the town belongs, erected a hall for the accommodation of the manufacturers, in which they expose their goods for sale: it is a large circular building, consisting of two stories, and the interior is divided into two courts, or semicircular areas: the light is admitted through windows fronting the inner areas, the outer wall being a perfect blank the hall-is divided into avenues, and the cloth expose for sale upon stalls. Above the entrance door is a handsome cupola, in which are placed a clock and a bell, the market opening and closing at the sound of th latter. The town is lighted with gas, under the management of a joint-stock company; and supplied with water from reservoirs at Longwood and Nettleton hill, all act of parliament appointing commissioners for that purpose having been recently obtained. The chief articles of manufacture are woollen cloth (broad and narrow), serge, kerseymere, and corduroy, with a variety of fancy goods to a very considerable extent: the fancy manufacture of thistown and neighbourhood has been established within the present century, and, besides the articles already referred to, includes a great variety intended for waistcoats and pantaloons, made of worsted and cotton. The silk valentias, now so commonly exposed in the shops of thedrapers throughout the kingdom, are the produce of this neighbourhood, and, for beauty of design and texture, possess superior merit. An immense quantity of these articles is exported to the continent, and their manufacture affords employment to several thousand individuals. The manufacture of shawls, toilinets, capinets, &c., has also been introduced with success, and the shawls are acknowledged to equal the French merinos, though fabricated from British wool. The town is advantageously situated for commerce, and the inhabitants enjoy the benefit of that line of inland navigation which extends across the kingdom from the Atlantic to the German ocean. The Huddersfield canal, constructed pursuant to an act of parliament obtained in 1774, commences here, and, taking a south-westerly course, enters a tunnel near Marsden, which is about three miles and a half in length, under Pule hill and Standage, and emerges near Digloe mill, in Saddleworth, about two miles and a half from Dobcross; and after crossing the winding course of the Tame, in several places,-it leaves the county near Lydgate, and joins the Ashton and Oldham canal near Ashton under Line, whence the line extends to Manchester and Liverpool The Ramsden canal, which commences at the King's mills, close to the town, unites with the Calder at Cooper's bridge; then, by means of that river, the Aire, the Ouse, and the Humber, a navigable line extends to the German ocean; embracing in its direction the trading towns of Halifax, Wakefield, Leeds, and Hull. Th market is on Tuesday, when the doors of the hall are opened early in the morning, and closed at half past eleven; but are again opened at three, for the removal of cloth, &c. There are three fairs, viz., on the 31st of March] 4th of May, and 1st of October, chiefly for cattle. A con-" stable for the town, and a deputy constable, are chosen annually. The petty sessions for the upper division of Agbrigg are held here: and there is a court baron for the liberty and honour of Pontefract, for the recovery;of. debts under £ 5; also a court of requests, instituted under an act of parliament passed in the 33rd of George III., for the recovery of debts under 40s. Besides thes there are courts leet and baron for the manor of Almondbury, the former of which is held here, andthe latter at Almondbury, Huddersfield being within its jurisdiction. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £17 13. 4., in- the peculiar jurisdiction of the manorial court of Marsden, and in the patronage of Sir John Ramsden. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient and spacious, but plain, cruciform edifice, having a tower with battlements and pinnacles rising from the intersection. There is also a chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity, an elegant structure, occupying an elevated situation on the north-western side of the town: it was begun in 1817, and consecrated on th 10th of October, 1819, having been built at the expense of B. Haigh Allen, Esq., and contains more than one thousand five hundred sittings, of which one third arefree. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of B. Haigh Allen, Esq. Christ church, at Woodhouse, consecrated on the 28th of October, 1824, was built by John Whitacre, Esq., who holds the presentation. There are also three chapels of ease, viz., at Longwood, Deanhead, and Slaithwaite; and three new churches have been re cently built at Paddock, Golcar, and Lindley, by grants from the parliamentary commissioners, all of which are within the parish, and in the presentation of the Vicar. Besides- these, another church is now being erected in Huddersfield, to be dedicated to St. Paul. Here are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, and1 Methodists in the New Connexion, Southcotians, and Roman Catholics; those of the Independents- and the Wesleyan Methodists are large and handsome buildings. A National school, built in 1820, on ground given for the foundation of a school by John Ramsden, Esq., in 1681, is supported by voluntary contributions, and about five hundred children at present are educated in it. There is also a school of industry for girls, recently established by the ladies of Huddersfield; and two infant schools are about to be erected. A mechanics institute, with a library attached to it, was founded in 1825, and a savings bank in 1818. "A dispensary was established in 1814; and an infirmary is now being erected at the estimated expense of between £4000 and £5000. Sulphureous and chalybeate springs have been discovered at Erringden and Slaithwaite, in this parish, and at other places in the neighbourhood; and public baths, called Lockwood spa, have lately been established about three quarters of a mile from Huddersfield. These elegant and commodious baths were first opened to the public in May 1827: they are built of stone, and embrace every desirable convenience; they are abundantly supplied with the spa water, and the charges and direction of the whole are regulated by a committee of shareH holders, under the management of an experienced steward. The spa water is said to possess qualities highly beneficial in glandular, rheumatic, gouty, and dyspeptic complaints."


"GOLCAR, a chapelry in the parish of HUDDERSFIELD, upper division of the wapentake of AGBRIGG, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.W. from Huddersfield, containing 2606 inhabitants. There is a chapel now building by the Commissioners appointed under the act passed in the 58th of George &L> for promoting the erection of additional churches."


"LINDLEY, a chapelry in the parish of HUDDERSFIELD, upper division of the wapentake of AGBRIGG, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles W.N.W. from Huddersfield, containing 2040 inhabitants. A new church, or chapel, has recently been erected in this chapelry by the parliamentary commissioners, capable of accommodating eight hundred and sixtyseven persons; four hundred and fifty of the sittings are free: the estimated expense was £2615. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. Lindley school was rebuilt by subscription in 1817: the site was given, in 1706, by Thomas Thornhill, Esq., and in 1767, Samuel Haigh devised £100 to trustees, the interest of which is paid to the master, who teaches about sixty scholars on moderate terms. A considerable woollen manufacture is carried on here."


"LONGWOOD, a chapelry in the parish of HUDDERSFIELD, upper division of the wapentake of AGBRIGG, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles W.. from Huddersfield, containing 1942 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £2400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Huddersfield. A free school was founded and endowed with lands, in 1731, by William Walker, for the education of forty children of both sexes, to be elected from Longwood, Golcar, and Milnes Bridge; the annual income is £97. 11., and the master occupies the school-house, garden, and croft."


"MARSDEN, a chapelry partly in the parish of HUDDERSFIELD, but chiefly in that of ALMONDBURY, upper division of the wapentake of AGBRIGG, West riding of the county of YORK, 7 miles W.S.W. from Huddersfield, containing 2330 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with £600 private benefaction, £1000 royal bounty, and £1100 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Almondbury. Independents and Wesleyan Methodists have each a place of worship here. At the distance of half a mile, the Huddersfield and Manchester canal passes under a tunnel three miles in length."


"SCAMMONDEN, a chapelry in the parish of HUDDERSFIELD, upper division of the wapentake of AGBRIGG, West riding of the county of YORK, 7 miles W. from Huddersfield, containing, with Dean-Head, 855 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with £ 440 private benefaction, and £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Huddersiield."


"SLAITHWAITE, a chapelry in the parish of HUDDERSFIELD, upper division of the wapentake of AGBRIGG, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles W.S.W. from Huddersfield, containing 2871 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with £ 200 private benefaction, and £600 royal bounty, and in the patron,- age of the Vicar of Huddersfield. The chapel, rebuilt in 1784, will accommodate upwards of one thousand five hundred persons. The canal, and the new line of road from Huddersfield to Manchester, pass through this place. The manufacture of woollen and cotton goods is carried on to a great extent, and the prosperity of the village is likely to be promoted by the recent discovery of an excellent spa, thought to be equal in its chalybeate properties to the springs at Harrogate. A free school was founded and endowed here, in 1721, by the Rev. Robert Meek; the income, with subsequent benefactions, amounts to £42 per annum, for which twenty boys are instructed."

[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]