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Help and advice for DEWSBURY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

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DEWSBURY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

"DEWSBURY, a borough in the parish of its name, partly in the wapentake of Morley, but chiefly in the wapentake of Agbrigg, in the West Riding of the county of York, 5 miles W. of Wakefield, and 27 S.W. of York. The charter of incorporation was granted in 1861, with mayor, aldermen, and common council. It is a station on the Manchester and Leeds section of the London and North-Western railway, and is also connected with the Lancashire and Yorkshire, and the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire lines. This parish in the Saxon times was of vast extent, comprising nearly 400 square miles, and is at present very considerable, including the townships of Ossett-with-Gawthorpe, South Ossett, Hartshead, Earl's Heaton, Batley Carr, and Hanging Heaton, together comprising about 9,551 acres. The soil is fertile, resting on a substratum of carboniferous ,limestone and coal, which is extensively wrought. The town of Dewsbury is pleasantly situated at the base of a hill by the river Calder, and is a place of great antiquity, though most of the buildings of the present town are modern. There is, however, one most interesting building, now used as a granary and malt-kiln. It was formerly a rectorial manor court-house, and has some choice specimens of 13th century work. Its name is believed to have been derived from Dui, the tutelary deity of the Brigantes, to whom a votive altar, dedicated by Aureliapus, was found in the vicinity, and is still preserved at Bradley. Edwin, King of Northumbria, resided here, and was, with his whole court, converted to Christianity by Paulinus, the first Archbishop of York. This event was commemorated by a cross bearing the inscription, "Paulinus hic prædicavit et celebravit." It was placed on a gable end of the chancel of the parish church, blown down in 1805, and a fac-simile put up in 1811. For several centuries the town remained nearly stationary, but has recently greatly increased in wealth and population, owing to its situation in the midst of a rich manufacturing and mining district. The extension of the Calder and Hebble navigation, and the opening of the several lines of railway, have brought it into connection with Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Halifax, and Wakefield, and also with the river Humber. The cloth and blanket hall was erected in 1837, and the Dewsbury Church Institute established in 1842. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the manufacture of blankets, carpets, worsted, and fine woollen cloth, for the fulling of which last the water of the Calder is reckoned peculiarly suitable. Many of the houses are well built and even spacious, and the streets are lighted with gas. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ripon, value £296, in the patronage of the crown. The parish church was rebuilt in 1767. There are district churches at West Town, Dewsbury Moor, Earls Heaton, Hanging Heaton, Batley Carr, Hartshead-cum-Clifton, Ossett-cum-Gawthorpe, and South Ossett, all of which are noticed under their respective heads. The livings are all perpetual curacies, varying in value from £150 to £200. The charities produce £131 per annum. There are chapels for Wesleyans, New Connection Methodists, Baptists, Independents, Roman Catholics, and Society of Friends. There are several schools, one endowed with £100 per annum, a subscription library, and a mechanics' institute. The market day is Thursday, but a provision market is also held on Saturday. There are two annual fairs in May and September."


"BOOTHROYD, a hamlet in the township and parish of Dewsbury, wapentake of Agbrigg, in the West Riding of the county of York, 5 miles to the, W. of Wakefield."


"CHIDSWELL, a hamlet in the township of Soothill, in the parish of Dewsbury, in the West Riding of the county of York, 4 miles N.W. of Wakefield."


"CLIFTON CUM HARTSHEAD, a chapelry in the parish of Dewsbury, in the wapentake of Morley, in the West Riding of the county of York, 4 miles N. of Huddersfield. It is situated on the river Calder, near the Leeds and Manchester canal and railway, and contains the village of Kirklees. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ripon, value £202, in the patronage of the Vicar of Dewsbury. Near the village of Kirklees was a Cistercian nunnery founded in the reign of Henry II., where Robin Hood was bled to death in 1247 by the treacherous nun to whom he applied for medical aid. His tombstone is still preserved in the grounds of Kirklees Hall, the seat of Sir G. Armytage, Bart."


"CRICKHENLEY, a hamlet in the township of Soothill, parish of Dewsbury, in the West Riding of the county of York, 6 miles N.W. of Huddersfield."


"DAW GREEN, a hamlet in the parish of Dewsbury, in the West Riding of the county of York, 4 miles N.W. of Wakefield."


"DEWSBURY MOOR, a district parish in the parish of Dewsbury, in the wapentake of Agbrigg, in the West Riding of the county of York, 1 mile W. of Dewsbury. This district was severed from Dewsbury in 1837. The population is chiefly employed in the manufacture of blankets and woollen cloths, and in the collieries. The church, dedicated to St. John, was built in 1827 by aid of a parliamentary grant."


"EARLS HEATON, , (or Soothill, Nether), a hamlet and ecclesiastical district in the parish of Dewsbury, wapentake of Morley, West Riding county York, 1 mile N.E. of Dewsbury. The village, which is considerable, and built of stone, is situated on a hill. The inhabitants are mostly employed in the woollen and blanket manufactures. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Ripon, value £164, in the patronage of the Vicar of Dewsbury. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, was erected in 1827, at a cost of £5,000, granted by the parliamentary commissioners. It is a cruciform structure with tower and spire."


"GAWTHORPE, a township in the parish of Dewsbury, lower division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, West Riding county York, 1 mile E. of Dewsbury. This township is united to that of Osset, where there is a church, the living of which is a perpetual curacy,* value £162, in the gift of the Vicar of Dewsbury."


"HANGING HEATON, a hamlet in the township of Soothill and parish of Dewsbury, West Riding county York, 2 miles from Dewsbury."


"HARTSHEAD CUM CLIFTON, a township and chapelry in the parish of Dewsbury, wapentake of Morley, West Riding county York, 5 miles S.E. of Huddersfield, its post town, and 2½ from Brighouse railway station. The village of Hartshead is situated on a hill. The township is intersected by the river Calder, and contains the hamlet of Clifton and the villages of Thornhills and Kirklees, the latter place being noted as the burial-place of Robin Hood. Two-thirds of the land is pasture, the remainder arable and woodland. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the woollen manufacture and wire drawing. There are large stone quarries and some coalpits near the Calder and Hebble canal. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ripon, value £230, in the patronage of the Vicar of Dewsbury. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient stone edifice with square tower containing three bells. It contains a handsome monument to the Armytage family. There are a few small charities. Kirklees Hall is the principal residence. In 1839 an Act was obtained for enclosing the waste lands, when a court-leet was established."


"KIRKLEES, a village in the chapelry of Clifton, and parish of Dewsbury, West Riding county York, 4 miles N. of Huddersfield. It is situated on the river Calder, near the Leeds and Manchester canal and railway. Here was formerly a Cistercian nunnery, founded in the reign of Henry II., where Robin Hood was bled to death by the treacherous nun in 1247. The principal residence is Kirklees Hall, the family seat of Sir G. Armytage, Bart."


"OSSETT WITH GAWTHORPE, a township and chapelry in the parish of Dewsbury, lower division of Agbrigg wapentake, West Riding county York, 3 miles W. of Wakefield, its post town, and 1½ mile N.W. of Horbury station on the Manchester railway. It is also a station on the Wakefield and Batley branch of the West Yorkshire railway. The village, which is of large extent, is situated on the S. side of the road from Dewsbury to Wakefield, near the river Calder. The township includes the hamlets of Ossett, South Ossett, Ossett Street, and Gawthorpe. There are coal mines of great productiveness, and an extensive foundry. In the vicinity are machine manufactories, and woollen, worsted, and cotton mills, giving employment to a greater part of the inhabitants. There are also gasworks. The soil is loam and clay, with a subsoil of clay and stone. On Ossett Common are the Cheltenham Baths, the water of which contains iron and hydrogen. The vicarial tithes were commuted for land under an Enclosure Act, in 1807. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Ripon, value £162, in the patronage of the Vicar of Dewsbury. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, has a tower containing one bell. The register dates from 1792. There is a National school at Gawthorpe, erected in 1840, and licensed by the bishop for Divine service, also a free school and a Sunday-school; the former is endowed with an annuity of £24 and a residence for the master. The Independents, Wesleyans, Reformed Methodists, and Christian Brethren, have each a place of worship. There is a burial ground of recent formation, also a savings-bank, and mechanics' institute. S. W. L. Fox, Esq., is lord of the manor."


"PURLWELL, a hamlet in the township of Batley, and parish of Dewsbury, West Riding county York, 2 miles N. of Dewsbury and 6 N.W. of Wakefield."


"SHAWCROSS, a hamlet in the township of Soothill, parish of Dewsbury, West Riding county York, 2 miles from Dewsbury,"


"SOOTHILL, a township in the parish of Dewsbury, lower division of Agbrigg wapentake, West Riding county York, 1½ mile N. of Dewsbury, and 6 miles N.W. of Wakefield. The Batley railway station is in this township, The township includes the hamlets of Hanging Heaton, Chidswell, Shawcross with Haybeck, Earls-Heaton, and Chickenleg. A portion of the inhabitants are employed in the collieries and stone quarries. In the vicinity are the remains of a church, now used as a malthouse."


"SPINKWELL, a hamlet in the township and parish of Dewsbury, West Riding county York, near Dewsbury."


"THORNHILL LEES, (or Thornhills), a village and ecclesiastical district in the chapelry of Hartshead, and parish of Dewsbury, West Riding county York, 2 miles from Dewsbury, and 5 S.E. of Halifax. It is a station on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013