HUDDERSFIELD: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1834.


"HUDDERSFIELD, is a populous and flourishing manufacturing and market town and township ; and by the Reform Bill created a parliamentary borough, in the parish of its name, in the wapentake of Agbrigg, West Riding ; 189 miles from London, 40 s.w. from York, 24 n.e. from Manchester, 16 s.w. from Leeds, 14 s. from Bradford, and 7 s.s.e. from Halifax. The town, which derives its name from Oder or Hudder, the first Saxon colonist in the place, is situated on the high road between Manchester and Leeds, partly on the declivity, and partly on the summit of an eminence, which is surrounded by others of superior height, while the river Colne glides through the valley. The houses are principally built of light-coloured stone, in a neat style, and the general appearance of the town, which has of late years wonderfully increased in magnitude, is of a character calculated to inspire the traveller with the impression that its inhabitants are wealthy and respectable. Sir John Ramsden, Bart. is lord of the manor, and the almost sole proprietor of the property here. This gentleman holds a court-leet once a year, at Almondbury ; a court of requests for the recovery of debts under 40s. is held in a neat building in Queen street, where, also, the magistrates sit on Tuesdays and Saturdays ; and a court is held twice in the year, at the George Inn, for the liberty of the honour of Pontefract, for pleas of debt or damages under 5. Huddersfield, under the provisions of the Reform Bill, sends one member to parliament. The number of persons, however, entitled to exercise the elective franchise in the borough, is little more than six hundred, of whom only four hundred and eighty-nine voted at the last election (January1834), when the candidates put in nomination were, --- Blackburn, Esq. M.T.Sadler, Esq. and Captain Wood. The first-named gentleman was elected by a considerable majority, having polled 234 votes, Mr. Sadler 147, and Captain Wood 108. The new Boundary Act (an appendage to the Reform Bill,) defines the limits of the borough to comprise the entire township of Huddersfield ; and the same appoints the town as one of the stations for receiving votes at the election of members to represent the West Riding.

The manufactures of Huddersfield and neighbourhood are principally woollens, and consist of broad and narrow cloths, serges, kerseymeres, cords, &c.; fancy goods, to a great extent, are also made here, embracing shawls and waistcoatings in great variety, besides articles from silk. The cotton trade is also carried on, although nothing to be compared in extent with the other branches already named. Amongst the principal buildings is the cloth-hall, erected by Sir John Ramsden, in the year 1765. It is a large circular edifice, two stories high, divided, on the one side, into separate compartments, or shops, and, on the other, into open stalls, for the accommodation of the country manufacturers of woollen cloths. There are also two central avenues of stalls, for the same purpose, and the number of manufacturers now attending there on the market day (Tuesday) is about 600. If to this be added, the great number (particularly in the fancy line) who have ware-rooms in various parts of the town, some estimate may be formed of the immense extent of business transacted weekly in Huddersfield. The doors are opened early in the morning of the market-day, and closed at half-past twelve o'clock at noon, they are again opened at three in the afternoon, for the removal of cloth, &c. Above the entrance is placed a cupola, in which is a clock and bell, used for the purpose of regulating the time allowed for doing business. (The names of the manufacturers who attend the market at the Hall, may be obtained of the keeper.)

The inland navigation of Huddersfield affords to its trade the most ample advantages, both to the east and to the west ; the Ramsden and Huddersfield canals communicating with others and their branches, an intercourse is kept up with all the great commercial and manufacturing towns. There are many streams in the neighbourhood, and the rivers Holme and Colne here unite and fall into the Calder, three miles below the town. Upon these streams a number of mills are erected, principally employed in the manufacture of woollens, and fulling and washing the cloth, &c. The town is chiefly supplied with coal from colleries at Mirfield, Emley Moor and Upper Flockton, and is well lighted with gas, the streets well paved and cleaned, and their general aspect highly creditable to the inhabitants.

The edifices constructed for divine worship and belonging to the town, are St. Peter's -- the parish church, a building of ancient and stately appearance ; it was rebuilt in the reign of Henry the 7th, and steps are now being taken for its thorough repair. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of Sir John Ramsden, and incumbency of the Rev. J.C.Franks, whose curate is the Rev. J. Pope. -- Trinity church, is a beautiful Gothic structure, erected at an expense of 12,000, by B.H.Allen, Esq. of Greenhead, in 1819 ; the incumbent is the Rev. H.Withy ; the living is in the gift of Mrs. Davies, late the widow of the founder. -- St. Paul's church, is a recent erection, having been raised in 1831 : in the early English style of architecture, the patronage is in the vicar, and the present incumbent is the Rev. J. Bywater. The other places of worship in and near the town are two large chapels belonging to the methodists, and others for the use of the baptists, independents, society of friends, and catholics. The chapel of the latter is a very ornamental edifice, and that of the methodists, in Queen street, one of the largest in the kingdom. The principal charitable institution is an infirmary, lately erected on the Halifax road, and which, in addition to the laudable purposes for which it was established, is a considerable acquisition to the town in point of ornament. There are also bible and other societies for the diffusion of religious knowledge ; a mechanics' institute, established in 1825 ; numerous Sunday schools, and one, upon an excellent principle, for the instruction of infants. Naturally this part of the country is barren and unproductive, but its local advantages for manufacture, from its waterfalls, and having coal mines contiguous, has caused the assemblage of a great population ; and the soil has gradually yielded to the labours of the agriculturist and husbandman, until at length it has become valuable, and available to the wants of those who have established themselves upon it. The surrounding hills, therefore, are now cultivated to their summits, from which the views are very extensive, particularly that from 'Castle Hill', from whence, on a clear day, may be obtained a glimpse of York cathedral. There are many handsome residences in the neighbourhood, and about three quarters of a mile from the town are Lockwood Waters, noticed more at large in our sketch of that village. The market day is Tuesday, which is well supplied with every necessary. The fairs are March 31st, May 4th, and October 1st, for cattle and horses ; the May fair is the principal one. By the parliamentary returns for 1811, the whole parish of Huddersfield contained 18,182 inhabitants, in 1821, 24,220, and in 1831, 31,041, of which last number 19,035 were returned for the township, being an increase in twenty years of upwards of eleven thousand in the township, and of more than twenty-six thousand in the entire parish."

"GOLCAR, is a populous township, in the parish of Huddersfield, in the upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, West Riding; extending from about two to five miles west from Huddersfield. The manufacture of coarse woollen cloths, chiefly for the Huddersfield market is carried on here very extensively; and finer cloths are likewise made, with which some of the inhabitants travel through different parts of the country. In the production of these articles a very considerable power from water and steam is employed: there being in motion, in the two townships of Golcar and Longwood, twelve water wheels, of the united power of 170 horses, and three steam engines, equal to the exertion of fifty-seven horses. In Golcar a new church was erected in 1829, from the fund placed at the disposal of the commissioners appointed by parliament for the erection of additional churches; it is dedicated to St. John; the living is in the presentation of the Vicar of Huddersfield. Here are also two free schools, erected by subscription in 1816; and one upon the national plan, opened in 1831. The township contained, according to the parliamentary census of 1831, 3,143 persons."

"LINDLEY, or Lindley-cum-Quarmby, is a township, in the parish of Huddersfield, about two miles s.w. of that town. The manufacture of woollen goods is carried on extensively in the township. In 1829 a church was erected here by the parliamentary commissioners, in the early style of English architecture. The living is in the gift of the Vicar of Huddersfield, and the present incumbent is the Rev. John Classon Courtney. The other places of worship are, two chapels for methodists, and one for baptists. A school is conducted here upon the national plan. The township contained, at the last census, 2,306 inhabitants. Deighton and Sheepridge form a populous portion of the hamlet of Fartown, in the parish of Huddersfield, about two miles n.e. by e. from that town. The manufacture of velveteen and woollen cords are the branches prevailing here. In 1824, Christchurch, a beautiful & chaste edifice -- the architecture in the style of the 13th century, was erected at Woodhouse, at the expense of John Whitacre, Esq., in whom and his heirs, by act of parliament, is vested the patronage of the living : the present incumbent is the Rev. W. C. Madden. The methodists have a place of worship here. Population returned with the parish. Paddock is a populous hamlet, in the parish of Huddersfield, of which it may now be considered as forming a part : it contains the church of All Saints, a handsome structure, erected in 1829 : the living is in the patronage of the Vicar of Huddersfield : the present incumbent is the Rev. E. Brown. The society of friends have a meeting-house in this hamlet. Population returned with the parish."

"LONGWOOD, is a chapelry, in the parish of Huddersfield, approaching to within about a mile and a quarter of Huddersfield, and extending to about four miles and a half n.w. from it. The manufactures are of the same nature as those existing in Golcar. The places of worship here are a chapel of ease, subject to Huddersfield, and a meeting - house for dissenters. A free school was founded and endowed here by William Walker, in 1731, for the education of forty children of both sexes, who are taught reading, writing, and some of the necessary rules in arithmetic. About two miles from Huddersfield, near the main road leading to Manchester, is the village of Milns-Bridge, where are several woollen cloth manufactories, and scribbling mills. The machinery employed here, include four water wheels, of forty-five horse power, and two steam engines, equal to that of six horses. Longwood chapelry contained, at the last census, 2,111 inhabitants."

[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]