KIRKBURTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1834.


"KIRKBURTON, is a township, in the parish of its name, in the wapentake of Agbrigg, West Riding, 5 miles s.e. from Huddersfield. The manufactures of the place comprise fancy stuffs, in great variety of colour and pattern ; and the village exhibits a busy scene of industry. The places of worship are the parish church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist; and chapels for Wesleyan and primitive methodists, together with one for baptists, at Dogley lane, about a mile hence, on the Huddersfield road. The living of Kirkburton is a vicarage, in the gift of the King ; the Rev. Benjamin Hutchinson is the present incumbent. A free school was endowed here in 1714, by John Horsfall, Esq. and others, for teaching thirty poor children ; at this period the income amounts to about 50. per annum. Two annual fairs are held here, on the last Monday in April, and the last Monday in October. The parish contained, at the last census, 15,731 inhabitants, and the township 2,650 of that number."

"HEPWORTH, is a village and township, in the parish of Kirkburton, about a mile and a half south-east from that village ; and the manufactures are of the same nature as those of that place ; in addition to which, there are several coal mines and stone quarries in the neighbourhood. A Wesleyan methodists' chapel is the only place of worship in the township. Population of Hepworth, at the last census, 1,229. Hinchliff Mill is a hamlet, about 1 mile south west of Holmefirth. In the neighbourhood are some powerful waterfalls, woollen manufactures, and scribbling mills. A school was erected here by subscription in 1827 ; but at present there is no place for public worship."

"HIGH BURTON, is a hamlet, in the township and parish of Kirkburton, one mile n. of that village ; chiefly dependent upon the manufacture of fancy goods, and the making of edge tools. Population returned with the township."

"HOLMFIRTH, or Holmefirth, is a populous village, partly in the townships of Wooldale and Cartworth, in the parish of Kirkburton, and partly in the township of Upper-Thong, in the parish of Almondbury, in the wapentake of Agbrigg, West Riding ; 6 miles s. from Huddersfield ; situated at the junction of the Holme and Ribbleden streams, and on the sides of three hills. The prevailing manufacture is that of woollen cloth, of which great quantities are forwarded to the Huddersfield market, as well as to other parts of the kingdom. The extent of trade in this district may be conceived from the fact, that no fewer than forty-three mills are to be found within the circuit of two miles from Holmefirth, all, with the exception of four mills, for grinding corn, employed in the various processes of the woollen manufactures.

The places of worship are the church, or rather chapel, a handsome edifice of stone, with a square tower : the living is a curacy, in the gift of the vicar of Kirkburton ; the present incumbent is the Rev. R.E.Leach. The other places of worship are a chapel for calvinists, erected in 1779, and enlarged in 1829, and a spacious chapel for the Wesleyan methodists. An excellent national school was built here in 1831, towards the erection of which the national school society granted 200, and nearly 1,000 more was subscribed by the spirited and exemplary inhabitants : it is a lofty building, in the Gothic style, and is at once an architectural ornament to the place, as the institution is an honour to those by whose means it was founded. Annual fairs take place on the last Saturday in March, the Saturday next before Old May Day, and on the first Saturday after the 26th of October. The population returns are made up with the several townships in which Holmefirth is situated."

"NEW MILL, is a thriving village, in the parish of Kirkburton, about a mile and a half n.e. from Holmefirth. Besides the woollen manufacture, for which there are several establishments ; stone quarries, and coal mines are worked to some extent, and there is a considerable brewery, and a pottery. The places of worship are Christ Church, a neat stone edifice, erected in 1830, by the parliamentary commissioners, and a chapel for unitarians. The living of this place is a curacy, under Kirkburton : the present incumbent is the Rev. Samuel Jones. It is expected that a mail between the metropolis and Halifax will be established in the course of a few months, which will pass through this village. Annual fairs are held here on the Monday before the last Wednesday in February, the first Wednesday in August, and the first Wednesday after the 14th of November, all for cattle, &c. Population returned with Kirkburton parish."

"SHELLEY, is a township, in the parish of Kirkburton, 6 miles s.e. from Huddersfield. The manufacture of fancy and other woollen goods is carried on here. In the township is a chapel each for calvinists and Wesleyan methodists. Population in 1831, 1,319."

"SHEPLEY, is a township and village, in the parish of Kirkburton, 6 miles s.s.e. from Huddersfield. Woollen cloth, blankets and stocking yarn, are the articles manufactured here, with which many of the inhabitants travel through the country. The township contained, at the last census, 893 inhabitants."

"THURSTONLAND, is a village and township, in the parish of Kirkburton, about a mile n.e. therefrom. A free school for the instruction of children of the poor of this township, was founded in 1763, by Mrs. Ann Ludlam ; the endowment at present amounts to 25. per annum : the school is conducted by Mr. Joseph Hirst.

Population of the township, in 1831, 1,098."

"WOOLDALE, is a populous township and ancient village, in the parish of Kirkburton, not far from that township, and about 6 miles s. from Huddersfield. The society of friends have a meeting house here ; and a school was erected about sixty years ago, by means of a legacy, and subscriptions, on part of the Waste given by the Duke of Leeds. Population of the township, at the last census, 3,993."

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