CLECKHEATON, a township, in the parish of Birstal, union of Bradford, wapentake of Morley, W. riding of York, 9 miles (W.) from Leeds; containing 4299 inhabitants. This township, which is situated in a rich and fertile vale, includes the hamlets of Oakenshaw and Scholes, and comprises by admeasurement 1686 acres; Miss Currer is lady of the manor. Several coal-mines of excellent quality are in operation, and a quarry of freestone of inferior kind is worked. From its favourable situation on the Leeds and Elland, Leeds and Halifax, and Bradford and Dewsbury roads, the place is well adapted for the woollen and worsted manufactures, which, together with the making of cards and machinery used in the woollen-trade, are carried on to a great extent; there are also two iron-foundries. Vast quantities of cloth for the army are made. The village is situated on the slope of a hill commanding a fine view of the vale, whose acclivities are richly wooded, and of the surrounding country, which abounds with picturesque scenery. It is neatly built and well lighted with gas from works established in 1837, at an expense of £4000, by a proprietary of £10 shareholders; a newsroom is supported by subscription, and there is a mechanics' institution, established in 1838. Considerable improvements have recently taken place in the village, and numerous villas have been erected in the immediate vicinity. Fairs for cattle, which are well attended, are held on the first Thursday in April, and on the last Thursday in August.
The chapel called the White chapel, about a mile from the village, was rebuilt about a century since, by Dr. Richardson, of Bierley, and again, on a larger scale, in 1821; it is a neat edifice in the early English style, and contains 800 sittings, of which 186 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Miss Currer; net income, £150. A district church dedicated to St. John was erected on a site given by the late Mrs. Beaumont, of Bretton Hall, by a grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners, at an expense of £2700, and consecrated in 1832; it is in the early English style, with a square embattled tower crowned by pinnacles, and contains 500 sittings, of which 60 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Birstal; net income, £150, with a glebe-house. The Independents and Wesleyans have places of worship. There were some remains of a Roman camp, which have long been obliterated by the plough; and many coins, chiefly of the Lower Empire, have been found on the site. Several coins, also, were discovered in earthen jars near Scot Lane, in 1818 and 1830.