Holmfirth

HOLMFIRTH, a large manufacturing village and a chapelry, partly in the parish of Almondbury, but chiefly in that of Kirk-Burton, union of Huddersfield, Upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York, 6 miles (S.) from Huddersfield, and 181 (N.) from London. This place derives its name from the river Holm, over which are two stone bridges, and lies in a vale sheltered by lofty hills, and distinguished by features of romantic beauty. It has risen into importance within the last 50 years, and is indebted for its prosperity to the advantage of its situation in the vicinity of Huddersfield, and to numerous springs of peculiarly soft water rising in the surrounding hills, which led to the formation of large establishments for the manufacture of woollen-cloths. The village, which is very irregularly built, is lighted with gas, under an act passed in 1839. Here are from 30 to 40 mills and factories, affording employment to more than 5000 persons; the machinery is impelled by powerful streams descending from the hills, and the cloths are equally unrivalled for their durability and the beauty and permanence of their colour. Three reservoirs for water were lately made, at a cost of £30,000, under an act of parliament, for the supply of the mills. Facility of intercourse is afforded by good roads leading to Wakefield and Barnsley on the east, to Manchester on the west, to Huddersfield on the north, and to Sheffield and Buxton on the south. Fairs are held on the Saturday after March 27th, the Saturday before Old May-day, and the Saturday after October 28th; and the village is a polling place for the West riding. The powers of the county debt-court of Holmfirth, established in 1847, extend over part of the parishes of Almondbury and Kirk-Burton. The chapelry includes four townships: the living is a perpetual curacy; patron, the Vicar of Kirk-Burton; net income, £150. The church, a handsome and spacious edifice with a tower, was enlarged in 1837, at a cost of £450. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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