Huddersfield facts for kids
A view of Huddersfield from Castle Hill
|Population||162,949 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||HD1-6, HD7-9|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Huddersfield (i//, local //) is a large market town in West Yorkshire, England. It is the 11th largest town in the United Kingdom, with a population of 162,949 at the 2011 census. Halfway between Leeds and Manchester, it lies 190 miles (310 km) north of London, and 10.3 miles (16.6 km) south of Bradford.
Huddersfield is near the confluence of the River Colne and the River Holme. Within the historic county boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is the largest urban area in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees and the administrative centre of the borough. The town is known for its role in the Industrial Revolution, and for being the birthplaces of rugby league, Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and the film star James Mason.
Huddersfield is home to rugby league team Huddersfield Giants, founded in 1895, who play in the European Super League, and Championship football team Huddersfield Town F.C., founded in 1908. The town is home to the University of Huddersfield and the sixth form colleges Greenhead College, Kirklees College and Huddersfield New College
Huddersfield is a town of Victorian architecture. Huddersfield railway station is a Grade I listed building described by John Betjeman as "the most splendid station façade in England", second only to St Pancras, London. The station in St George's Square was renovated at a cost of £4 million and subsequently won the Europa Nostra award for European architecture.
There has been a settlement in the area for over 4,000 years. The remains of a Roman fort were unearthed in the mid 18th century at Slack near Outlane, west of the town. Castle Hill, a major landmark, was the site of an Iron Age hill fort. Huddersfield was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Oderesfelt and Odresfeld.
The manor of Huddersfield was owned by the de Lacy family until 1322, at which it reverted to royal ownership. In 1599, William Ramsden bought the manor, and the Ramsden family continued to own the manor, which came to be known as the 'Ramsden Estate', until 1920. During their ownership they supported the development of the town, building the Huddersfield Cloth Hall in 1766 and the Sir John Ramsden’s Canal in 1780, and supporting the arrival of the railway arrived in the 1840s.
Huddersfield was a centre of civil unrest during the Industrial Revolution. In a period where Europe was experiencing frequent wars, where trade had slumped and the crops had failed, many local weavers faced losing their livelihood due to the introduction of machinery in factories. Luddites began destroying mills and machinery in response; one of the most notorious attacks was on Cartwright — a Huddersfield mill-owner, who had a reputation for cruelty — and his Rawfolds Mill. In his book Rebels Against the Future, Kirkpatrick Sale describes how an army platoon was stationed at Huddersfield to deal with Luddites; at its peak, there were about a thousand soldiers in Huddersfield and ten thousand civilians. In response, Luddites began to focus attacks on nearby towns and villages, which were less well-protected; the largest act of damage that they committed was the destruction of Foster's Mill at Horbury — a village about 10 miles (16 km) east of Huddersfield. The government campaign that crushed the movement was provoked by a murder that took place in Huddersfield. William Horsfall, a mill-owner and a passionate prosecutor of Luddites, was killed in 1812. Although the movement faded out, Parliament began to increase welfare provision for those out of work, and introduce regulations to improve conditions in the mills.
Kirklees Council was the first in the UK to have a Green Party councillor, Nicholas Harvey who was instrumental in protesting against the intended closure of the Settle and Carlisle Railway line. The town has substantial Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats and UKIP presences. The far-left is represented by Revolution, the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party of England and Wales active groups involved in campaigns such as Stop the War, Save Huddersfield NHS, Socialist Appeal and the Communist Party of Britain. Centre-right and rightist groups are also active.
Huddersfield is located on the valleys of the River Colne and the River Holme the confluence of which is located south of the town centre. The town is located in the eastern foothills of the Pennines which extend into the moorlands of the South Pennines west of the town.
Huddersfield experiences a temperate oceanic climate which is relatively mild for its latitude, and which is not subject to extremes of temperature because of the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream. According to the Köppen climate classification, Huddersfield is certified as Cfb.
|Climate data for Huddersfield|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.1
|Average low °C (°F)||1.7
Divisions and suburbs
After boundary changes in 2004, Huddersfield now covers eight of the twenty-three electoral wards for Kirklees Council. Neighbouring wards in the Colne Valley, Holme Valley, and Kirkburton are often considered to be part of Huddersfield though they are predominantly semi-rural. Huddersfield town centre is located within the Newsome ward. The eight wards that make up Huddersfield proper, with their populations, areas and constituent suburbs (mid-year 2005 estimates) are:
|Ward||Population||Area (miles²)||Population density (/mile²)||Places covered|
|Almondbury||16,610||3.863||4,299||Almondbury, Fenay Bridge, Lascelles Hall, Lepton|
|Ashbrow||17,470||4.366||4.001||Ashbrow, Brackenhall, Bradley, Deighton, Fixby, Netheroyd Hill, Sheepridge|
|Crosland Moor & Netherton||17,400||2.856||6,092||Beaumont Park, Crosland Moor, Lockwood, Longroyd Bridge, Netherton, South Crosland, Thornton Lodge|
|Dalton||17,520||4.975||3.521||Colne Bridge, Dalton, Kirkheaton, Moldgreen, Rawthorpe, Upper Heaton, Waterloo|
|Golcar||17,370||2.375||7,313||Cowlersley, Golcar, Longwood, Linthwaite (part of), Milnsbridge, Salendine Nook|
|Greenhead||17,620||1.706||10,328||Birkby, Edgerton, Fartown, Hillhouse, Marsh, Paddock|
|Lindley||17,020||2.737||6,218||Ainley Top, Birchencliffe, Lindley, Mount, Oakes|
|Newsome||17,110||3.233||5,292||Armitage Bridge, Berry Brow, Hall Bower, Lowerhouses, Newsome, Primrose Hill, Springwood, Taylor Hill|
Like many former mill towns, Huddersfield has a higher than average number of residents from ethnic minorities. The white population makes up 81% of the population comparing to 91.3% for England as a whole. The largest ethnic minority group are those who have described themselves as being Asian or British Asian originating from the Indian sub-continent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) with 10,837, or 8.9% (compared to 1.4% for England as a whole). An ethnicity summary of the town's 121,620 population is 98,454 (81.0%) white, 15,072 (12.4%) Asian or British Asian, 4,328 (3.6%) Black or Black British, 328 (0.3%), 259 (0.2%) Other and 3,131 (2.6%) Mixed. In 2011, Huddersfield had a population of 162,949 and was 75.8% White (which includes people from Ireland, Mainland Europe and other places), 72.1% White British (or 117,548 people), 14.9% Asian (24,201 people) and 4.2% Black (6,822 people).
There are a number of Churches, Gurdwaras, Mosques and Temples covering a wide spectrum of religions in the Huddersfield area. These include established Christian denominations, such as the Church of England, the Baptist Church, Methodism, Presbyterianism and the Roman Catholic Church. Religions that are relatively new to Britain also have places of worship in the town: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism and Sikhism all have congregational buildings.
|Denomination||Population||Percentage||Comparative percentage for England|
|Religion not stated||9,604||7.9||7.7|
Landmarks and architecture
Huddersfield has an abundance of Victorian architecture. The most conspicuous landmark is the Victoria Tower on Castle Hill. Overlooking the town, the tower was constructed to mark Queen Victoria's 60th Jubilee Year. A picture of the Victoria Tower features on the New Zealand wine Castle Hill.
Huddersfield Town Hall was designed by John H. Abbey and built in two stages between 1875 and 1881. The first section opened on 26 June 1878, comprising the Mayor's Parlour, Council Chamber, Reception Room and municipal offices including the Sanitary Inspector, Inspector of Weights and Measures, Medical Officer, Town Clerk, Borough Surveyor and the Rates Office. The second phase opened in October 1881 comprising the Magistrates' Court and Concert Hall. The hall seats up to 1,200 people and hosts events ranging from classical to comedy and from choral to community events.
The colonnaded Huddersfield railway station in St George's Square was once described as 'a stately home with trains in it', and by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as 'one of the best early railway stations in England'. A bronze statue of Huddersfield-born Sir Harold Wilson, Prime Minister 1964–1970 and 1974–1976 stands in front of its entrance.
The George Hotel designed by William Wallen was built by Wallen and Charles Child in 1850. The hotel's Italianate façade became Huddersfield’s adopted architectural style as the town developed over following decade.
St Peter's Church (Huddersfield Parish Church) was constructed in 1838 and is adjacent to the town centre, on Byram Street, near the Pack Horse Centre.
The Pack Horse Centre is a covered pedestrianised shopping area constructed over a cobblestone street, Pack Horse Yard, renamed Pack Horse Walk. Pack horses carried merchandise over pack-horse routes across the Pennines before turnpike roads and railways improved transportation. The pedestrian link passes from Kirkgate, across King Street and along Victoria Lane, by the Shambles, to the Piazza and the distinctive Market Hall at Queensgate, which was built to replace the old Shambles Market Hall in the early 1970s. Next to the Piazza is the Victorian Town Hall and the 1930s Public Library.
Beaumont Park about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the south of the town centre was bequeathed to the town in the 1880s, by the Henry Ralph Beaumont ('Beaumont's of Whitley' estate) and was opened on 13 October 1883, by Prince Leopold, fourth son of Queen Victoria, and his wife Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont (The Duke and Duchess of Albany). It is a fine example of a Victorian era public park with water cascades, bandstand and woodland.
Greenhead Park is another large park in Huddersfield, situated around 0.4 miles (0.64 km) west of the town centre. A multimillion-pound restoration project, funded by the Heritage Lottery fund was finished in autumn 2012.
Huddersfield is connected to the national motorway network via the M1 and M62 motorways. The M1 passes about 10 miles (16 km) to the east. The M62 comes passes about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the north and Huddersfield is served by three junctions: Mount (A640, J23 – limited access), Ainley Top (A629, J24) and between Brighouse and Cooper Bridge (A644, J25).
Huddersfield Corporation built an inner ring road, part of the A62, in the 1970s. The area within the ring road now defines the town's central business district. The ring road relieves traffic congestion in the town centre where many roads are pedestrianised.
Main routes into Huddersfield include the A62 Leeds Road, A641 Bradford Road, A629 Halifax Road – Penistone Road, A640 New Hey Road and the A62 Manchester Road.
Huddersfield railway station has a comprehensive local and regional rail service but there is no direct service to London, and passengers have to change at Manchester Piccadilly, Leeds, Wakefield Westgate or Mirfield. Some services are subsidised by the public transport coordinator, Metro. A frequent express service operates to Dewsbury, Leeds and Manchester and regular services to Darlington, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester Airport, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, Scarborough and York operated by TransPennine Express. There are local stopping services operated by Northern linking Huddersfield with Barnsley, Bradford, Brighouse, Dewsbury, Halifax, Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield.
A trolleybus system operated from 1933 to 1968. Huddersfield bus station was opened by the Mayor, Councillor Mernagh on 26 March 1974, although it had not been completed. It is the busiest bus station in West Yorkshire with a daily footfall of almost 35,000. Most bus services pass through the bus station. Many services are subsidised by Metro.
Huddersfield's bus operators reflect the national situation; local subsidiaries of three dominant national operators provide most services in the area: First Calderdale & Huddersfield provide most local services in Huddersfield and some services outside Kirklees with destinations including Bradford, Brighouse, Halifax, Manchester and Oldham. Arriva Yorkshire provide frequent services to Dewsbury and Leeds, and Yorkshire Tiger provide almost all services in the south east of the town. Other smaller operators include Stotts Coaches and Tiger Blue. Centrebus Holdings purchased Teamdeck in May 2008, along with Stagecoach Yorkshire's Huddersfield depot. In November 2006, a zero-fare town centre bus service, the Free Town Bus, was launched run by K-Line in partnership with Kirklees Council and Metro.
The Huddersfield Broad Canal, originally the Sir John Ramsden Canal, and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal which are both navigable by narrowboat, and the broad canal by wider craft, wind around the south side of town. To the rear of the YMCA in the Turnbridge section is an electrically operated road bridge, which is still in use, to raise the road and allow boat traffic to pass. This bridge originally used a windlass.
Huddersfield Choral Society founded in 1836, claims to be the UK's leading choral society. Its history was chronicled in the book 'And The Glory', written to commemorate the society's 150th anniversary in 1986 — its title derived from a line in the Hallelujah Chorus featuring in Handel's landmark choral arrangement Messiah.
The annual Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is held in the town which is also home to the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and the Huddersfield Singers.
On Christmas Day 1977, the Sex Pistols played their last two British shows, a matinee for the children of striking firefighters, at Ivanhoe's nightclub, before embarking on their ill-fated US tour which saw the group's acrimonious collapse. In the early-mid-1990s, Flex, an underground Jungle/Drum 'n' Bass record label, was founded by musician and BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ, L Double. In 2000 another independent record label Chocolate Fireguard Records was founded by singer Pat Fulgoni who developed a three-stage community music event, Timeless Festival, in Ravensknowle Park, featuring a range of electronica, hip hop and rock music.
There are other annual music festivals held in the town and surrounding area, examples being the Marsden Jazz Festival, Mrs Sunderland, Janet Beaumont, the Holmfirth Festivals, and the Haydn Wood (Linthwaite). The Haydn Wood (for under 21s) and Mrs Sunderland festival focus on musical and oratorial performance. The Mrs Sunderland Music festival is the second oldest in the United Kingdom, started in 1889 lasting for nine days each year. Free music concerts have been put on for the town, including bands such as the Ordinary Boys, the Script and Elliott Minor. There are many local choirs, youth and adult, a noted example of the latter being the Honley Male Voice Choir. Home-grown musical talent of all kinds is complemented by the student intake to the University of Huddersfield's music department. "The Sheriff of Huddersfield" is a song by heavy metal band Iron Maiden on the B-side of their 1986 single "Wasted Years", written about their co-manager Rod Smallwood, leaving his home town of Huddersfield and struggling to settle into life in Los Angeles. Huddersfield is home to thrash metal band Evile, dance rock outfit Kava Kava, the birthplace of the synthpop musician Billy Currie of (Ultravox and Visage) fame the hard rock bassist John McCoy who played with Neo and Gillan.
Long-running television series have been filmed in and around Huddersfield. They include Last of the Summer Wine, which is usually associated with Holmfirth, but uses locations in the Holme and Colne valleys; Where the Heart Is was filmed in the Colne valley around Slaithwaite; Wokenwell was shot on location in the Colne Valley and Marsden; and The League of Gentlemen used locations around Marsden. The feature films Between Two Women and The Jealous God were filmed in and around Huddersfield.
The art gallery occupies the top floor of the library on Princess Alexandra Walk displays the work of local painters and photographers alongside commissioned artists' displays. The gallery's permanent collection includes artworks by L.S. Lowry, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore.
Huddersfield Festival of Light takes place annually in December, usually in the town centre adjacent to the railway station. Each year there is a performance by a theatre company. The finale is a firework display. The 2007 show was performed by French company Plasticiens Volants, which used large inflatable sea creatures in a parade through the streets as they told the story of 'Pearl'. The 2005 and 2008 performances were by the Valencian artists Xarxa Teatre. The 2010 festival featured Belgian company Company Tol and their suspension act – Corazon de Angeles (Angels' Heart) and ended on 5 December with fireworks in St. George's Square.
Huddersfield Caribbean Carnival in mid-July, begins with a procession from the Hudawi Cultural Centre in Hillhouse, through the town centre to Greenhead Park where troupes display their costumes on stage. Caribbean food, fairground rides and various stalls and attractions are available. A "young blud" stage presents Hip Hop, UK garage, RnB and bassline.
The Huddersfield Literature Festival is held annually in the town, and features author events, creative writing classes and poetry nights, and sometimes creative writing competitions.
Since 1986 Huddersfield's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community has a summer celebration and picnic. The event attracts thousands from miles around and is held as a gay pride event, usually at Castle Hill.
Victor Watson has been Huddersfield Town Crier for nearly 20 years, he is also the Town Crier to Huddersfield Giants Rugby Team, the only rugby club in the UK with their own Town Crier
Huddersfield has a large and diverse retail shopping area — enclosed within the town's ring road — compared with other towns of its size. There are three shopping areas: Kingsgate, The Packhorse Precinct and The Piazza Centre. The Piazza offers an outdoor shopping mall near the public library, with a grassed area, used for relaxation and events throughout the year such as entertainment, international markets and iceskating in winter. Through the adjacent Market Arcade is a covered market hall, which has listed building status, due in part to its distinctive roof formed by hyperbolic paraboloids. It is adjacent to the town hall and public library. An open market is located next to Tesco, on the opposite side of the town centre.
The town centre is home to several national high street retailers and chain stores including Clinton Cards, GAME, House of Fraser, JD Sports, Sports Direct (formerly JJB), W H Smiths and Wilkinsons; up until January 2008, it also had a Woolworths. Fast food outlets include KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Subway, Wimpy and Nando's. High street clothing and fashion retail outlets such as, Marks & Spencer, River Island, Topman and Next. There are three major supermarket outlets located in the town centre, and alongside the ring road: two Sainsbury's and one Tesco. In 2014 a small Morrisons store opened in the town centre located in the building previously occupied by Burger King. There are also a variety of small specialist and independent shops, many located in the three-storey Victorian shopping arcade, Byram Arcade, situated on Westgate.
The Lawrence Batley Theatre, opened in 1994, in what was once the largest Wesleyan Chapel in the world, and presents dance, drama, comedy, music and exhibitions and is the base for Full Body & the Voice, a company focusing on the integration of disabled people into mainstream theatre.
The John Smith's Stadium, (formerly the Galpharm Stadium and Alfred McAlpine Stadium), is a multi-use sports stadium with a gym, swimming pool, spa and offers sporting classes. The stadium is home to Huddersfield Giants and Huddersfield Town football team. Adjacent the stadium is an Odeon cinema (formerly UCI).
There are many pubs, restaurants and night clubs, one of which, Tokyo, occupies the former Huddersfield County Court, a 19th-century Grade II listed building. The oldest pub is the Parish (formerly the Fleece Inn), the pub has been trading since 1720.
List of civic honours and freedoms
Thirty-four people and one military (infantry) regiment have been granted the Freedom of Huddersfield, between 1889 and 1973.
- Wright Mellor JP DL – (25 September 1889)
- Henry Frederick Beaumont JP DL – (28 August 1894)
- Lt Col Sir Albert Kaye Rollit LLD DLC LittD JP DL – (28 August 1894)
- James Nield Sykes JP – (12 March 1895)
- Joseph Woodhead JP – (28 October 1898)
- Sir Joseph Crosland Knt JP DL – (28 October 1898)
- Major Charles Brook – (23 May 1901)
- Major Harold Wilson – (23 May 1901)
- Sir Thomas Brooke Bart JP DL – (25 July 1906)
- Rev Robert Bruce MA DD – (25 July 1906)
- William Brooke JP – (15 October 1913)
- John Sykes JP – (15 October 1913)
- William Henry Jessop JP – (18 September 1918)
- Earnest Woodhead MA JP – (18 September 1918)
- George Thomson JP – (18 September 1918)
- Benjamin Broadbent CBE MA JP – (18 September 1918)
- John Arthur Brooke MA JP – (18 September 1918)
- James Edward Willans JP – (18 September 1918)
- Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty GCB OM GCVO DSO – (24 July 1920)
- The Rt Hon Herbert Henry Asquith Earl of Oxford and Asquith, and Viscount Asquith – (6 November 1925)
- Sir William Pick Raynor Knt JP – (17 December 1926)
- Wilfrid Dawson JP – (25 July 1934)
- Rowland Mitchell JP – (25 July 1934)
- James Albert Woolven JP Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur – (25 July 1934)
- Sir Bernard Law Montgomery Field-Marshal GCB DSO – (26 October 1945)
- Joseph Barlow JP – (23 June 1949)
- Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding) – (2 July 1952)
- Sidney Kaye LLB – (19 November 1957)
- Alderman Arthur Gardiner OBE JP – (11 October 1960)
- Alderman Harry Andrew Bennie Gray CBE JP – (11 October 1960)
- Sir Malcolm Sargent MusD(Dunelm) MusD(Oxon)(Hons) LLD(Liverpool) Hon RAM Hon FRCO FRCM FRSA – (13 October 1961)
- The Rt Hon Harold Wilson OBE MP Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury – (1 March 1968)
- Alderman Douglas Graham CBE – (5 March 1973)
- Alderman Reginald Harmley MBE JP – (5 March 1973)
- Alderman Clifford Stephenson – (5 March 1973)
On 2 July 1952, in recognition of historic ties and links with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding), the Huddersfield County Borough had conferred on the regiment the Freedom of the Town. This gave the regiment the right to march through the town with 'flags flying, bands playing and bayonets fixed'. Many of the town and district's male residents had served in the regiment during its long history. This right to march was technically lost when the County Borough itself was merged with Dewsbury to form Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council though, unofficially, continued as on 25 March 1979, Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council gave the Freedom of Kirklees to the 3rd battalion of the Yorkshire Volunteers. The 3rd Battalion was the Duke of Wellington's Territorial Army unit.
When the 'Dukes' were amalgamated with the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire and the Green Howards' to form the Yorkshire Regiment on 6 June 2006. The right to march was finally ended as the award did not give the right, for the freedom to march, to be passed on to any heirs or successors. The majority of the Yorkshire Regiment is now composed of soldiers from the north and eastern areas of Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Regiment requested the right to march to be transferred to them. However, the County Borough no longer exists and so there was no authority to do so. The 'Freedom' given by Kirklees to the 3rd battalion of the Yorkshire Volunteers did not permit any transfer to heirs or successors and effectively that freedom also ceased when the battalion was amalgamated into the East and West Riding Regiment. The East and West Riding Regiment ceased to exist on 6 June 2006, having been merged into the Yorkshire Regiment as its 4th Battalion. Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council, as successors to the Huddersfield Borough Council, amended the original 'Freedom' and transferred the 'Freedom' to the Yorkshire Regiment, at a Freedom parade on 25 October 2008.--->
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