Altofts is a village in West Yorkshire, England. It lies 5 miles (8.0 km) north-east from the centre of Wakefield and less than 1 mile (1.6 km) north-west of Normanton. The M62 runs close to the village to the north-east, and the Aire and Calder Navigation to the north-west.
Many people in the village previously worked in the local coal mines. The largest mine in the village, The West Riding Colliery, was owned by Pope and Pearsons. It was here that the first British coaldust experiments took place during 1908 and 1909, conducted by W. E. Garforth, manager of the colliery and president of the Mining Association of Great Britain. In the early 20th century Garforth's improvement to worker safety helped to develop underground safety and rescue procedures that are today common worldwide. Today people are either employed in neighbouring towns and cities, or on the Wakefield Europort's 'Tuscany Park' industrial estate which has been developed over recent decades.
Altofts' brickworks, Normanton Brick Co Ltd, moved to its present Greenfield Road site from Wakefield Road in the late 1990s. It ran under Thomas Kirk's[further explanation needed] great grandsons until it stopped production in 2011. .
The village has four pubs, including the Robin Hood, two Working Men's Clubs one of which has been converted into a community centre called The Brig. There is also a post office, a butchers and a small number of shops and farms.
Lower Altofts is an area at the lower end of the village. It had the longest unbroken row of three-storey terraced houses in Europe, Silkstone Row, until 1974 when it was demolished. There are now just two shorter rows of terraced houses in Lower Altofts on Pope Street.
Altofts schools are Lee Brigg Infants School, Martin Frobisher Infants School, and Altofts Junior school which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.[when?]
There are three churches. Altofts Methodist Church, opened in 1990, was built when the three Methodist congregations from Lower Altofts, Lock Lane and Upper Altofts amalgamated. The church is located on Church Road. The Church of St Mary Magdalene is the Anglican parish church for the village, and is Anglo-Catholic in style. The Hebron is an independent church, also located on Church Road.
Altofts Community Sports Club and playing fields provide for cricket, football and bowls. The Cricket Club plays at Lock Lane and is in the Central Yorkshire Cricket League. Altofts football team won promotion and a cup double last season and reached second in the league.[further explanation needed]
- Martin Frobisher, Elizabethan sea captain and adventurer, credited with the discovery of Frobisher Bay in Canada; born in Altofts
- John Freeston, barrister; lived in Altofts for most of his life.
- "Normanton Brick Co Ltd". www.applegate.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- "www.wakefield.gov.uk: Silkstone Buildings, Lower Altofts.". www.wakefield.gov.uk. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- "Altofts CC - Play-Cricket - About Us". altofts.play-cricket.com. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
Media related to Altofts at Wikimedia Commons