Heavy Woollen District

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A woollen mill in Dewsbury, now converted to flats but retaining as a feature the mill name.

The Heavy Woollen District is named because of the heavyweight cloth manufactured in an area of West Yorkshire, England.[1] Dewsbury, Batley, Heckmondwike and Ossett are the core of the area. Liversedge, Gomersal, Gildersome, Birkenshaw, Mirfield, Cleckheaton, Morley, Tingley, East Ardsley, Birstall and Horbury are peripheral. The manufacture of wool for clothing and blankets and rope and twine is ongoing within the area by companies such as E. Simms/Heavy Woollen Textiles.[2][3]

Most of the area is in Kirklees, Ossett and Horbury are in the Wakefield district and the Morley is in the Leeds district.

There is still a Heavy Woollen District football[4] association and cricket association,[5] both with representative teams. The cricket league originally defined the district as within a six-mile radius of Batley Town Hall, but this has now been extended to an eighteen-mile radius.[6]

The area was one of the key textile centres in Yorkshire, famed for its production of "shoddy and mungo". For years companies had tried to blend different fibres without success leading to the term, "munt go", i.e. "mustn't go" as a Yorkshire colloquialism. The inventions were made in Batley, with machines to grind soft rags (shoddy) devised in 1813, and for hard rags (mungo) in 1835. The majority of mills have now either closed or have been put to another uses, but some shoddy/mungo mills remain (e.g. Edward Clay & Son Ltd. in Ossett).


  1. ^ Dewsbury Reporter, 'Wealth of war for boom mills', 3 January 2008: http://www.dewsburyreporter.co.uk/nostalgia/Wealth-of-war-for-boom.3637665.jp
  2. ^ E. Simms - "We are a traditional family company since 1947", website: http://www.esimms.co.uk/
  3. ^ Heavy Woollen Textiles - "We were formed in 1962", website: http://www.hwtcoltd.co.uk/
  4. ^ Heavy Woollen District Football Association Representative Team, website: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/hwdfaminors/
  5. ^ Heavy Woollen District Cricket Association, website: http://www.heavywoollen.org.uk/
  6. ^ [1]

Coordinates: 53°35′35″N 1°48′04″W / 53.593°N 1.801°W / 53.593; -1.801