Archbishop Holgate Almshouses
Hemsworth shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Hemsworth is a small town and civil parish on the edge of West Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it forms part of the City of Wakefield, and has a population of 13,311.
It was a one-industry town, where coal mining employed the vast majority of residents, and the closure of the pits during the 1980s led to huge levels of unemployment and deprivation in the area. Hemsworth, along with nearby villages such as Ackworth, Fitzwilliam, Havercroft, Ryhill, South Elmsall and South Kirkby was made into a special regeneration area, and fortunes have improved as a result.
The Hemsworth constituency is famous for being the place where Labour votes were said to be "weighed rather than counted" during the 1960s and 1970s, but the town is not even so heavily Labour-voting as it once was. The town's Member of Parliament is Jon Trickett, a former leader of Leeds council.
In May 2005, the Office for National Statistics estimated that unemployment in Hemsworth was just 2.8%. This marks progress from periods in the previous two decades when it could reach as high as 50%.
A large portion of the West End estate and blocks of flats around the Scotch estate in Hemsworth were demolished and regenerated in recent years as the area suffered badly from the closure of the mines leading to high crime rates, unemployment and being in the top 2% of deprived areas in the whole EU. Most of the impoverished residents simply moved to the south end of Hemsworth which has seen a deterioration since the 2011 shift from the Scotch estate.
Also in Hemsworth is the Hemsworth Water Park, situated on the outskirts of Hemsworth. Hemsworth Water Park has two lakes; the largest lake is available for pedalo rides and has a man-made sandy beach; the smallest lake is in a more secluded area to attract wildlife. Both lakes are stocked for fishing which is available all year round. There are also plenty of grassed areas for picnics and games.
In the Water Park, there is also Playworld, an outdoor adventure playground, which is suitable for children of all ages with a tower slide, climbing frames, a toddlers' sandpit area and a miniature railway.
A new kiosk and toilet facilities were opened in March 2006. New equipment was introduced in 2008. A new restaurant, which opened in 2011, is situated adjacent to the larger of the two fishing lakes, and serves hot and cold meals, drinks and snacks.
The local newspaper for the area is the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express, which gives local residents the ability to voice their opinions on local topical concerns, provides local, regional, nationwide and world news.
Along with the neighbouring village of Kinsley it is mentioned in the Domesday Book which was commissioned in 1085 by William the Conqueror. The name in the Domesday book is Hamelsworde being the 'worth' or enclosure of a possible Saxon, named Hamel.
Hemsworth was used in an episode of the Top Gear series: Series 4 episode 2.