Holmfirth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 53°34′12″N 1°47′13″W / 53.570°N 1.787°W / 53.570; -1.787

Holmfirth
Holmfirth 20060521(RLH).JPG
Holmfirth viewed from Cliffe Lane, above the town
Holmfirth is located in West Yorkshire
Holmfirth
Holmfirth
 Holmfirth shown within West Yorkshire
Population 1,980 [1]
OS grid reference SE142081
Civil parish Holme Valley
Metropolitan borough Kirklees
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HOLMFIRTH
Postcode district HD9
Dialling code 01484
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Colne Valley
List of places
UK
England
Yorkshire

Holmfirth is a small town on the A6024 Woodhead Road in the Holme Valley, within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. Centred upon the confluence of the Holme and Ribble rivers, Holmfirth is 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Huddersfield and 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Glossop. It mostly consists of stone-built cottages nestled in the Pennine hills. The Peak District National Park around Holme Moss is 4 miles (6.4 km) to the south of the town.

Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Holmfirth was once a centre for pioneering film-making by Bamforth & Co., which later switched to the production of saucy seaside postcards. More recently it has become well known as the location of the situation comedy Last of the Summer Wine.

History[edit]

The town originally grew up around a corn mill and bridge in the 13th century. Three hundred years later Holmfirth expanded rapidly as the growing cloth trade grew and the production of stone and slates from the surrounding quarries increased.

The present parish church was built in 1778 after the church built in 1476 was swept away in a flood the previous year.

In 1850 Holmfirth railway station opened, on the branch line built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company.

Holmfirth was the home of Bamforth & Co Ltd, who were well known for their cheeky seaside postcards - although around the time of the First World War, they produced postcards of a more sober nature. The printing works on Station Road has now been converted into residential flats.

Bamforth's company were early pioneers of film-making, before they abandoned the business in favour of postcards. During the early 1900s Holmfirth was well known for film making; the West Yorkshire film industry, for a time, surpassed that of Hollywood in terms of productivity and originality. Interestingly ancient documents have the town's name spelt 'Holm Frith' which can be translated as 'Holly Wood', though the word "Firth" is an old English name meaning 'wood and woodland' indicating the name means Holme woods.

Local men who served and died in World War I and World War II are commemorated on the Holme Valley War Memorial found outside Holme Valley Memorial Hospital.

The town is particularly associated with an unusual choral folk song, known as the Holmfirth Anthem.[2]

Flooding[edit]

Main article: Holmfirth Flood

There are a number of instances when flooding has occurred in the Holme Valley affecting Holmfirth and other settlements in the valley. The earliest recorded Holmfirth Flood was in 1738[3] and the most recent was 1944. The most severe flood occurred early on the morning of 5 February 1852, when the embankment of the Bilberry Reservoir collapsed causing the deaths of 81 people. Following a severe storm in 1777 the River Holme burst its banks, sweeping away people and property with the loss of three lives; the stone church built in 1476, was also swept away. A storm in 1821 again caused the river to burst its banks. The flooding on the night of 29 May 1944 was not nationally reported and it was then overshadowed by the D-Day landings the following week.

Description[edit]

Holmfirth (and the surrounding countryside) is the setting for the BBC's long-running comedy Last of the Summer Wine. Thousands of tourists flock to the area each year to enjoy scenery and locations familiar from the series. Filming of the TV Slaithwaite-based drama, Where the Heart Is, had also taken place in and around the area.

The former Lodge's supermarket building had been sitting empty in the heart of the town since the Co-op moved to new premises in Crown Bottom. Lodge's was built in the 1970s by the prominent local grocery company. It was opened by Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn and occupied an unusual location over the River Holme beside the town's small bus station. Lodge's was bought in the 1990s by Co-operative Retail Services who eventually closed the store down in 1997, after investing in a brand new £2m supermarket for the town. Local residents, led by the Holme Valley Business Association, campaigned for its demolition. Their campaign was featured in the 2005 Channel 4 documentary, Demolition. The building has since undergone extensive modernisation into several smaller shops, with some accommodation on the top floor.

A regular farmers' market is held on the third Sunday in the month, in the market hall, selling local and organic produce.

Transport[edit]

Rail[edit]

Main article: Holmfirth Branch Line

Holmfirth used to have its own branch line, off the Huddersfield to Sheffield line (commonly referred to as the Penistone Line), this short, 2 mile (3 km), line branched from the mainline just south of Brockholes. A viaduct took the line across the valley and into Thongsbridge where a station was sited. The line then went along the side of the valley coming to a halt just outside the town centre on Station Road. Plans did exist for the line to be extended up the valley and then tunnel under Black Hill to join the Sheffield to Manchester line near Woodhead. The line closed to passengers in 1959, with goods traffic lasting until 1965. The station building and platform still remain as a private house. Other sections of the line further down the valley have been sold off for private housing and the viaduct, crossing the valley from the A616 (New Mill Road), at Brockholes, over Spring Wood, has been demolished.

Buses[edit]

The Holmfirth bus station is located in the centre of Holmfirth from which regular bus services take varying routes around the outlying villages and to Huddersfield's bus and railway stations. Additional services run to the town, from Barnsley, Sheffield and Wakefield via Denby Dale or Penistone. Most services are operated by First Calderdale & Huddersfield, using the town's bus station. Weekend and bank holiday services operate to Glossop in north Derbyshire. In October 2006, First bus services were re-branded as the 'Holmfirth Connection'.

Arts[edit]

Holmfirth's Film Festival and Festival of Folk are held every May, and its Arts Festival takes place over two weeks in June. Holmfirth Art Week, with its July exhibition in the Civic Hall, raises money for Macmillan Cancer Relief.[4]

The Holmfirth Choral Society hold regular classical choral music concerts in Holmfirth Civic Hall.[5]

The cinema in the town is the Picturedrome, which also hosts music events. Acts such as Adam Ant, Bad Manners, the Buzzcocks, Evile, Fish, Half Man Half Biscuit, Hawkwind, John Martyn, Ocean Colour Scene, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Ron Sexsmith, Saxon, Suzi Quatro, and The Beat have performed.[6][7][8][9][10]

Surrounding villages[edit]

Holmfirth constitutes a town of its own almost seven miles (11 km) south of the larger town of Huddersfield. While the town of Holmfirth itself is comparatively small, it is surrounded by several hamlets and villages. These neighbouring settlements are often collectively referred to as "Holmfirth" and include:- Austonley, Arrunden, Burnlee, Cinderhills, Cliff, Deanhouse, Gully, Flushhouse, Hade Edge, Thongsbridge, Upperthong and Washpit. Many of these are located on Cartworth Moor.

Other villages and hamlets within the Holmfirth post town include:- Brockholes, Fulstone, Jackson Bridge, Hepworth, Holme, Holmbridge, Honley, Meltham, Netherthong, New Mill, Scholes, Totties, Underbank and Wooldale.

References[edit]

External links[edit]