Savile Town

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Savile Town is a small area of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, England. It lies just to the south of the River Calder and just north of a railway line. It consists of late Victorian housing, which varies between long terraces, semi-detached and detached housing. The mills on the banks of the Calder supplied employment to Savile Town for several decades; these were mostly woollen, but also some cotton. As the mills closed, the area became very run-down. Recent regeneration has seen most of the units now reoccupied; Clinton Cards, is based in the area.

The area is named after Thomas Savile, who once owned the townships of Dewsbury and Thornhill. He has also given his name to the bridge that leads to the town centre as well as having founded Wakefield Cathedral and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. There are several roads in Dewsbury, Ossett and Wakefield that have "Savile" in the name. There were also once two collieries named "Savile" - one on Owl Lane at the Dewsbury-Ossett border, and one near Methley.

Prior to 1910, Savile Town was part of the Thornhill Urban District. In 1910, the district was abolished, and the area became part of the town of Dewsbury.

Savile Town is perhaps most famous for its role in the British Muslim community.[1][2] The area is "some 97-100% Asian Muslim"[3] and is home to the Markazi mosque, which is run by Tablighi Jamaat.[4] The mosque has caused a mixed reaction. Some claim that the mosque has added to racial segregation in Dewsbury. Its attached school, the Institute of Islamic Education, received low pass rates for several years.[5] It received a 2007 pass rate of 23% since major improvements after a damning Ofsted report.[6]

One of the suicide bombers from the 7/7 attacks is said to have attended the Markazi mosque, but the mosque was subsequently found to have no relation with the attacks. Crime for Savile Town is generally low for an urban area.[7] Rageh Omaar's Channel 4 Dispatches documentary "Immigration: The Inconvenient Truth, Part 2"[8] used eyewitness accounts to suggest that at least in the eyes of residents the area does not feel at all safe, although it was not always clear whether the witnesses were referring to Savile Town or to nearby Ravensthorpe. There is a Shariah arbitration court in nearby Thornhill Lee's, which deals with family issues.[9][10]

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