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 village is shown at the 2011 Census as being in the Normanton ward of Wakefield City Council. 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, The Poplar, Miners Arms, The Horse and Jockey and the Robin Hood. The Horse and Jockey is the oldest pub in the village.
The Robin Hood serves at least 4 cask ales and is Wakefield Campaign for Real Ales Autumn Pub of the Season 2015. A microbrewery at the back of the Robin Hood called Tarn51 Brewing Co produces beers to serve in the pub and to the local pubs.
There are two Working Men's Clubs one of which has been converted into a community centre called The Brig. This is now home to a registered charity called Altofts Community & Sports Foundation Ltd. The Brig is home to many community groups including Normanton Lions, Altofts Juniors FC, Altofts Cycling Club, Readers group and Storytime. The Altofts Book Swap is also based at The Brig. There is also a licensed bar and cafe.
In the village 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 1978 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 celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2008.
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 tradition. 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 AFC, which was founded in the 1890s, plays in the West Yorkshire Association Football League.
- John Freeston, Tudor barrister and benefactor; lived in Altofts for most of his life.
- Martin Frobisher, Elizabethan sea captain and adventurer, credited with the discovery of Frobisher Bay in Canada; born in Altofts
- "Normanton Brick Co Ltd". www.applegate.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "Silkstone Buildings, Lower Altofts". www.wakefield.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "Altofts CC - Play-Cricket - About Us". altofts.play-cricket.com. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "History". Altofts AFC. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- "West Yorkshire Association Football League". The Football Association. Retrieved 20 November 2016.[permanent dead link]
- "History of Normanton". Normanton Town Council. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
Media related to Altofts at Wikimedia Commons