Colne Valley

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The Colne Valley is a steep sided valley on the east flank of the Pennine Hills in the English county of West Yorkshire. It takes its name from the River Colne which rises above the town of Marsden and flows eastward along the floor of the valley.

The name is generally used to describe that section of the valley of the River Colne that lies between its source and the large town of Huddersfield, which lies at the point where the River Holme joins the River Colne. Less often, the name is used to describe the whole valley of the Colne, including the section through Huddersfield and on to the confluence of the Colne with the River Calder at Cooper Bridge. Using the more common definition, the Colne Valley includes the towns and villages of Marsden, Slaithwaite, Linthwaite and Golcar.

Longroyd Bridge showing route of the A62 over the canal and River Colne and into the Colne Valley from Huddersfield town centre

Industry and economy[edit]

The Colne Valley played a significant role in the development of the Industrial Revolution. Most of the population had been weavers for generations, so when water-powered textile mills were built on the many streams and small rivers in the area, the area was well set to become a major producer of textiles. The River Colne and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal provided early transport links which were soon added to by road and railway links to Huddersfield and Leeds to the east and Manchester and Liverpool to the west.

By the end of the Second World War, the importance of the Colne Valley as a centre of textile production had begun to decrease. The area is now primarily residential, its excellent transport links making it ideal for commuters. Tourism is being promoted: the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was reopened in 2001 and boat trips into Standedge Canal Tunnel are available; the National Trust advertises walks on Marsden Moor Estate; and television programmes such as Last of the Summer Wine and Where the Heart Is have been filmed there.

Government and politics[edit]

Colne Valley was an urban district of the West Riding of Yorkshire between 1937 and 1974. It was created by the merger of Golcar, Linthwaite, Marsden, Scammonden and Slaithwaite urban districts, and had a population of about 20,000 for its lifespan. The Local Government Act 1972 saw it merged into the metropolitan borough of Kirklees.[1] At the time of the 2011 Census it was a ward of Kirlees Council in its own name. The population at the Census was 17,369.[2]

The Colne Valley parliamentary constituency still preserves the usage of the Colne Valley name for an administrative entity, although the constituency also includes the Holme Valley, Meltham and some outskirts of Huddersfield. Notable former MPs for the constituency include Victor Grayson and Richard Wainwright.

See also[edit]

Colne Valley Museum


  1. ^ "Colne Valley UD West Yorkshire through time". A Vision of Britain Through Time. Retrieved March 19, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Kirklees Council Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 

External links[edit]