Sparrow Park and the former town hall.
Liversedge 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|
|UK Parliament||Batley and Spen|
Liversedge is a township in the former parish of Birstall, in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Liversedge lies between Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike about 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Leeds.
Settlements within Liversedge
Liversedge comprises several settlements that are all distinctive. Norristhorpe clings to one side of the Spen Valley, looking over the town of Heckmondwike. Roberttown is on the opposite side of the A62. Millbridge is the geographical centre of Liversedge and, with the neighbouring village of Flush, is where the mills of the woollen industry stood. Towards Cleckheaton are Hightown, Littletown and Popeley Hill.
Liversedge is recorded in the Domesday Book as Livresec, a manor belonging to Radulf, a vassal of Ilbert de Lacy. There are two possible etymologies for the name: from the Old English Lēofheres-ecg meaning 'a ridge or edge belonging to Lēofhere'; or, alternatively, the first element could have originally been *Lēfer-, related to the Old English word lifer used in the sense of 'thick clotted water', and the second element secg, 'a bed of reeds or rushes'.
In the 15th century, the Lord of the Manor was a member of the Neville family and Liversedge was already involved in woollen manufacture. The trade grew and by the 19th century the town was busy in the manufacture of woollen goods. In 1812 the town was the scene of a Luddite attack on Rawfold's Mill when weavers, croppers and other artisans attempted to destroy cropping frames at a mill operated by William Cartwright. Two Luddites were killed by soldiers and armed workmen employed by Cartwright. In 2012, Sparrow Park was constructed outside the former town hall at the top of Knowler Hill in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the uprising, which began just up the road from the monument in the still-operational "Shears" pub.
Liversedge has a church that was built at the time of the Battle of Waterloo. Heald's Hall, formerly the Spenborough Museum, is now a hotel. In the days of Charlotte Brontë it was home to Hammond Roberson whom she transformed into the Reverend Matthewman Helstone in her novel Shirley.
The Spen Beck runs through Liversedge.
There is only one road sign in the whole area directing motorists towards Liversedge: on the A649 Halifax Road from Bailiff Bridge, with no directions from either the Huddersfield or Dewsbury and Batley sides of the settlement.
Politically, for Kirklees Council, the Leeds/Huddersfield Road acts as a boundary between electoral wards. Roberttown, Hightown and Littletown are within the Liversedge and Gomersal ward, while Norristhorpe and Flush are part of the Heckmondwike ward.
Liversedge F.C. are a football club in the football league pyramid, playing in the Northern Counties East Football League Premier Division for the 10-11 season. They play at Clayborn, 1 km from Cleckheaton town centre.
There are also many Sunday League football teams in and around Liversedge playing in the Heavy Woollen Sunday League.
Liversedge Cricket Club play at Roberttown Lane near to the New Inn and play in the Central Yorkshire League.
In the late 19th century, and before the 1895 schism, Harry Varley, and Bob Wood played rugby union for England, and Liversedge FC, who were founded in 1877. When the rugby football schism occurred in 1895, Liversedge F.C. became founder members of the Northern Rugby Football Union (now Rugby Football League). Liversedge F.C. played for seven seasons from the 1895–96 season through to the end of 1901–02 season, they finished 15th of 22 in the initial combined league, and then 11th, 16th, 15th, 16th, and 16th of 16, and finally 14th of 14, in the Yorkshire Senior Competition, after which they withdrew from the Northern Rugby Football Union. Rugby league in the town is now represented by Liversedge ARLFC, who play behind Spenborough Swimming Pool off Bradford Road and currently play in the Third Division of the Pennine Amateur Rugby League pyramid.
- Ken Mackintosh (1919-2005), bandleader; accompanied the likes of Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey on stage. Among his fans was the late Queen mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, for whom he played twice at Windsor Castle.
- Norman Field (b. 1939), international rugby league footballer.
- Sam Burgess (b. 1988)
- Luke Burgess (rugby league) (b. 1987)
- Genuki.org.uk - BIRSTALL: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.
- Mills, A.D. (1998). A dictionary of English place names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280074-4.
- Hanks, Patrick (2002). The Oxford names companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860561-7.
- Smith, A.H. (1961). The Place-names of the West Riding of Yorkshire: Part III: Morley Wapentake. English Place-name Society. XXXII. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 27–28.
- Thompson 1968, p612.
- Thompson, E.P. (1968). The Making of the English Working Class. Pelican Books.
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