Huddersfield is a large market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England, 190 miles (306km) north of London, and 10.3 miles (16.48km) south of Bradford, the nearest city.
Huddersfield is near the confluence of the River Colne and the River Holme. Located within the historic county boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it has a total resident population of 146,234. It is the largest urban area in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees and the administrative centre of the borough. The town is well known for its important role in the Industrial Revolution, the birthplace of Rugby League and for being the birthplace of the late British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Huddersfield today is a town of higher education, the media and sports, being home to the Football League One football team Huddersfield Town F.C., founded in 1908, and the Rugby League team, currently titled Huddersfield Giants, founded in 1895. The town is home to the University of Huddersfield and sixth form Greenhead College.
Huddersfield is a town of victorian architecture. Huddersfield railway station is a Grade I listed building and was described by John Betjeman as 'the most splendid station facade in England' second only to St Pancras, London. The station stands in St George's Square, and has been given a £1 million make over and subsequently won the Europa Nostra award for European architecture.
The far-left is well represented in Huddersfield (considering its size), with Revolution, Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Party of England and Wales all having active groups which are involved in campaigns such as Stop the War, Save Huddersfield NHS, Huddersfield Anti-Academies Alliance and Unique Care Workers Support Group, as well as individual members of Workers Power (involved in Revolution and their group in Leeds), the International Socialist Group and Communist Party of Britain. There is also a local leftist fanzine called Rearguard Action which appears regularly and has a group of supporters and contributors.
Two Prime ministers have spent part of their childhood in Huddersfield, Harold Wilson and Herbert Asquith. Wilson is commemorated by a statue in front of the Railway Station. There is no memorial to Asquith's briefer connection with the town.
Huddersfield was incorporated as a municipal borough within the ancient West Riding of Yorkshire in 1868. The borough comprised the parishes of Almondbury, Dalton, Huddersfield, Lindley-cum-Quarmby and Lockwood. When the West Riding County Council was formed in 1889, Huddersfield became a county borough, exempt from county council control. Huddersfield expanded in 1937, including parts of the Golcar, Linthwaite, and South Crosland urban districts. The county borough was abolished in 1974 and its former area was combined with that of other districts to form the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire.
Attempts by the local council to gain support for city status were rejected by the town's population in an unofficial referendum held by the local newspaper, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner. The council did not apply for that status in either the 2000 or 2002 competitions. City status is given to districts, so it would have been Kirklees rather than Huddersfield that would have been declared a city.
According to the United Kingdom Census 2001 the population of the Huddersfield urban sub-area of the West Yorkshire Urban Area was 146,234, and the population of the former area of the county borough was 121,620. The wider South Kirklees area had a population of 216,011.
|Ward||Population||Area (km²)||Population density (/km²)||Places covered|
|Almondbury||16,610||10.006||1660||Almondbury, Fenay Bridge, Lascelles Hall, Lepton|
|Ashbrow||17,470||11.309||1570||Ashbrow, Brackenhall, Bradley, Deighton, Fixby, Netheroyd Hill, Sheepridge|
|Crosland Moor & Netherton||17,400||7.398||2350||Beaumont Park, Crosland Moor, Lockwood, Longroyd Bridge, Netherton, South Crosland, Thornton Lodge|
|Dalton||17,520||12.886||1360||Colne Bridge, Dalton, Kirkheaton, Moldgreen, Rawthorpe, Upper Heaton, Waterloo|
|Golcar||17,370||6.150||2820||Cowlersley, Golcar, Longwood, Linthwaite (part of), Milnsbridge, Salendine Nook|
|Greenhead||17,620||4.418||3990||Birkby, Edgerton, Fartown, Hillhouse, Paddock, Marsh|
|Lindley||17,020||7.088||2400||Ainley Top, Birchencliffe, Lindley, Mount, Oakes|
|Newsome||17,110||8.373||2040||Armitage Bridge, Berry Brow, Hall Bower, Lowerhouses, Newsome, Primrose Hill, Springwood, Taylor Hill|
There are a number of churches, mosques and temples covering a wide spectrum of religions in the Huddersfield area. These include the established Christian denominations:- Church of England Anglicanism, Baptist, Methodism, Presbyterianism and the Roman Catholic Church. Plus increasingly religions of other countries:- Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormon and Sikhism.
|Denomination||Population||Percentage||Comparative percentage for England|
|Religion not stated||9,604||7.9||7.7|
Huddersfield is notable for its abundance of fine Victorian architecture. It has the third highest number of listed buildings of any town or city in the UK. The most conspicuous landmark in the Huddersfield area is Victoria Tower on Castle Hill. Overlooking the town, the tower was constructed to mark Queen Victoria's 60th Jubilee Year. A picture of the Victoria Tower features on the New Zealand wine Castle Hill.
The colonnaded Huddersfield railway station in St George's Square was once described as 'a stately home with trains in it', and by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as 'one of the best early railway stations in England'. A bronze statue of Huddersfield-born Sir Harold Wilson, Prime Minister 1964-1970 and 1974-1976 stands before the entrance in St George's Square.
The Huddersfield parish church (St. Peters Church) was constructed in 1838 and is adjacent to the town centre, on Byram Street, near the Pack Horse Centre.
The Pack Horse Centre is a covered pedestrianised shopping area constructed over the former cobblestoned street known as the Pack Horse Walk, named in memory of the beasts of burden, Pack horses which ferried merchandise over the Pennines before the Standedge Tunnels were built. This pedestrian-only link passes from Kirkgate, across King Street and along Victoria Lane, by the Shambles, to the Piazza and the distinctive Market Hall at Queensgate, which was built to replace the old Shambles Market Hall in the early 1970s. Next to the Piazza is the Victorian Town Hall and the 1930s Public Library.
A distinctive Art Nouveau clock tower in the village of Lindley (a suburb to the west of the town) was constructed in 1902 by a local mill-owner, so that his workers would have no excuse to be late for work.
The Huddersfield Corporation built an inner ring road (part of the A62) in the 1970s. The area within this ring road has come to define the central business district of the town. The ring road is effective in relieving traffic congestion in the town centre where many roads are now pedestrianised.
Huddersfield Bus Station was opened by the Mayor, Councillor Mernagh on (26 March 1974), despite the fact that it had not actually been completed. It is the busiest bus station in West Yorkshire with a daily footfall of almost 35,000. The majority of bus services pass through the bus station. Many services are subsidised by Metro, who are also responsible for the co-ordination, planning and timetabling of services throughout West Yorkshire.
Huddersfield's bus operators reflect the national situation; local subsidiaries of three dominant national operators provide most of the services in the area: First Calderdale & Huddersfield who provide most local services across Huddersfield with some services running outside the Kirklees area with destinations including Halifax, Bradford, Brighouse, Oldham and Manchester. Arriva Yorkshire, who provide frequent services along Leeds Road to Dewsbury and Leeds, and Stagecoach Yorkshire through its recently-acquired subsidiary, Yorkshire Traction, who provide almost all services in the south east of the town. Other smaller operators include locally based operators Teamdeck, trading under the name of K-Line' and Stotts Coaches. Centrebus Holdings purchased Teamdeck in May 2008, along with Stagecoach Yorkshire's Huddersfield depot.
In November 2006, a zero-fare town centre bus service, known as Free Town Bus, was launched. Buses run every ten minutes from 7.30am (from the train station) to 7.00 pm Monday to Friday and from 8.30am to 5.30pm on Saturday. Stops on the route include the bus station, University of Huddersfield, Kingsgate, and the indoor market. The service is run by K-Line in partnership with Kirklees Council and Metro.
The Rugby League Heritage Centre is located in the basement of the George Hotel.
In 1996 the Waterloo junior grounds were sold and a 26 acre, former Bass Brewery estate, at Lockwood Park was purchased for construction of a replacement. With the assistance of a matching £2 million grant from Sport England, the club has transformed the site into a major sports complex, conference centre and business park.
In 1921-22 Huddersfield won the FA Cup and between 1923-26 they became the first club to win the League Championship three times in a row, an achievement matched only by three other teams. The club left its ground on Leeds Road in 1994 and now shares the Galpharm Stadium with the Huddersfield Giants rugby league team.
Notable ex-players include Scottish international Denis Law, Ray Wilson, a World Cup winner with England in 1966 and Trevor Cherry, England international. Herbert Chapman, Bill Shankly and Neil Warnock are notable former Huddersfield Town managers.
Motorcycle speedway racing was staged in Huddersfield in the UK pioneer year of 1928. A venue in the town staged four or five meetings.
More recently, the town's other main claim to international musical renown is the annual Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. It is also home to the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and the Huddersfield Singers.
On Christmas Day 1977, the Sex Pistols played their last two British shows, one of which was a matinee for the children of striking firefighters, at the then 'Ivanhoe's' nightclub venue, before embarking on the ill-fated US tour which saw them collapse into acrimony. In the early-mid 1990s, Flex, the seminal underground Jungle/Drum 'n' Bass record label, was founded in Huddersfield by the musician and future BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ, L Double. In 2000 another independent record label Chocolate Fireguard Records was founded in Huddersfield by singer Pat Fulgoni who also developed the 3 stage Community music event Timeless Festival held in the town's Ravensknowle Park, featuring a range of electronica, hip hop and rock music.
There are a number of other annual local music festivals held within the town and surrounding area, examples being the Marsden Jazz Festival, Mrs Sunderland, Janet Beaumont, the Holmfirth Festivals, and the Haydn Wood (Linthwaite). The Haydn Wood and Mrs Sunderland events focus on musical and oratorial performance by the town's younger generations. There are however many other local choirs, both youth and adult, a noted example of the latter being the Honley Male voice choir.
Home-grown musical talent of all kinds is complemented by the student intake to the University of Huddersfield's music department.
Further fame was added to the musical history of Huddersfield by the inclusion of the song "The Sheriff of Huddersfield" by the heavy metal band Iron Maiden on the B-side to their 1986 single "Wasted Years". Written about their co-manager Rod Smallwood, leaving his home town of Huddersfield and struggling to settle into life in LA.
Huddersfield is home to Thrash metal band Evile. Dance rock outfit Kava Kava (band) and the birthplace of the synthpop musician Billy Currie of (Ultravox and Visage) fame and the hard rock bassist John McCoy who played with (Neo and Gillan).
Playing lower-key roles in television production with reputations based on their expert knowledge of their subjects, Huddersfield can claim links with Time Team by way of osteo-archaeologist Alice Roberts and Life on Earth through local teacher Dr Jeff Carr's encyclopaedic knowledge of polar bears.
The town centre is home to several national high street retailers and Chain stores including Woolworth's, House of Fraser, Wilkinsons, Clinton Cards, WH Smith, JD Sports, JJB Sports, HMV, GAME, Gamestation. Fast food outlets include Subway, McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Wimpy and Pizza Hut. High-street clothing and fashion retail outlets such as British Home Stores, Marks & Spencer, River Island, Topman and Next. Huddersfield has four major supermarket outlets, one Morrisons, two Sainsbury's, one Tesco (excluding the Tesco Expresses found in Marsh and Dalton). Additional smaller supermarkets include: one Asda, one Netto and two Lidl stores. There is also a wide variety of small specialist independent shops, many of them located in the three-storey Byram Arcade.
The Lawrence Batley Theatre, opened in 1994, housed in what was once the largest Wesleyan Chapel in the world, and now presents dance, drama, comedy, music and exhibitions. Among other things, it acts as the base for Full Body And The Voice, a company focusing on the integration of disabled people into mainstream theatre.
The Galpharm Stadium (formerly the Alfred McAlpine Stadium), is a multi-use sports stadium and provides many sporting activities including a gym, swimming pool, spa and several types of sporting classes. The stadium is home to the local Rugby League team Huddersfield Giants and the Huddersfield Town football team. Adjacent to the stadium is an Odeon cinema, Huddersfield's only major cinema.
A decision to move most of the maternity services provided by the Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust to the Calderdale Royal Hospital changed those facilities in 2007, despite strong opposition from some of the local population. The campaign was led by Save Huddersfield NHS which elected a councillor, Dr Jackie Grunsell in the Crosland Moor ward. St Lukes Hospital is also scheduled to close within the next few years and the land sold for private housing.
Thirty four people and one military infantry regiment have been granted the Freedom of Huddersfield, between 1889 and 1973.
On (2 July 1952), in recognition of historic ties and links with The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding), The Huddersfield County Borough had conferred on the regiment the Freedom of the Town. This gave the regiment the right to march through the town with 'flags flying, bands playing and bayonets fixed'. Many of the town and district's male residents had served in the regiment during its long history. This right to march was technically lost when the County Borough itself was merged with Dewsbury to form Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council though, unofficially, continued as on (25 March 1979), Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council gave the Freedom of Kirklees to the 3rd battalion of the Yorkshire Volunteers. The 3rd Battalion was the Duke of Wellington's Territorial Army unit.
However when the 'Dukes' were amalgamated with the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire and the Green Howards' to form the Yorkshire Regiment on the (6 June 2006). The right to march was finally ended as the award did not give the right, for the freedom to march, to be passed on to any heirs or successors. The majority of the Yorkshire Regiment is now composed of soldiers from the north and eastern areas of Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Regiment has requested the right to march to be transferred to them. However, the county Borough no longer exists and so there is no authority to do so. The freedom given by Kirklees to the 3rd battalion of the Yorkshire Volunteers did not permit any transfer to heirs or successors and effectively that freedom also ceased when the battalion was amalgamated into the East and West Riding Regiment. The East and West Riding Regiment ceased to exist on (6 June 2006), having been merged into the Yorkshire Regiment as its 4th Battalion.
A number of national and internationally famous people originate from Huddersfield. They cover a range of politicians, sports personalities, athletes, entertainers, business people, scientists and writers of various styles. Some people have also become known through their association with Huddersfield, though were not born there. These include the actor Patrick Stewart, who was born in Mirfield and the inventor Wilf Lunn, who was born in Brighouse.
The most widely notable of those born in Huddersfield include (in alphabetical order by surname):- Simon Armitage who is both a poet and an author. Lawrence Batley a British business entrepreneur. Andy Booth a footballer for the local football club:- Huddersfield Town. David Borrow a Member of Parliament for South Ribble. Sir David Brown OBE a very successful British businessman. Roy Castle OBE who was a dancer and entertainer and later a TV presenter. Lord James Hanson was another British and international businessman mainly known for his association with the transport industry. Sir Harold Percival Himsworth was a scientist. George Herbert Hirst was an English test cricketer. Nina Hossain is a Television broadcaster. Derek Ibbotson was an Olympic athlete in the track events. A tower block of social housing accommodation, close to the town's ring road, was named after him Gorden Kaye is mostly known for his comedy acting. Anita Lonsbrough was an Olympic swimmer and commentator. Like Derek Ibbotson a tower block of social housing accommodation was named after her. Zöe Lucker is an actress, known for playing Tanya Turner in the ITV1 Drama Footballers' Wives. Another Huddersfield born celebrity was the great actor of British and American films, James Mason. Wilfred Rhodes is another English test cricketer. John Whitaker MBE has a local stables and is an Olympic equestrian. Whilst probably the most famous of all is Harold Wilson KG OBE who was twice the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from, 1964 to 1970 and again from 1974 to 1976.
Other well known personalities can be located in the People from Huddersfield.