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Clock, Market Street - geograph.org.uk - 1468223.jpg
Clock in Heckmondwike's centre, erected in 1863 to commemorate the marriage of the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark. [1]
West Yorkshire UK location map.svg
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Location within West Yorkshire
OS grid reference SE216234
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district WF16
Dialling code 01924
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°42′29″N1°40′12″W / 53.708°N 1.670°W / 53.708; -1.670 Coordinates: 53°42′29″N1°40′12″W / 53.708°N 1.670°W / 53.708; -1.670

Heckmondwike is a town in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England, 9 miles (14 km) south west of Leeds. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is close to Cleckheaton and Liversedge. It is mostly in the Batley and Spen parliamentary constituency, and had an estimated population of 16,986 at the 2011 Census [2] increasing to 18,149 at the 2021 Census. [3] Heckmondwike forms part of the Heavy Woollen District.



The origins of Heckmondwike are in Old English. First recorded as Hedmundewic[ sic ] in the Domesday Book of 1086, Hedmundewic in 1166, and as Hecmundewik sometime in the 13th century, the name seems to be from *Hēahmundes wīc, or 'Heahmund's dairy-farm'. [4]


During Saxon times, Heckmondwike was a "berewick" or independent village in the manor of Gomersal, which, before 1066, was held by Dunstan and Gamel.

The Poll Tax of 1379 records seven families in Heckmondwike, about 35 people: including one named Thomas of Stubly. Most lived in isolated farmsteads such as Stubley Farm, on high ground overlooking the marshy Spen Valley floor.

In 1684, there were around 250 people, occupying 50 houses, in the town. The town became famous for manufacturing blankets, and by 1811 the Blanket Hall was built for trade in the town's primary manufacture. It was replaced by a second hall erected in 1839, on Blanket Hall Street in the town centre. Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Brontë in 1857 described the inhabitants of Heckmondwike as "a chapel-going people, very critical of their sermons, tyrannical to their ministers and violent radicals".

The town ceased generating electricity in 1924. The Power Company buildings survive in part on Bath Road. [5] The remains of the first Blanket Hall were demolished in spring 2008, along with a number of other old buildings including some former Co-op buildings that had been used as the post office and former "George" public house.

A health centre was opened in July 2010 to house two former doctors' practices. [6]


St James's Church (Church of England) St James' Church - Church Street - geograph.org.uk - 706270.jpg
St James's Church (Church of England)

Located at the edge of the Pennine hills, the land rises to the north, east and south of the town centre. The town covers an area of one square mile (640 acres), [7] the town boundary is not the same as the ward boundary.

Heckmondwike has a telephone exchange, north of High Street in the Wakefield 01924 dialling area. The exchange covers Liversedge, and parts of Dewsbury Moor and Staincliffe.


In 1894 Heckmondwike Urban District Council was established and was incorporated into Kirklees in the local government reorganisation of 1974. The Heckmondwike electoral ward includes Millbridge, Flush, and Norristhorpe in Liversedge south of the A62 road. Heckmondwike ward is represented on Kirklees Council by three Labour councillors.

In 2003 the ward elected David Exley of the British National Party, after the serving councillor left the Labour Party to run as an independent. Exley was re-elected in 2004, and in 2006 a second BNP member, Roger Roberts, was elected. Roberts had previously served as councillor for the Conservative Party. [8] In May 2007 David Sheard (Labour), was returned. In May 2008 Exley lost his seat to Labour candidate Steve Hall. In May 2010 Roberts lost his seat to Labour candidate Viv Kendrick. Sheard was re-elected in 2011, and Hall was re-elected in 2012.


The weekly newspaper was the Heckmondwike Herald until Friday 15 August 2008 after which the title was merged into the Spenborough Guardian incorporating the Heckmondwike Herald. It covers the former Spenborough Urban District and Heckmondwike. [9]


The town has its own bus station.

Pop Culture

In season 3 episode 26 of the Andy Griffith show a gentleman's gentleman passes through Mayberry on his American tour. He is from Heckmondwike, England. After causing a traffic accident he is forced to work off the damages as Andy's personal valet.

Notable people

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See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Batley</span> Town in West Yorkshire, England

Batley is a market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England. Batley lies south-west of Leeds, north-west of Wakefield and Dewsbury, south-east of Bradford and north-east of Huddersfield. Batley is part of the Heavy Woollen District. In 2011 the population of Batley including Hanging Heaton, Staincliffe, Carlinghow, Birstall, Birstall Smithies, Copley Hill and Howden Clough was 48,730.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gomersal</span> Town in West Yorkshire, England

Gomersal is a town in Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England. It is south of Bradford, east of Cleckheaton and north of Heckmondwike. It is close to the River Spen and forms part of the Heavy Woollen District.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">River Spen</span> River in West Yorkshire, England

The River Spen or Spen Beck, in West Yorkshire, England is a tributary of the River Calder. It rises north of Cleckheaton, runs through Liversedge and flows into the Calder to the south of Dewsbury at Ravensthorpe. The average rainfall for the river valley of between 600–1000mm per annum when combined with the steep narrow river channel, makes the Spen susceptible to regular flooding. It is referred to in the name of the local parliamentary constituency, Batley and Spen, to account for the villages and suburbs of Batley in the Spen Valley, such as Liversedge and Gomersal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ossett</span> Town in West Yorkshire, England

Ossett is a market town in West Yorkshire, England, within the City of Wakefield. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated between Dewsbury, Horbury and Wakefield. At the 2021 census, the town had a population of 21,861. Ossett forms part of the Heavy Woollen District.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cleckheaton</span> Town in West Yorkshire, England

Cleckheaton is a town in the Metropolitan borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated south of Bradford, east of Brighouse, west of Batley and south-west of Leeds. It is at the centre of the Spen Valley and was the major town in the former borough of Spenborough. Cleckheaton has a history as a mill town and forms part of the Heavy Woollen District.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kirklees</span> Metropolitan borough in England

Kirklees is a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England. The largest town and administrative centre of Kirklees is Huddersfield, and the district also includes Batley, Birstall, Cleckheaton, Denby Dale, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Holmfirth, Kirkburton, Marsden, Meltham, Mirfield and Slaithwaite. It is governed by Kirklees Council. Kirklees had a population of 422,500 in 2011; it is also the third largest metropolitan district in England by area size, behind Doncaster and Leeds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Batley and Spen (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Batley and Spen is a constituency in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. The current MP is Kim Leadbeater, a Labour politician, elected in a 2021 by-election by a 323-vote margin. The seat has returned Labour MPs since the 1997 general election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heavy Woollen District</span> Localised area of West Yorkshire

The Heavy Woollen District is a region of textile-focused industrial development in West Yorkshire, England. It acquired the name because of the heavyweight cloth manufactured there from the early 19th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liversedge</span> Town in West Yorkshire, England

Liversedge is a town and 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. The Kirklees ward is now called Liversedge and Gomersal with a population at the 2011 Census of 19,420. Liversedge forms part of the Heavy Woollen District.

Spenborough was, from 1915 to 1974, a local government district in the administrative county of Yorkshire, West Riding, England.

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Spen Valley was a parliamentary constituency in the valley of the River Spen in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kirklees Council</span>

Kirklees Council is the local authority providing most local government services for the borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England. It is a metropolitan district council and one of five constituent councils of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spen Valley Line</span> Disused railway line in West Yorkshire, England

The Spen Valley Line was a railway that connected Mirfield with Low Moor through the Spen Valley in West Yorkshire, England. Opened up by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in 1847, with full opening to Low Moor in 1848, the line served a busy industrial and textile area and allowed a connection for trains between Huddersfield and Bradford. The line was absorbed by the London & North Western Railway, the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and British Railways on Nationalisation. A separate link between Heckmondwike Central and Thornhill that opened later and was known as the Ravensthorpe Branch, allowed through running to Wakefield and beyond. The line was closed down to passengers in 1965 with freight continuing sporadically until 1981. A Spur onto the former Leeds New Line from the Ravensthorpe Branch kept the very southern end open until the late 1980s. The majority of the route is now the Spen Valley Greenway cycle path.

The Heavy Woollen District Independents was a political party based in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire, England. The party was registered with the Electoral Commission on 13 September 2017. Its leader was Aleksandar Lukic-Scott, who was the chairman for UKIP's Dewsbury, Batley and Spen branch until 2017.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2021 Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council election</span>

The 2021 Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 6 May 2021 to elect members of Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections. One-third of the seats were up for election, with two wards Almondbury electing two councillors. In November 2020, 3 Labour Councillors resigned in protest over the handling of the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn. This resulted in Labour losing overall control of Kirklees Council.

The 2022 Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 5 May 2022. One third of councillors—23 out of 69—on Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council were elected. The election took place alongside other local elections across the United Kingdom.


  1. Historic England. "Drinking Fountain (1134624)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  2. "Kirklees Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  3. "Kirklees Ward population 2021". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  4. 'Oxford Dictionary of British Place-Names', A.D. Mills, Oxford University Press; Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
  5. Heckmondwike Official Guide 1st edition
  6. "Kirklees Council - Online news". Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011
  7. Heckmondwike Guide 1922
  8. "Results for Heckmondwike in the 2004 Kirklees Election". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  9. Wakefield Today Website Dewsbury newspapers Archived 29 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. James Berry. "My experiences as an executioner" . Retrieved 19 April 2018 via Internet Archive.
  11. Kirk, Pauline (17 February 2011). "Mabel Ferrett obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  12. Bradwell, C. R. "George Arthur Pollard". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 23 April 2017.