Holmfirth viewed from Cliffe Lane, above the town
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Holmfirth is a small town on the A6024 Woodhead Road in the Holme Valley, within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. Centred upon the confluence of the Holme and Ribble rivers, Holmfirth is 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Huddersfield and 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Glossop. It mostly consists of stone-built cottages nestled in the Pennine hills. The Peak District National Park around Holme Moss is 4 miles (6.4 km) to the south of the town.
Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Holmfirth was once a centre for pioneering film-making by Bamforth & Co., which later switched to the production of saucy seaside postcards. Between 1973 and 2010 both Holmfirth and the Holme Valley became well known as the filming location of the BBC's situation comedy Last of the Summer Wine .
The name Holmfirth derives from Old English holegn ('holly'), in the name of Holme, West Yorkshire, compounded with Middle English frith ('wood'). It thus meant 'the woods at Holme'.
The town originally grew up around a corn mill and bridge in the 13th century. Three hundred years later Holmfirth expanded rapidly as the growing cloth trade grew and the production of stone and slates from the surrounding quarries increased. The present parish church was built in 1778 after the church built in 1476 was swept away in a flood the previous year. In 1850 Holmfirth railway station opened, on the branch line built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company.
Local men who served and died in the First and Second World Wars are commemorated on the Holme Valley War Memorial found outside Holme Valley Memorial Hospital.
Holmfirth was the home of Bamforth & Co Ltd, who were well known for their cheeky seaside postcards – although around the time of the First World War, they produced postcards of a more sober nature. The printing works on Station Road has now been converted into residential flats.
Bamforth's company were early pioneers of film-making, before they abandoned the business in favour of postcards.During the early 1900s Holmfirth was well known for film making; During the periods 1898–1900 and 1913–1915 Bamforth and Co. produced what the British Film Institute describes as 'a modest but historically significant collection of films'.
There are a number of instances when flooding has occurred in the Holme Valley affecting Holmfirth and other settlements in the valley. The earliest recorded Holmfirth flood was in 1738and the most recent was 1944. The most severe flood occurred early on the morning of 5 February 1852, when the embankment of the Bilberry Reservoir collapsed causing the deaths of 81 people. Following a severe storm in 1777 the River Holme burst its banks, sweeping away people and property with the loss of three lives; the stone church built in 1476, was also swept away. A storm in 1821 again caused the river to burst its banks. The flooding on the night of 29 May 1944 was not nationally reported and it was then overshadowed by the D-Day landings the following week.
Holmfirth (and the surrounding countryside) is the setting for the BBC's long-running comedy Last of the Summer Wine . Thousands of tourists flock to the area each year to enjoy scenery and locations familiar from the series. Filming of the TV Slaithwaite-based drama, Where the Heart Is, had also taken place in and around the area.
The former Lodge's supermarket building had been sitting empty in the heart of the town since the Co-op moved to new premises in Crown Bottom. Lodge's was built in the 1970s by the prominent local grocery company. It was opened by Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn and occupied an unusual location over the River Holme beside the town's small bus station. Lodge's was bought in the 1990s by Co-operative Retail Services who eventually closed the store down in 1997, after investing in a brand new £2 million supermarket for the town. Local residents, led by the Holme Valley Business Association, campaigned for its demolition. Their campaign was featured in the 2005 Channel 4 documentary, Demolition . The building has since been converted into several smaller shops, with some accommodation on the top floor.
Holmfirth's only primary school is Holmfirth Junior, Infant, and Nursery School located on Cartworth Road, however there are many other primary schools in villages and hamlets closely surrounding Holmfirth. In 2017, 82% of the school's student were achieving the expected standard for their age and 12% were exceeding the expected standard.
Holmfirth High School is a coeducational secondary school that takes in students from the local primary schools named above as well as students from neighboring villages and hamlets. The school has over 1,300 pupils, split over five-year groups from years 7 to 11.
Holmfirth's economy is dominated by rural and tourism activities. A 2013 youth surveyidentified reducing opportunities for young adults in the area and an intention to leave to find employment. The survey resulted in a successful bid for lottery funding to create new opportunities and training to increase employment opportunities in the area. Tourism economic activity is increasing with several accommodation and tourist pursuits developing in the town including booking software to manage and market accommodation. New holiday accommodation includes that linked to the new Winery in Cartworth Moor.
Longley Farm, founded in 1948, manufacturer of dairy products, is a significant employer in the town.
On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France, from York to Sheffield, passed through the town.The event was televised internationally and attracted huge crowds cheering the riders through the town. Holmfirth Cycling Club was formed in 2013 and, with over 400 members by 2016 became the fastest growing cycling club in the UK.
Holmfirth used to have its own branch line, off the Huddersfield to Sheffield line (commonly referred to as the Penistone Line), this short, 2 mile (3 km), line branched from the mainline just south of Brockholes. A viaduct took the line across the valley and into Thongsbridge where a station was sited. The line then went along the side of the valley coming to a halt just outside the town centre on Station Road. Plans did exist for the line to be extended up the valley and then tunnel under Black Hill to join the Sheffield to Manchester line near Woodhead. The line closed to passengers in 1959, with goods traffic lasting until 1965. The station building and platform still remain as a private house. Other sections of the line further down the valley have been sold off for private housing and the viaduct, crossing the valley from the A616 (New Mill Road), at Brockholes, over Spring Wood, has been demolished.
Holmfirth bus station is located in the centre of Holmfirth from which regular bus services take varying routes around the outlying villages and to Huddersfield's bus and railway stations. Additional services run to the town, from Barnsley, Sheffield and Wakefield via Denby Dale or Penistone. Most services are operated by First Calderdale & Huddersfield, using the town's bus station. Weekend and bank holiday services operate to Glossop in north Derbyshire. In October 2006, First bus services were re-branded as the 'Holmfirth Connection'.
Holmfirth Choral Society hold regular classical choral music concerts in Holmfirth Civic Halland the Holme Valley Orchestra plays throughout the year.
The town is particularly associated with an unusual choral folk song, known as the Holmfirth Anthem.
Holmfirth's Film Festival and Festival of Folk are held every May, and its Arts Festival takes place over two weeks in June.
The town's cinema, the Picturedrome, which opened in 1912 as the Valley Theatre,is now a live music venue and has been nominated for the NME Best Small Venue. It hosts various music events. Acts such as Adam Ant, Bad Manners, Buzzcocks, Evile, Fish, Half Man Half Biscuit, Hawkwind, John Martyn, Ocean Colour Scene, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Ron Sexsmith, Saxon, Suzi Quatro and the Beat have performed.
Holmfirth Art Week, with its July exhibition in the Civic Hall, raises money for Macmillan Cancer Relief.
The Holmfirth Festival of Folk takes place in May of each year, featuring a wide selection of folk music and Folk Dance acts from around the UK. Performances take place in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues throughout the town.
Holmfirth Arts Festival is a multi-arts festival which celebrates Creativity, Ideas, People and Landscape in the Holme Valley. Its ticketed, community engagement, outdoor arts and arts in the landscape programmes take place throughout the year, culminating in an annual four day festival on the second weekend in June.
The Holme Valley Brass Band Contest takes place each year at the civic hall.
Holmfirth constitutes a town of its own almost seven miles (11 km) south of the larger town of Huddersfield. While the town of Holmfirth itself is comparatively small, it is surrounded by several hamlets and villages. These neighbouring settlements are often collectively referred to as "Holmfirth" and include:- Austonley, Arrunden, Burnlee, Cinderhills, Cliff, Deanhouse, Netherthong, Gully, Flushhouse, Hade Edge, Thongsbridge, Upperthong and Washpit. Many of these are located on Cartworth Moor.
Other villages and hamlets within the Holmfirth post town include:- Brockholes, Fulstone, Jackson Bridge, Hepworth, Holme, Holmbridge, Honley, Meltham, Netherthong, New Mill, Scholes, Totties, Thongsbridge, Upperthong, Longley, Hade Edge, Underbank and Wooldale.
Kirklees is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, governed by Kirklees Council with the status of a metropolitan borough. 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. Kirklees had a population of 422,500 in 2011 and is therefore the most populous borough in England that is not a city; it is also the third largest metropolitan district by area behind Doncaster and Leeds.
Huddersfield is a large market town in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 162,949 at the 2011 census. It lies 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Leeds, west of Wakefield and north of Sheffield. As well as 24 miles (39 km) northeast of Manchester. It is the administrative centre of the wider metropolitan borough of Kirklees.
Honley is a large village in West Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated near to Holmfirth and Huddersfield, and on the banks of the River Holme in the Holme Valley. According to the 2011 Census it had a population of 6,474, a growth of 577 from the 2001 Census
Colne Valley is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2019 by Jason McCartney of the Conservative Party. Since the 1964 general election, the only occasion when the winning candidate's majority exceeded 10% of the votes cast was in 1992, and three different parties have held the seat during this period. Since 1987 it has been won by either Conservative or Labour candidates.
Holme Moss is high moorland on the border between the Holme Valley district of Kirklees in West Yorkshire and the High Peak district of Derbyshire in England. Historically on the boundary between the West Riding of Yorkshire and Cheshire, it is just inside the boundary of the Peak District National Park. The A6024 road between Holmfirth and Longdendale crosses the moor near its highest point close to Holme Moss transmitting station's prominent mast.
Lockwood is an area of Huddersfield, in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. It is 0.9 miles (1.4 km) to the southwest of Huddersfield Town Centre, to the west of the River Holme.
New Mill, West Yorkshire, England, is a small, semi-rural village near the town of Holmfirth. It is in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees and the civil parish of Holme Valley. The village had a population of 1,259 in the 2001 census. The village is 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Holmfirth and 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Huddersfield.
Holme Valley is a large civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 25,049, increasing to 34,680 for the two wards in the 2011 Census. Its administrative centre is in Holmfirth. Other sizeable settlements in the parish include, Brockholes, Honley and New Mill. It is named from the River Holme that runs through the parish.
The River Holme in the Holme Valley, West Yorkshire, England is a tributary of the River Colne. The river's source is at Digley Reservoir and it is fed firstly by the run-off from Brownhill Reservoir, then by Dobbs Dike. The banks of the upper part of the river are mostly urbanised and are in the Holme Valley civil parish.
Brockholes railway station serves the village of Brockholes, near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. It lies 4.25 miles (7 km) away from Huddersfield on the Penistone Line operated by Northern Trains.
Brockholes is a small village in West Yorkshire, England, in the administrative area of Kirklees Metropolitan Council and Holme Valley Parish Council. The village of Honley borders to the immediate north of the village and Holmfirth lies to the south. Brockholes is within the Postal district of Holmfirth.
Bamforth & Co Ltd is a publishing, film and illustration company based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.
Netherthong is a village in the civil parish of Holme Valley, and the metropolitan borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England. The village is near the town of Holmfirth, and on the B6107 road to Meltham from the main A6024 Woodhead Road through the Holme Valley from Honley to Holmfirth. It has a population of 1,730.
Thongsbridge is a small village in the Kirklees district of West Yorkshire, England. It is in the semi-rural Holme Valley and the village boundaries merge into the neighbouring communities of Holmfirth, New Mill and Wooldale. According to the 2001 Census, it covers an area of 124.7 hectares.
First Halifax, Calder Valley and Huddersfield is one of the bus companies serving the area of West Yorkshire, England. It forms part of FirstGroup, a company operating transport services across the British Isles and in North America. The company operates within the area covered by Metro, a public body responsible for helping to co-ordinate public transport services in the West Yorkshire area.
The Holmfirth branch line is a disused railway line that ran for 2 miles (3.2 km) from Brockholes to Holmfirth, in West Yorkshire, England. The line was built as double track as there were plans to extend the line up the Holme Valley.
First West Yorkshire is a bus operator in West Yorkshire. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup.
The River Ribble is a minor river running through the town of Holmfirth in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England.
The Holmfirth Anthem, also known as Pratty Flowers (sic), Abroad for Pleasure and Through the Groves, is an English choral folk song associated with Yorkshire, especially the rural West Riding, and particularly with the area around Holmfirth.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Holmfirth .|