by small hamlets and villages the town has become a focal point for
residents in the Holme Valley, with shops, banks and even its own
picture house restored back to its 1912 prime.
town also caters well for the passing tourist trade and has many
pubs and cafes including the Crag Rats Theatre and Café Bar
on Dunford Road.
is an intimate studio theatre in Holmfirth hosting a wide range
of theatrical and musical events plus comedy nights.
Picturedrome - you can't miss it!
of the pubs worth visiting in Holmfirth is the Rose and Crown, known
locally as the 'Nook', off Victoria Square. It has achieved the
distinction of appearing in all of the last 25 editions of the Good
Beer Guide from 1976 to the new 2000 edition. It has run by the
Roberts family for nearly 40 years.
Another pub worth a mention is The Old Bridge Hotel at Holmfirth
which was named Huddersfield CAMRA Pub of the Year 2000.
event not to miss in Holmfirth is the Holmfirth Folk Festival which
has been an annual event in May since 1978.
is descibed as the Pennine festival of music and dance and hundreds
of tourists flock to the village for the weekend. A campsite is
opened at Sands Recreation ground 5 minutes walk of the Civic Hall
to cope with the extra people as all the Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts
are fully booked.
There any many paths leading up from the town into the wilds
of the Pennines.
traditional style, the festival closes with the Holmfirth Anthem
- 'Pratty Flowers'. The whole community joins together to sing 'Abroad
for pleasure as I was awalking it was one summer, summer's evening
the edge of the peak disitrict, Holmfirth boasts of many fine walks
and is a stone throw from the Pennine Way.
is easily accessible by public transport with buses running from
Meltham, Wakefield and Huddersfield.
town is situated in the Holme Valley, the word "firth"
was the Old English name for wood and woodland. The town grew up
around a corn mill and bridge in the 13th century but the present
church dates from the 1470s.
streets and small alleys dominate the town
hundred years later Holmfirth expanded rapidly with the growing
cloth trade grew and the production of stone and slates from the
surrounding quarries increased. It was a prosperous town and in
1850 the very first steam train pulled into Holmfirth thanks to
the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. (Unfortunately Holmfirth
no longer has a rail link - it was demolished in the mid-1960s).
tragedy struck the town in 1852: the famous Holmfirth Flood. Although
there had been other floods, the 1852 flood was caused much more
extensive loss of life and damage than any before or since.
people died as heavy rain caused the Bilberry Reservoir, near Holme
Village, to burst its banks sending a torrent of waves crashing
The town is built directly next to the river
reservoir was built in the 1840s to supply water to the mills in
the Holme Valley who needed a constant supply of water to turn heavy
waterwheels which were the chief source of power in the mills.
were problems with its construction and maintenance and the Sunday
before the flood, concerns were expressed over its safety.
were made to work the valves to eject the accumulating water but
these were found to be out of order. However no alarm was raised
in the village and at midnight waves started to come over the embankment
and the the power of the water started to wash the dam away.
water left a trail of death and devastation. Debris was pilled up
to the second floor of a factory as four tonnes stones were washed
down the hill as though they were pebbles on a beach.
A town of history
calamity attracted the attention of the whole nation even reaching
the front page of the London Standard.
Victoria sent a message of sympathy and a fund was set up to help
those in need.
Reservoir is still above Holmfirth today but feeds into the massive
the damage caused by the flood in 1852, in 1861 Holmfirth was a
big and prosperous town, with a large number of mills and dye houses
in the region. But the huge growth lead to problems and it became
quite a rowdy area with fights between local residents and immigrants
working in the mills and quarries.