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Bradshaw’s Guide


A parliamentary borough, and seat of the woollen trade, among hills, on a hill over the Colne, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, population 34,877; who return one member. Woollens, fancy valentias, shawls, &c., are the staple articles of manufacture, besides corduroys, and cotton, though but little of the last. One short canal, called “The Ramsden,” after the name of the lords of the manor who cut it, runs to the river Calder; and another strikes through the moors towards Staleybridge, passing a tunnel 3½ miles long, and being 656 feet above the sea in the highest part. The railway, which follows the same direction, has an equal rise and fall, with a tunnel quite as long. Among the edifices, which are of stone, are St. Peter’s Church, rebuilt in 1836 ; Trinity Church, St. John’s Church, built by Sir John Ramsden, at the cost of £12,000, and St. Paul’s Church, the Arcade and the Railway Station, also a College, or proprietary school, chiefly attended by dissenters; large Wesleyan Chapel; the Philosophical Hall; a large handsome Infirmary, built in 1830, for £10,000; and Water Works, supplied from Longwood, 3 miles distant. There are but a dozen bakers here, the custom being for the inhabitants to bake their own bread.

Within a few miles are Almondbury Castle, on the site of the ancient Campodunum; Woodsome Lees, seat of the Earl of Dartmouth, near Farnley-Tyas, which belongs to the family; Fixby Hall, the residence of Captain Edwards; Kirklees Hall, Sir G. Armitage, Bart, on the site of the nunnery where that mythical hero Robin Hood was bled to death by the nun, according to the current story. Here may still be seen the grave, with the inscription of his death and burial.

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