Facts about Holmfirth
Holmfirth is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. It is located 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Huddersfield and 14 miles (23 km) west of Barnsley; the boundary of the Peak District National Park is 2 miles (3.2 km) to the south-west. The town is sited on the A635 and A6024 roads in the Holme Valley, at the confluence of the River Holme and Ribble. It mostly consists of stone-built cottages nestled on the eastern slopes of the Pennine hills.
Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Holmfirth was a centre for pioneering film-making by Bamforth & Co., which later switched to the production of saucy seaside postcards. Between 1973 and 2010, Holmfirth and the Holme Valley became well known as the filming location of the BBC’s situation comedy Last of the Summer Wine. In 2023, the filming location of Sid’s Cafe in the town centre was preserved.
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. Dr Albert Lister Peace was the church’s organist, at the age of nine, in the early 1850s. 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.