Facts about Huddersfield
Huddersfield is a market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England. It is the administrative centre and largest settlement in the Kirklees district. The town is in the foothills of the Pennines. The River Holme’s confluence into the similar-sized Colne is to the south of the town centre which then flows into the Calder in the north eastern outskirts of the town.
The rivers around the town provided soft water required for textile treatment in large weaving sheds, this made it a prominent mill town with an economic boom in the early part of the Victorian era Industrial Revolution. The town centre has much neoclassical Victorian architecture, one example is its railway station which is a Grade I listed building – described by John Betjeman as “the most splendid station façade in England” – and won the Europa Nostra award for architecture.
Local settlement dates back over 4,000 years. Castle Hill, a major landmark, was the site of an Iron Age hill fort. The remains of a Roman fort were unearthed in the mid 18th century at Slack near Outlane, west of the town.
The earliest surviving record of the place name is in the Domesday Book of 1086, Oderesfelt. It appears as Hudresfeld in a Yorkshire charter from 1121 to 1127, and as Huderesfeld in subsidy rolls in 1297. The name meaning has not complicated with the shifts of English, remaining ‘Hud(d)er’s field’.
The modern name is pronounced without a word-initial /h/ in the local dialect, a trait ironically and independently shared by many Norman scribes’ dialects of the Domesday Book era.