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West Riding
Grid reference: SE142081
Location: 53°34’12"N, 1°47’13"W
Population: 1,980  (2008 est.)
Post town: Holmfirth
Postcode: HD9
Dialling code: 01484
Local Government
Council: Kirklees
Colne Valley

Holmfirth is a small Yorkshire town sitting in the Holme Valley in the West Riding. It is a delightful little Yorkshire town of stone-built cottages, the sights of which are familiar to many as it inspired and provided the backdrop for the long-running situation comedy Last of the Summer Wine.

Holmfirth is in the Holme Valley, nestled in the Pennine hills. It stands where the Rivers Holme and Ribble meet. The town is 6 miles south of Huddersfield on the A6024 Woodhead Road, which runs down from Holme Moss. The Peak District National Park around Holme Moss is 4 miles to the south of the town.

Holmfirth was once a centre for pioneering film-making by the Bamforth & Co Ltd, which later switched to the making of saucy seaside postcards. More recently Holmfirth became well known as the location for Last of the Summer Wine.


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 hewing 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, part of branch line built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company.

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.

The Bamforth's 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 and the West Riding film industry, for a time, surpassed that of Hollywood in terms of productivity and originality. Interestingly ancient documents have the town's name spelt 'Holm Frith' which can be translated as 'Holly Wood', albeit that the name is from the River Holme; the Holme woods.


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 1738[1] and 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.


About the village

Holmfirth from Cliffe Lane

Holmfirth and the surrounding countryside have been 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 television drama Where the Heart Is, though based in Slaithwaite, had also taken place in and around the area.

A regular farmers' market is held on the third Sunday in the month, in the market hall, selling local and organic produce.


Holmfirth's Film Festival and Festival of Folk are held every May, and its Arts Festival takes place over two weeks in June. Holmfirth Art Week, with its July exhibition in the Civic Hall, raises money for Macmillan Cancer Relief.[2]

Holmfirth is home to the galleries of the artists Ashley Jackson and Trevor Stubley Royal Society of Portrait Painters|RP RBA RSW RWS.

The Holmfirth Choral Society hold regular classical choral music concerts in Holmfirth Civic Hall.[3]

The cinema in the town is the Picturedrome, which also hosts music events; in the past nationally celebrated acts have played.[4][5]

Surrounding hamlets

Holmfirth constitutes a town of its own almost seven miles 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, Gully, Flushhouse, Hade Edge, Thongsbridge, Upperthong and Washpit. Many of which are located on Cartworth Moor.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Holmfirth)