My ways and By-ways – Not so hidden Huddersfield

Me and my little Fujifilm Finepix have been out and about exploring some nooks and corners in my home-town this week.

Historic Huddersfield

Huddersfield has history going way back, before it ever became the bustling market and university town it is today.  Set in the heart of Pennine Yorkshire, Huddersfield is surrounded by moorland, and villages dotted around the hills and valleys, with evidence of its evolution everywhere.

The area is rich in geology and there have been neolithic, bronze and iron age civilisations here, even the Romans passed through. Overlooking the town is Castle Hill, originally an important Iron Age fort, is now a stunning vantage point and home to the landmark Victoria  Tower which was built to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Huddersfield was once called Odersfelt, as it is spelled in the Domesday Book, and since then the manor has passed through the hands of the De Lacys, the crown, and the Ramsdens until 1920, all of whom had influences on the town’s development.

History lives on

The Industrial Revolution, the coming of the canal and railway with subsequent trade and money have helped shape the town and its buildings. Now, however, other businesses and companies have replaced the former principal industry of textiles.

Towns are constantly changing. Old gives way (sometimes reluctantly) to new. But still, all around is evidence of what once was. Huddersfield has some wonderful Victorian architecture, erected when it had status as a prosperous woollen town. These buildings stand monument to former glories above the town’s many pound shops, charity shops, ever increasing e-cigarette outlets and all the paraphernalia of modern towns.

Huddersfield’s claims to fame

As a note to those who don’t know, Huddersfield is famous for: The Luddite Uprisings, formation of rugby league, Standard Fireworks (now Black Cat),  David Brown’s tractors, Ben Shaw’s soft drinks, Thornton and Ross pharmaceuticals, former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, actors James Mason and Patrick Stewart (the latter actually from Mirfield, a small town a couple of miles to the east), TV personality Roy Castle, and also the setting for long-running TV series Last of the Summer Wine amongst much more…

 

Here are some pictures from around the town centre of stuff you may miss while dashing out of the rain between places like Superdrug and Card Factory. I intend to feature more of my photo-observances in the future.

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A view over chimney-pots and rooftops from my office
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Tops of buildings looking down Station Street
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Top of the Lion Chambers at dawn
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Top corner of the Britannia Building
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Some details on a corner building
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The carving on this gable must have taken ages to complete
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More elaborate stonework, all above our heads
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The solid doors of Lloyds bank depicting four local landmarks: Castle Hill, Civic Centre, Parish church and the train station
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This dome and clock tower are above what is now Wilkinsons. The building used to be the Co-operative department store until the early 90’s

Below is the interesting red brick and marble Prudential doorway squeezed between two modern shops in the very middle of town.

Spotted this chimney hidden down a private lane between buildings. Only noticed it recently, so thought I’d better bag it in case the site is ever redeveloped.

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