Almondbury is a village, and a former township and historic parish, situated two miles southeast of Huddersfield.
The village of Almondbury (named as "Alemanberie" in the Domesday Book and as "Almonbury" in other old documents) is situated on higher ground to Huddersfield and for several centuries remained the more important of the two neighbouring parishes.
The historic Parish of Almondbury comprised the land to the south of what is now known as the River Colne, also encompassed the townships and chapelries of Austonley, Farnley Tyas, Holme, Honley, Lingarths, Linthwaite, Lockwood, Marsden in Almondbury, Meltham, Netherthong, South Crosland, and Upperthong.
Almondbury was granted a market charter in June 1294 by King Edward I and became the centre of trade for the surrounding area. The Parish Church of All Hallows (also known as All Saints) also dates from the 13th Century.
The granting of the a market charter to Huddersfield in 1671 and the subsequent improvements to transportation links — namely the building of the Huddersfield Broad Canal in the 1770s, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal (opened 1811) and the coming of the railway in the 1840s — led to Almondbury diminishing in importance to its more rapidly expanding neighbour during the Industrial Revolution.
A list of "Unions and Parishes" complied for the 1862 Parliamentary Papers stated that the township of Almondbury included the hamlets of "Castle Hill Side, Cold Hill, Fennybridge, Newsome, Oaks, and Thorpe".
The scheduled ancient monument of Castle Hill is situated to the west of the village. A relatively large number of buildings granted a Listed Status can be found in the area, particularly along Town End, Northgate and Westgate.
Extract from Pigot and Co.'s Royal National and Commercial Directory of August 1841:
Aldmonbury is a populous township and respectable village, in the extensive parish of its name, the village being situated about 2 miles south-east of Huddersfield, on the road leading to Penistone. The parish of Almondbury is of great importance, both as respects its commerce and its extent — being nearly ten miles in length, and embracing within its limits many populous townships and villages. The manufactures are of the same nature as those of Huddersfield, for which there are numerous establishments in the township and its vicarage. Sir John Ramsden is lord of the manor, and holds a court leet annually in October, when constables and other officers are appointed, and cases of damage and trespass adjudicated. The parish church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient edifice, with a square tower ; the benefice is a vicarage, in the gift of the governors of Clitheroe, and incumbency of the Rev. Lewis Jones. In the village is a chapel for Wesleyan methodists. The free grammar school here was founded in the reign of James I ; the income is derived from land and rent charges, devised by Robert Nettleton and other benefactors. The parish contained, in 1831, 30,606 inhabitants, and the township 7,086 of that number.
Extract from A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) edited by Samuel Lewis:
ALMONDBURY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Huddersfield, Upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York, 1¾ mile (S. E.) from Huddersfield, on the old road to Sheffield; comprising the townships of Almondbury, Austonley, North and South Crossland, Farnley-Tyas, Holme, Honley, Lingards, Linthwaite, Lockwood, Marsden, Meltham, Nether Thong, and Upper Thong; and the hamlets of Berrybrow, Crossland Moor, Deanhouse, Meltham Mills, Longley, Lowerhouses, Netherton, and Rashcliffe; and containing 37,315 inhabitants, of whom 8828 are in the township of Almondbury. According to Camden, this was the Cambodunum of Antoninus, the site of which he places on the summit of a neighbouring hill, where are vestiges of a rampart and the remains of a fortification; but some later writers are of opinion that these are Saxon remains, as no Roman relics have ever been found, and there are no ancient roads leading to the place. The same author states that in the early Saxon times a royal vill existed here, with a church, built by Paulinus, and dedicated to St. Alban, from which circumstance arose the name Albanbury, since softened into Almondbury. This church is supposed to have been afterwards burnt in the war between Penda, King of Mercia, and Edwin of Northumbria, the latter of whom had a palace here; and it appears that no church from that period was known till after the year 1090, when the manor came into the possession of the Lacy family, of whom Alice de Lacy and her son Henry presented to the rectory in 1187, prior to which time a church had been erected most probably by Gilbert de Lacy, the first lord.
The inhabitants of this populous and extensive district are principally engaged in the manufacture of fancy goods and woollen cloth, for which there are numerous establishments. The parish comprises 26,055a. 3r. 37p.; there are several coal-mines, and some stone-quarries, the produce of which is chiefly applied to building purposes. In the 39th of George III. an act was passed for inclosing the waste lands in the townships of North Crossland and Honley; in the 9th of George IV., one for reclaiming those in Austonley and Upper Thong; and in 1830 similar acts were passed for Meltham and Nether Thong: in 1837 an act was procured for making certain reservoirs in the parish. Fairs are held on Easter and Whit Mondays, and on Nov. 23rd for swine and cattle.The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20. 7. 11.; net income, £250; patrons and impropriators, the Governors of Clitheroe school, to whom the rectory, &c., were given by the crown at the Dissolution, previously to which they had belonged to the College of Jesus, at Rotherham. There are 16 acres of glebe, with a good vicarage-house rebuilt about 1774. The church, an ancient and venerable structure, erected on the site of the original church, in 1552, and which had fallen into a state of general dilapidation, was in 1840, through the spirited efforts of a few of the inhabitants, thoroughly restored, with the most scrupulous regard to the preservation of its pristine character, and is now one of the most beautiful churches in the West riding. At the end of the north aisle is a chapel belonging to the Earl of Dartmouth, and at the extremity of the south aisle one belonging to the Beaumont family: there are two oak chests of great antiquity, richly carved; and round the upper part of the walls, close to the ceiling, are some verses in Saxon characters. There are also churches at Holme-Bridge, Crossland, Farnley-Tyas, Linthwaite, Meltham, Meltham-Mills, Lockwood, Marsden, Nether Thong, Upper Thong, Milns-Bridge, Armitage-Bridge, and Honley; and within the township of Almondbury are two places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, and one for the New Connexion. A free grammar school was founded by letters-patent of James I.; the annual income amounts to £91, arising from lands and rentcharges demised by Robert Nettleton and other benefactors.
Extract from Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1872) edited by John Marius Wilson:
ALMONDBURY, a town, a township, a subdistrict, and a parish in the district of Huddersfield, W. R. Yorkshire. The town stands near the Colne river and the Sheffield railway, 2 miles SE of Huddersfield. It has a post office under Huddersfield, and a fair on Easter-Monday. It was anciently called Albanbury. It is supposed by some antiquaries to have been the Campodunum of the Romans; and it seems certainly to have been a seat of the Kings of Northumbria. An ancient castle crowned an eminence at it, strongly fortified by double wall and trenches, and interiorly disposed in outer and inner courts; and a few traces of this still exist, in an almost vitrified state, proving it to have been destroyed by fire. The township includes also the hamlets of Coldhill, Fennybridge,-Castlehillside, Oaks, Newsome, and Thorpe. Acres, 2,585. Real property, £22,943. Pop., 10,361. Houses, 2,225.-The subdistrict comprises the townships of Almondbury and Farnley-Tyas. Acres, 4,208. Pop., 11,063. Houses, 2,376. The parish, in addition to this subdistrict, comprises the subdistricts of Lockwood, Meltham, and Honley, and part of the subdistricts of Slaithwaite and Holmfirth. Acres, 28,092. Rated property, exclusive of the chapelries of Nether-Thong, Armitage-Bridge, and Helme, £175,443. Pop. in 1841, 37,315; in 1861, 42,889. Houses, 8,884. The property in many parts is much subdivided. A large proportion of the inhabitants are employed in cotton and woollen factories. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £571.* Patron, Sir J. W. Ramsden, Bart. The church is in the perpendicular English style. The chapelries of Honley, Meltham, Marsden, Linthwaite, Lockwood, Crossland, Nether-Thong, Upper-Thong, Holme-Bridge, Farnley-Tyas, Meltham-Mills, Milns-Bridge, Armitage-Bridge, Rashcliff, Wilshaw, and Helme, are all within the parish; and there are various chapels for Independents, Baptists, and Methodists. A free grammar school was founded in the time of James I., and has £75 a year from endowment; and other charities have £348.
The extent of the Civil Parish of Almondbury (compiled from O.S. maps of the early 1890s) is shown below.