Clough House, Halifax Old Road, Birkby, Fartown

This page is a bare-bones entry for a location which appears on an historic Ordnance Survey map. More detailed information may eventually be added...


  • appears on maps: 1890 [#179]
  • location: Halifax Old Road, Birkby
  • status: no longer exists
  • category: private house

Clough House was demolished in the summer of 1899 to allow for road widening.

Discovering Old Huddersfield

Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:

Immediately after turning left into Halifax Old Road stop in front of the Victorian houses to consider the site of Clough House which stood at right angles to the road and much nearer to it than the present houses. Describing the house in 1885 G.W. Tomlinson writes of "...a charming old building with four gables looking upon an old fashioned garden with grass terraces, full of solemn yew treesand sweet smelling flowers. Over the door is a tablet with the date 1697, and the letters, A.M. and F. above, over the tablet is a sundial numbering only summer hours."

It is thought that Clough house pre-dates 1697 by a considerable number of years and that the stone tablet was put up to record some alteration or extension carried out by Abraham and Mary Firth when they resided there. The first mention of a Clough House is found in a conveyance of 1549 and, although no location is mentioned, it seems likely that it was the house here at Birkby to which the document referred. Thereafter, the house is mentioned in a number of documents including the Hearth Tax of 1664 when Richard Hirst of the Clough House was taxed on five hearths. This, at a time when the majority of people payed tax on only one hearth, gives some idea of the size and importance of the house.

Clough House, over the years, was to be the home of several well known Huddersfield families including the Brooks, the Hirsts, the Firths, the Macaulays, the Rhodes and the Scholes. Richard Oastler paid several visits to the house when the Rhodes family was living there and, on 25th August 1838, on the occasion of Oastler's final departure from Fixby Hall they demonstrated their sympathy and support by decking the house with bunting and banners and by giving him a tremendous ovation as he passed by, on his way to Huddersfield.

John Scholes, the last owner of Clough House, was one of a prolific family who had long been resident in the Fartown and Sheepridge areas. He bought the house in 1868 fourteen years after he and his father, Alderman George Scholes, had commenced business at Clough House Mills. During the course of two marriages he fathered fifteen children, five boys and ten girls. When he left Clough House in March, 1894 he made determined efforts to find a buyer who would preserve the old house but he was unsuccessful and in November, 1897 the house and the estates were sold by auction to a building developer. In April, 1898 the first two villas were built in the old garden and in January, 1899 the house was demolished to allow for the widening of Halifax Old Road.


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Further Reading