Cumberworth Half was a township in the parishes of Kirkburton and Emley (both in the Manor of Wakefield), which included portions of the hamlets of Skelmanthorpe and Scissett. The separate township of Cumberworth was situated in the parishes of Silkstone and High Hoyland (both in the Honour of Pontefract).
The fact that Cumberworth Half was geographically interlocked with Cumberworth caused administrative problems, as indicated by this 1875 newspaper article:
We may state that for many years great confusion and difficulty have been experienced not only by the inhabitants but also by the collectors of rates, inspectors of weights and measures, and others having public duties to perform. Several cases might be named where great inconvenience had arisen, and of late the houses have had to be numbered with black letters on white [back]ground and vice versa in order to distinguish in which township they were.
Following legislation, the complex township boundaries of the two townships were simplified and Cumberworth Half became the township of Skelmanthorpe on 23 February 1876.
CUMBERWORTH-HALF, a township, partly in the parish of Emley, Lower division of Agbrigg wapentake, and partly in the parish of Kirk-Burton, union of Huddersfield, Upper division of Agbrigg wapentake, W. riding of York; containing 1480 inhabitants. The township includes part of the hamlets of Skelmanthorpe and Scissett, and comprises 800 acres.
Cumberworth, a chapelry in the parish of Silktone, and Half-Cumberworth, a township in the parish of Kirk-Burton, are contiguous to each other, situate 5½ miles north-west from Penistone. The chapel here is an ancient fabric ; the living is in the presentation of T.W. Beaumount, Esq., of Bretton Park. A national school is in the chapelry, which, by the returns for 1831, contained 1,374 inhabitants, and the township 1,180.
The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) by Henry James Morehouse
Cumberworth Half is in two divisions : high and low. The former in the parish of Kirkburton; the latter in the parish of Emley. That portion within the parish of Kirkburton seems to have been granted off at a very early period, to the "de Shepleys." A Matthew de Shepley, in the latter John, years of King or early in the reign of Henry III., granted these lands for the good of his own soul, and that of his ancestors and successors, to the Monks of Roche Abbey, who held the same till the dissolution of the monasteries, when they were granted off by King Henry VIII.