High Brow Farm, Crosland Edge, Meltham

High Brow Farm is a former farm situated on the southern part of Crosland Edge on ground above Folly Dolly Falls.

Historically the farm was within the South Crosland district, but subsequent boundary changes in the 20th century brought it into the Meltham area.


By the 1840s, High Brow was owned by farmer and cloth dyer Jonathan Moore. His daughter Martha and her husband then took over the running of the farm and, after his early death, she became the head of the family.

The 1851 Census lists 28-year-old widow Martha Haigh as farming 16 acres of land, as well as raising her children with the help of her parents. Along with her father Jonathan, the family of weaver Eli Bates were also residing at High Brow.

The 1861 Census again lists Martha as the head of the family, with her 57-year-old father and 15-year-old son William Henry Haigh helping her to run the farm. Three of her daughters are listed as silk winders, presumably at Meltham Mills. Widowed cotton bleacher Charles Hirst had moved his family into the part of High Brow formerly occupied by Eli Bates.

On Saturday 9 September 1862, the 5th Administrative Battalion of Yorkshire Volunteers held a "sham fight" training exercise in the area near the farm. According to the Huddersfield Chronicle, hundreds of locals "turned out in holiday attire" to watch the proceedings and the "most exciting" events of the day took place in High Brow farmyard. The troops playing the role of the enemy were forced to retreat down the hill on onto the new railway embankment below.[1]

By the time of the 1871 Census, 68-year-old Jonathan was named as the head of the family and his grandson William Henry had become a butcher. Martha and her daughters are listed as "employed at home".

Jonathan died before the 1881 Census, which shows the farm being run by Martha and her son. By 1891, butcher and farmer William Henry Haigh was in charge in the farm and was being assisted by Walter Booth, who was also living at High Brow with his family.

The 1901 and 1911 Censuses show William Henry continuing to run the farm, with the assistance of his sons David, Walker and James.

Planning permission for extensions to the property were granted in 2015, which included the diversion of a public right of way designated as "Meltham 22".[2]


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Notes and References

  1. "Treat to Volunteers: Sham Fight at Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle' (16/Sep/1862).
  2. Kirklees Council Planning Applications (reference: 2015/62/91138/W).