Holmfirth District Turnpike Road
The Holmfirth District Turnpike was a 4 mile toll road which connected Holmfirth to the Wadsley & Langsett Turnpike and was maintained by the Holmfirth District Turnpike Road Trust.
A Local Act was granted in 1823 for the turnpiking of the road, with a further Act granted in 1844 that saw the road connected to the Huddersfield & Woodhead Turnpike. When the latter Act expired in 1866, the Trust continued under the terms of the Annual Continuance Act.
In 1840, the Parliamentary Commissioners for Inquiring into the State of the Roads in England and Wales reported the following details of the road:
- 6 miles 849 yards, "but only four miles and two hundred and seventy-two yards have been completed, the remaining two miles and five hundred and seventy-Seven yards not having been made, owing to a want of funds."
- "Four [toll-gates]; but travellers passing along the whole line of road only pay toll at two bars."
- "Nearly the whole length is in very bad condition".
- "The whole is repaired by the trustees, except six hundred and five yards in the township of Cartworth, which is repaired by the surveyors of the highways of that township."
The 1844 Act also saw the construction of a new branch running south from near Boshaw to Dunford Bridge, operated by the Dunford District Trust. The primary purpose of the new branch was to provide a road link between Holmfirth and Dunford Bridge Railway Station on the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne & Manchester Railway.
By 1877, the Trust had sizeable debts totalling £4,023 3d. and was no longer in a position to carry out repairs to the road. The cost of repairs in 1873 had reportedly been mostly borne by local rate payers.
The Turnpike Acts Continuance Committee heard objections to the Trust's renewal application at the House of Commons on Tuesday 1 May 1877, with Wooldale solicitor Samuel S. Booth objecting on behalf of the local rate payers. According to Booth, during the 53 years in which the Trust had been in existence, the cost of repairs had been met by the local rate payers (instead of the Trust) for 32 years. The Committee ruled that the Trust be discontinued.
Going southwards from Holmfirth, the main features of the turnpike that were marked on the 1854 O.S. map are:
- Cross Toll Point, Wooldale
- milestone (extant) — Holmfirth 1 mile
- milestone (no longer exists) — Holmfirth 2 miles
- Lowe Toll Point, Hepworth
- Hazelhead Toll Point, Thurlstone — junction with the Wadsley & Langsett Turnpike
Inns on the route included:
Notes and References
- Equivalent to around £250,000 in 2017.
- "Holmfirth District Turnpike Road Trust" in Huddersfield Chronicle (05/May/1877).