Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (03/Jul/1899) - Correspondence: Castle Hill Tower

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.




Dear Sir,

It may perhaps interest some of your readers who have taken an interest in the Victoria Tower, at Castle Hill, and which I believe is the only one erected in England in commemoration of the glorious reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, to know that 49 years ago it was proposed to erect a Prospect Tower on Castle Hill ; and for several years I had one of the subscription cards for the purpose of providing the necessary funds.

For some reason the proposal at that time could not be carried out. It therefore gave me great pleasure to see the corner stone of the Jubilee Tower laid by Mr. Ramsden, son of the Lord of the Manor, on the 25th June last year.

I enclose the original scheme, as proposed by Mr. Wallen, the architect of the present George Hotel, and also the Hotel on the Castle Hill.

Yours truly, ISAAC HORDERN,
Hon. Treasurer of the Jubilee Tower.
Edgerton House, Huddersfield,
June 23rd, 1899.

Mr. Wallen’s scheme was as follows : —


The objects proposed are the providing accommodation for private picnic parties and excursion parties and the erection of an Observatory, from which to view the surrounding scenery ; it being presumed that from the summit of the Tower the view of York Cathedral would be regained (now concealed by Whitley Woods), and that the mouth of the Humber and the German Ocean would be seen (as they lie due east) without much intervening hill. Castle Hill, Almondbury, can be see from the Vale of York, and as these two objects are recognised from the low Tower erected above Holmfirth within the last two years and to which the inhabitants of the surrounding districts resort.

Huddersfield being without any place of attraction to the visitor, it is hoped that the deficiency would be supplied, and that advantage would accrue to the village of Almondbury.


Number of rooms:

1. A basement (open to the hill) for the shelter and the resort of the aged.
2. A porter's lodge.
3. A museum for the reception of antiquities found in the district, and Geological specimens.
4-6. Public rooms for refreshments (each seven yards square).
7. A terrace 10 yards square and 980 above the sea level.
8 . A private room and private terrace for subscribers.


Estimated cost by builders £1,200. The committee propose to raise 1,500 guineas by two guinea subscriptions, of which amount £560 was subscribed at the period of suspension ; and should the erection be allowed to go on there is no doubt of the exertions to raise the necessary funds being successful.

Numerous architects and antiquarians have given their opinion in favour of the partial occupation of the hill by the proposed Tower ; and 100 precedents have been found.


Consisting of gentlemen of influence and all shades of opinion :—

B. N. R. Battye, Esq., J.P.
T. P. Crosland, Esq.
C. W. Brook. Esq.
C. S. Floyd, Esq.
F. R. Jones, Junr. Esq.
James Bennet. Esq.
John Clay, Esq.
B. Shaw. Esq.
Jo. Beaumont, Esq., Jun.
W. Willans, Esq., late Chief Constable.
F. Schwann, Esq.
Thomas Varley, Esq.
Jno. Tindale, Esq.
S. Oldfield, Esq.
W. Dransfield, Esq.
R. Armitage, Esq.
T. Haley, Esq.
W. Robinson, Esq.
R. Dewhirst, Esq.

P.S. — It was intended to throw a rustic bridge across the ditch ; but there was no intention to disturb the surface of the hill.

The size of the Tower is about 26ft. square, the staircase 17ft. diameter, and the total height of the structure from the ground floor is 95ft.: so that the summit would be as nearly as possible 1,000 above the level of the sea.


(Aile-mond-burgh) the foot of the Eagle’s Hill.

The information received from the Ordnance Department accompanied by the following remarks:

“It would no doubt be highly desirable to have the top of the Tower so constructed that an instrument and observatory might be placed on it, if necessary, at a future period.”

Height of Trigonometrical Station above meantide level — 901ft
Height of surface of Castle Hill above Farnley Tyas Churchyard — 81ft
Height of surface of Castle Hill above Almondbury Churchyard — 372ft
Height of surface of Castle Hill above St. Peter’s Churchyard, Huddersfield — 624ft
Height of surface of Castle Hill above St. Paul’s Churchyard, Huddersfield — 640ft

October 15th, 1851, Wm. W.

The proposed Tower would have no connection with the present public-house.

Note. — Mr. I. Hordern had the original drawing, and the list of subscriptions which had been promised in 1851-2.