Slaithwaite is a village and former township in the Colne Valley.
According to West Yorkshire: An Archaeological Survey to A.D. 1500 (1981), Slaithwaite likely became a township in the 13th century. Historically it comprised the the two hamlets of Sun Side and Holme Side, and was part of the Parish of Huddersfield and the Honour of Pontefract.
The township was governed by a Local Board between 1862 and 1894, and then by a Urban District Council. In September 1896, the urban district was enlarged by the addition of the township of Lingards.
The Slaithwaite Urban District was abolished on 1 April 1937 and the area was amalgamated into the Colne Valley Urban District.
Pigot and Co.'s Royal National and Commercial Directory of August 1841:
Slaithwaite is a chapelry in the parish of Huddersfield, 4½ miles south-west from that town, and about 2½ north-east from Marsden ; situate in the valley of the Colne, and near to the Huddersfield and Manchester canal. The manufactures of this chapelry are extensive, numerous and various, comprising those for woollen cloth and smallwares, cotton spinning and machine making ; together with several scribbling and slubbling mills. The prosperity of the place is likewise promoted by its spa, which was discovered some years since ; the chalybeate properties of this spring are said to be equal to those of the waters of Harrogate, and found to be efficacious in the removal of rheumatic and scorbutic complaints. Mr. R. Varley (of the firm of Scholes & Varley, cotton spinners), of this place, shortly after the discovery of the spa, erected, at a considerable expense, commodious baths for the accommodation of visiters ; and it is now resorted to, in the spring and summer months, by the neighbouring gentry, and families of the most respectable class in trade. The chapel here, dedicated to St. James, was rebuilt in 1788 ; it is a convenient edifice, and will accommodate fifteen hundred persons : the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the vicar of Huddersfield ; the Rev. Charles Augustus Hulbert, M.A., is the present incumbent. In a national school, a neat gothic structure, erected in 1840, nearly three hundred children are instructed ; a free school, endowed in 1718 by the Rev. Robert Meeke, then incumbent of Slaithwaite, is about to be revived, and the school rebuilt. The township of Lingards, in the parish of Aldmonbury, forms part of the chapelry. The population of Slaithwaite, according to the last census, was 2,892 ; and that of Lingards, Kitchen and Crimble (the two latter populous parts of Linthwaite and Golcar, adjoining the chapelry,) about 1,500 : so that the entire district in immediate connexion with the chapelry contains nearly 5,000 inhabitants.
A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) edited by Samuel Lewis:
SLAITHWAITE, a chapelry, in the parishes of Huddersfield and Almondbury, union of Huddersfield, Upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York ; containing, with the township of Lingarths, 3726 inhabitants, of whom 2925 are in Slaithwaite township, 5 miles (W. S. W.) from Huddersfield. This chapelry comprises 3073a. 3r. 3p.: the lands are in meadow and pasture, with a small portion of arable ; the scenery is bold and romantic. In the quarries of the district are found vegetable fossils, especially firs and other mountain trees. The village is beautifully seated in the valley of the river Colne ; the inhabitants are chiefly employed in the woollen manufacture, in the spinning of cotton and silk, and in silk-weaving. Slaithwaite Hall, an ancient mansion, situated on a hill which has indications of having been a fortified station, is now divided into cottages: the old manor-house near the chapel is still used for holding the courts leet of the manor of Slaithwaite cum Lingarths, of which the Earl of Dartmouth is lord. About the year 1820, a spring strongly impregnated with sulphur was discovered, and also a chalybeate spring, in their properties closely resembling the waters of Harrogate. Mr. Richard Varley has since erected baths with every requisite accommodation for the use of the waters, has built several cottages for visiters, and laid out gardens and pleasuregrounds, which are tastefully embellished. On an analysis by Mr. West, of Leeds, an imperial gallon of the sulphureous spa was found to contain, 0.7 grains of chloride of calcium, 0.4 of chloride of magnesia, 2.5 of chloride of sodium, and 20.4 of carbonate of soda: the gases are sulphuretted hydrogen, 0.75 of a cubic inch ; carbonic acid 1.25, and carburetted hydrogen, 4.75. An inflammable gas rises from the surface of the water. The chalybeate spring was found to contain in an imperial gallon 3.4 grains of sulphate, 4.0 of carbonate of lime, 2.4 of carbonate of magnesia, and 3.3 of oxide of iron. There are several reservoirs in the district, one of which, comprising 17 acres, is for the supply of the Huddersfield canal. The road from Leeds to Manchester intersects the village, and is nearly parallel, on the south side, with the river Colne and the canal. Fairs for cattle are held on the Friday before May-day, and the last Friday in October. The living is a perpetual curacy ; net income, £192 ; patron, the Vicar of Huddersfield. The ancient chapel, repaired in 1593, and rebuilt in 1719, stood near the river, where is now a cemetery. In 1788, the building was taken down, and the present spacious though plain edifice erected on ground given by the Earl of Dartmouth ; the tower was added in 1814, and an additional cemetery, on the north side, was consecrated in 1842. The free school was founded and endowed in 1721, by the Rev. Robert Meeke, then incumbent, and has an income amounting, with subsequent benefactions, to £42 ; the master must be a communicant, but not the incumbent, of Slaithwaite. The school-house, which adjoins the ancient chapelyard, was rebuilt in 1744, and again in 1842. There is also a national school, for which a handsome building was erected in 1840, at an expense of £650: it is endowed with a surplus fund of £150 ; and a building erected in 1825 for a proprietary grammar school has been taken on lease for the residence of the master and mistress. The Slaigh or Sloe tree, which formerly spread over a great part of the district, gave the original name of Slaighthwaite to the township ; and from the Ling plant the township of Lingarths derives its name.
Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1872) edited by John Marius Wilson:
SLAITHWAITE, a village, a township, a chapelry, and a sub-district, in Huddersfield district, W. R. Yorkshire. The village stands on the river Colne, the Huddersfield canal, and the Leeds and Manchester railway, 4½ miles WSW of Huddersfield; and has a station on the railway, a post-office under Huddersfield, and two annual fairs. The township comprises 2,320 acres, and is in Huddersfield parish. Real property, £6,424; of which £13 are in quarries, and £120 in gasworks. Pop., 2,932. Houses, 575. The manor belongs to the Earl of Dartmouth. Slaithwaite Hall includes remains of the ancient manorial residence. The railway, in its course through the township, traverses two viaducts of 18 and 19 arches. Mineral baths are here, with fine gardens, amid romantic scenery: and are much frequented in summer. The woollen manufacture is carried on. The chapelry contains also Lingards township, in Almondbury parish; and comprises 2,820 acres. Pop., 3,715. Houses, 724. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £192. Patron, the Vicar of Huddersfield. The church was partly rebuilt in 1856. There are four national schools, and an endowed school with £42 a year. The sub-district contains also another township and a part, and comprises 10,740 acres. Pop., 7,971. Houses, 1,599.
The extent of the township (compiled from early O.S. maps) is shown below.