Holmfirth Local History Group Books

Holmfirth Local History Group has published a number of books, many of which are now out of print.  We plan to make some of these available here for download.

Chapels and Churches of the New Mill Valley 2009

This book combines some previously known information with the result of more recent researches of Church and Chapel records, archival materials, books and newspapers and hearsay. An index of the details of all the sources used is included.

A résumé of the diverse nature of the religious persuasions of those living in the scattered hamlets and villages of the valley is followed by detailed descriptions of the establishing and continuance of the places of worship for Quakers; English Presbyterians (later Unitarians); Methodists (Wesleyan, Wesleyan Reform and Primitive) and Anglicans. Included in each section are quotations from archival documents, photographs and drawings. There is an index of the names of those closely associated with each congregation. Regardless of the differences in their religious convictions for many families in the valley it was the Meetinghouse or a Chapel or, later, the Parish Church that became the focal point of their lives. These were places for worship and religious meetings, but they also served as centres for social activities and in many cases for the education of both children and adults.


Schools and Schooldays in the New Mill Valley 2013

From the middle of the 17th century the provision for education and the various types of schools established in the New Mill Valley followed closely the expansion of educational provision in the country as a whole. Those involved in the preparation of this book researched and recorded the nature of the schools established in the valleys villages, the people who were associated with their creation and development and the children and adults who attended them. Issues relating to school life such as buildings, staffing, financial matters, attendance, discipline and the curriculum are also included. Based on available written sources covering the years up to the 1950s including archival documents, West Yorkshire Land Registry, School Log books, school centenary booklets, contemporary writings and newspapers, this history reflects the realities of life and the daily experiences of both children and adults. The many and varied illustrations, including archival material and photographs, are of particular interest. Local family historians will hopefully find the extensive Names Index useful.


Miners and Mining in the New Mill Valley 2014

Little has been known about the mines and mining in the new Mill Valley, the reason for this being that little research has been undertaken on the subject. This book seeks to rectify this with the presentation of the evidence of the mines, the nature of the forty-four pits located and local mining activity. Emphasis is placed on the realities of life for those whose homes were the hillside mining cottages. Based on the findings of extensive researches of archival records and documents, principally the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield; records in the West Riding Registry of Deeds; County and National mining records; Land Tax returns; O. S. Maps; estate, family and company papers; reports of Government Royal Commissions and newspapers it offers a wide-ranging description of what was an integral element in the life of the valley. The inclusion of numerous illustrations and the range of quotations from contemporary writings contribute much to an understanding of the impact on men, women and children of labouring underground.


Our latest book, The Holme Valley in the Middle Ages, priced at £9.00 would normally be available to buy at the Civic Society meetings or from the Tourist Information Centre in Holmfirth Library.  Due to COVID-19 this is not possible but the book can be obtained by post - send us a message using the Contact us page.

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