Holmfirth Local History Group has published a number of books, many of which are now out of print. Some of the out of print books are available here for download or reading online. Scroll down the page and click on the PDF icon to download or the book icon to read online. Current books can be bought at meetings of the Holme Valley Civic Society on the third Thursday of each month at 7.30 in Holmfirth Civic Hall or obtained by post – send us a message using the “Contact us” page.

The Local History Group’s latest book is Walking Round Wooldale by three members of the Local History Group Judith Barden, Pam Cooksey and Joan Firth.

This well-illustrated book describes the development of the three hamlets, Wooldale Village, Town End and Lane Bottom into Wooldale as it is known today, an area of historic interest and a Conservation Area. It offers insights into places of particular interest, the stone built houses, population, working lives, schooling, religion, leisure and sport, family life and personalities. By combining previously known information with the results of recent researches of archival documents, relevant records, books and newspapers, the fascinating story of a small village in the Holme Valley is now revealed.

The book is priced at £10.00

The Holme Valley in the Middle Ages by Local History Group member Peter Burton.

The book gives an account of the medieval past which underlies the familiar eighteenth and nineteenth century stone-built landscape. It draws on the author’s own researches, the rich court records of the manor of Wakefield in which the valley lies and illustrations of medieval life from the Luttrell Psalter to investigate how our predecessors lived.
The book is priced at £9.00 

Characters of Holmfirth c1987

This book was published by our predecessor, the Civic Society’s Local History Committee in about 1987. It reflects a strand of local history publishing of the time – reminiscences of humorous characters of the area – rather than our more recent research-based books. It has long been out of print – it has become an historical artefact in its own right. By scanning a member’s own copy, however, it has been possible to bring it into the online era in response to a request through our contacts page.


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.

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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.

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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.

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Public houses of Holmfirth Past and Present 2016

For many years the numerous town centre public houses and beer houses have been an important feature of both local people’s lives and the life of the community. Members of the Holmfirth Local History Group decided to locate, record and describe the past and present public houses of central Holmfirth and to then create a walk following the route of the Holmfirth History Trail, giving selected information about the numbered pubs. The content is based on the findings of extensive researches of available resources such as archival records and documents, Brewster records, books and newspapers. Where known the following aspects have been included: origin, description, valuation, closure and compensation, replacement use, landlords and breweries. Also included are interesting facts about the many and various activities that these premises accommodated and stories associated with these. It is well illustrated with archival material and with both early and recent photographs.

Read online