The Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees is a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 401,000 and includes the large settlements of
Huddersfield is the largest settlement of the district, and its centre of administration. Most of the above settlements were previously urban districts within the West Riding of Yorkshire. Each had villages and small towns within them.
The borough was formed under the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974, by a merger of the county boroughs of Dewsbury and Huddersfield along with the municipal boroughs of Batley and Spenborough and the urban districts of Colne Valley, Denby Dale, Heckmondwike, Holmfirth, Kirkburton, Meltham and Mirfield.
The name "Kirklees" was chosen by the merging councils from more than fifty suggestions, including "Upper Agbrigg", "Brigantia" and "Wooldale". It was named after Kirklees Priory, legendary burial place of Robin Hood. The site of the priory is now Kirklees Park Estate, situated mid way between Huddersfield and Dewsbury and the location of Kirklees Hall.
Under the original draft of the Act, the area was set to include Ossett, which was part of the Dewsbury Parliamentary constituency at that time. However, once Huddersfield was chosen as the headquarters, it was decided that Ossett was too remote to be governed by Kirklees. After an appeal by the Ossett Labour Party, the town was moved into the Wakefield district.
Kirklees was the site of a Cistercian Priory north of Mirfield, in what is now West Yorkshire, and close to the current site of the M62 motorway. The priory no longer exists, although the name was reused in 1974 for the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees.
In the 12th century, the Cistercian monks built Kirklees Priory. The former gatehouse can still be seen, though the site is on private land. There is a legend about Robin Hood who was supposed to be the nephew of the prioress, who sheltered him when he was fleeing from the Sheriff of Nottingham, but killed him with poison. There is still a "Robin Hood's Grave" on the local Ordnance Survey map.
The Wikipedia page for Kirklees has a sketchmap placing the district in West Yorkshire. The Wikipedia page for Holme Valley has a sketchmap outlining all the civil parishes in Kirklees. Unfortunately, with the exception of Holme Valley, these are not identified by name.