Place:Brighouse, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

TypeBorough (municipal)
Coordinates53.7°N 1.783°W
Located inWest Riding of Yorkshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inWest Yorkshire, England     (1974 - )
Yorkshire, England    
See alsoCalderdale, West Yorkshire, Englanddistrict municipality of which it has been a part since 1974
Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, Englandborough adjacent to Brighouse
Rastrick, West Riding of Yorkshire, Englandtown absorbed into Brighouse in 1915
Hipperholme, West Riding of Yorkshire, Englandurban district absorbed into Brighouse 1937
Southowram, West Riding of Yorkshire, Englandurban district absorbed into Brighouse 1937
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Brighouse is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, in West Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated on the River Calder, 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Halifax in the Pennines. It is served by Junction 25 of the M62 motorway and Brighouse railway station on the Caldervale Line and Huddersfield Line. In the town centre is a mooring basin on the Calder and Hebble Navigation. The population, according to the 2001 UK census, was 32,260 for the Brighouse/Rastrick area.

The name Brighouse (or "Bridge House") originates from a building on (or close to) the bridge over the River Calder. In its early history, it was a hamlet of the nearby village of Rastrick.

end of Wikipedia contribution

Brighouse became a municipal borough in 1893 and absorbed the civil parish of Rastrick in 1915. It was enlarged in 1937 by the addition of the civil parish of Norwood Green and Coley and parts of the civil parishes of Clifton, Fixby, and Hartshead from Halifax Rural District, and by absorbing the area previously covered by the urban districts of Hipperholme and Southowram.

Church ties were with the ecclesiastical parish of Halifax in the Morley division of the wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

There was a river crossing called Snake Hill Ford across the Calder – believed to have formed part of the Roman route between Wakefield and Manchester. A wooden structure called Rastrick Bridge was recorded in 1275. The bridge was replaced by another built with timber donated by John Hanson in 1514. Hanson's son funded a stone replacement for this bridge in 1558. The river provided power for the flour milling industry and the textile mills. Brighouse's industry received a boost through the construction of the Calder and Hebble Navigation, started in 1757 by the engineer John Smeaton. The town was incorporated in 1893.[1]

The Halifax and Huddersfield Turnpike Act of 1823 allowed for the building of Calder Bridge, or Brighouse Bridge, over the river on what was to become the A641 road; tolls were abolished on the bridge in 1875 and extensive widening work was undertaken in 1905 and 1999 (both of these latter dates being commemorated in dedication stones on the bridge).

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Brighouse from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"BRIGHOUSE, a village and a chapelry in Hipperholme-cum-Brighouse township, Halifax parish, and a subdistrict in Halifax district, [West Riding of Yorkshire]. The village stands on the river Calder, adjacent to the Manchester and Leeds railway, 3½ miles ESE of Halifax; and has a station with telegraph on the railway, a post office under Normanton, and fairs on 13 May and 12 Oct. Trade is carried on in cotton, woollen, and worsted manufactures, in malt-making and card-making, and in the working and exporting of building-stone. Fixby Hall, the seat of the Thornhills, is in the vicinity. The chapelry includes the village; and was constituted in 1842. Rated property: £11,660. Population: 4,562. Houses: 947. The property is much subdivided. The living is a [perpetual] curacy in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £250. Patron, the Vicar of Halifax. The church is a modern Gothic edifice, built at a cost of £3,515. There are a chapel of ease, two Methodist chapels, and an endowed grammar school with £119 a year.
"The subdistrict consists of parts of the parishes of Halifax and Dewsbury. Acres: 5,514. Population: 9,992. Houses: 2,105."

Research Tips

  • GENUKI on Brighouse. The GENUKI page gives numerous references to local bodies providing genealogical assistance.
  • The FamilySearch wiki on the ecclesiastical parish of Halifax provides a list of useful resources for the local area.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time on Brighouse.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time also provides links to three maps for what is now South Yorkshire, produced by the United Kingdom Ordnance Survey, illustrating the boundaries between the civil parishes and the rural districts at various dates. These maps all blow up to a scale that will illustrate small villages and large farms or estates.
  • Ordnance Survey West Riding 1888. The "Sanitary Districts (which preceded the rural districts) for the whole of the West Riding.
  • Ordnance Survey West Riding South 1900. The rural and urban districts, not long after their introduction. (the southern part of Bradford, the southern part of Leeds, the southern part of Tadcaster Rural District, the southern part of Selby, Goole Rural District, and all the divisions of Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Doncaster, Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield)
  • Ordnance Survey West Riding 1944. The urban and rural districts of the whole of the West Riding after the revisions of 1935.
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