Place:Hepworth, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

Alt namesHeppeuuordsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 316
TypeVillage, Urban district
Coordinates53.55°N 1.762°W
Located inWest Riding of Yorkshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inWest Yorkshire, England     (1974 - )
Yorkshire, England    
See alsoNew Mill, West Riding of Yorkshire, Englandurban district in which it was located 1895-1938
Holmfirth, West Riding of Yorkshire, Englandurban district in which it was located 1938-1974
Kirklees, West Yorkshire, Englandmunicipal district covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

Hepworth is a small village to the southeast of Holmfirth and southwest of Jackson Bridge in West Yorkshire, England. It is in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees and the modern parish of Holme Valley.

Hepworth was made an urban district in 1894 (the year urban districts were established), but this was short-lived. It became part of New Mill Urban District in 1895 which itself was split between Holmfirth Urban District and Penistone Urban District in 1938. Hepworth was to be found in Holmfirth. In the 19th century it was a township in the parish of Kirkburton in the Agbrigg division of Agbrigg and Morley Wapentake and part of the Huddersfield Registration District.



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


The name Hepworth is Anglo-Saxon. It may have been that Heppa, an Anglo-Saxon, was of great “worth”. There is also the view of Dr H. T. Moorhouse who states, in his History of Kirkburton and the Graveship of Holme (1861), that the name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon “Hep” meaning high and “worth” meaning place of residence. Another reference cites –worth as meaning an enclosure, hence enclosure of a man called Heppa. In the Domesday Book it is given the name Hepeuuord and is described as the King’s land with steep streets.

Early history

In medieval times the wool trade was the chief source of employment. During the fourteenth century Hepworth was in the parish of Kirkburton, which covered around fifty square miles. It incorporated the townships of Wooldale, Cumberworth, Cartworth, Fulstone, Shepley amongst others. In the fifteenth century a church was built at Holmfirth and during the Civil War a petition was submitted asking for Holmfirth to be made a parish in its own right. The petition was granted by Minister Gamaliel Abraham in 1651. Hepworth and its neighbour Scholes thus became part of the parish of Holmfirth.

The Great Plague

In 1665 – 1666 the Great Plague struck England. It wrought devastation in London, then spread across the country. Hepworth was the most northerly point that it reached. According to local legend it is supposed to have come in on cloth brought from London.

In an effort to save the village the residents split the village into two parts at Barracks Fold. Those that were infected remained, isolated from the world, in one half. Thirteen of the residents died from the disease, which was a considerable percentage of the population in such a small village and thirteen trees were planted to remember them. The trees still stand today, by the local football pitch. Two subsequently fell down and in 2004, replacements were planted at a small ceremony by Parish Councillor, Ruth Jackson. The end of the plague in Hepworth is still commemorated on the last Monday in June every year with Hepworth Feast.

Hepworth's spiritual founding

In 1777 a mighty storm caused the River Holme to swell and flood over its banks in Holmfirth, sweeping away people and property, including the parish church. It was rebuilt in its present state a year later with funding from local clothiers. During this period Wesleyan evangelicals were active in the Holme Valley and Hepworth. They encouraged the local residents to demand that church services be held at the Old Town School. This led to Hepworth becoming a separate parish. In 1863 Holy Trinity Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Ripon further boosting spirituality in Hepworth.

19th century

In 1822 Thomas Langdale recorded a population of 1,048 for the township of Hepworth.

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

"HEPWORTH, a village, a township, and a chapelry in Kirkburton parish, [West Riding of] Yorkshire. The village stands on a declivity, under the backbone uplands of England, 2 miles SE of Holmfirth [railway] station, and 7 S by E of Huddersfield; and has a post office under Huddersfield.
"The township includes also the hamlets of Barnside, FosterPlace, Meal-Hill, Jacksons-Bridge, and Law. Acres: 3,370. Real property: £4,398; of which £500 are in mines, £30 in quarries, and £568 in iron works. Population: 1,530. Houses: 276. The manor belongs to S. W. L. Fox, Esq. Iron works were established in 1858; and ironstone and coal are worked.
"The chapelry was constituted recently. Pop. in 1865, about 3, 000. The living is a [perpetual] curacy in the diocese of Ripon. Value: not reported. Patron: the Vicar of Kirkburton. The church was built in 1863; is in the decorated English style; and consists of nave, chancel, and transepts, with vestry and bellturret. There are chapels for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists, an endowed school with £24 a year, and other charities with £5."

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