‘A most handsome town.’
Huddersfield is located in the county of West Yorkshire and has a population of around 160,000. A market town since the Anglo-Saxon period, Huddersfield is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Oderesfelt. Huddersfield’s origins were as a hill fort during the neolithic period, around 4000 years ago. The site of this early settlement, Castle Hill, can be seen from the university, with its distinctive Victoria Tower, a folly built to commemorate the 1897 jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign.
The town’s major development occurred during the industrial revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when it became a major centre of the textile industry. The wealth that this industry created is reflected in the many grand Victorian buildings found throughout the town, including the Grade I listed railway station with its neo-classical facade. Outside the station in St George’s Square is a statue of the Huddersfield-born former Prime Minister, Sir Harold Wilson.
Today, Huddersfield is a university town. The university’s origins can be traced back to the formation of a Young Men’s Mental Improvement Society in 1841, funded by a local businessman, Frederic Schwann. Schwann’s early support for what would eventually become the University of Huddersfield is commemorated in the name of the central administration building on campus – the Schwann Building. In 1844, the society became a Mechanics’ Institute, before becoming a Technical College in 1896 and a Polytechnic in 1970. University status was granted in 1992.
Eating and drinking
Huddersfield has lots of great pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants. A list of recommended places can be found here: CADAAD 2020 Map