Discover the story of your community’s past on World Heritage Day
Did you know that this Saturday 18 April is World Heritage Day? The local weather looks to be great, so why not head out and visit the fantastic historical buildings, sites and monuments dotted across Kirklees?
There’s untold places you can visit locally that have stood the test of time to be here today, that tell the story of our community’s past and our rich industrial heritage, offering stunning settings and inspiration for many fun days out. The time when people learned about history simply from reading books is gone; by getting out in your community you will have experiences that bring the past to life – nothing beats standing on the spot where history happened.
You can discover our shared past at the seven fascinating historic houses and museums, with stunning grounds, here in Kirklees:
- Oakwell Hall and Country Park – offers you a spectacular 1690s post-English Civil War family home set in 100 acres of country park, with a visitor centre, gardens, nature trail, picnic sites and playground
- Bagshaw Museum – you can explore the world at the old Victorian mill owner’s house, which is set in 36 acres of parkland and ancient woodland
- Red House – a Grade II Listed 1830s cloth merchant’s home where you can discover some fascinating Brontë connections
- Tolson Museum Huddersfield’s – offers you a vivid and intriguing picture of the area and people, from pre-history to present day. You can also check out our infamous tweeting half-pig
- Dewsbury Museum – you’ll be able to revisit childhoods past, enjoy the popular toy gallery and explore the fascinating local history gallery.
Even if the sun shy’s away, you’ll be able to take a walk around Huddersfield with your head held high – you’ll be amazed by the beautiful architecture. With over 1,600 listed buildings, Huddersfield’s grand historic town centre never fails to impress, and has even been called ‘the Athens of the north’. You can explore the most impressive and more unusual buildings on the town centre Heritage Trail, Historic Buildings Trail or Public Art Trail. You could also take a hike up the iconic Castle Hill, a scheduled ancient monument offering amazing panoramic views from a former Iron Age hill fort and medieval settlement. The Victoria Tower on the hilltop is also open to visitors this weekend.
If you are out and about in Marsden, Slaithwaite or the Colne Valley, then you can bring the past to life by following heritage trails, and learning about local traditions through the areas renowned pretty weaver’s cottages, engineering masterpieces and towering textile mills. You can take a wander alongside the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, and retrace ancient packhorse trails to the Standedge tunnel – the longest, highest and deepest in Britain.
Steeped in the rich history of the Brontës, Luddites and Chartists, the Spen Valley’s woollen industry heritage is evident in the towns of Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Gomersal, and offers a wealth of heritage for you to explore. The architecture and landscape has inspired generations of artists and there are walking routes that will take you on a tour of the fascinating local heritage, including the Dewsbury Heritage Trail.
There is lots more you can do to have fun and find out about your local heritage here in your local community, on our visitors website. You are also welcome to share tips on your favourite heritage places to visit in the comments section below!