Holmfirth is a picturesque small town in the Holme Valley nestled between the scenic wonders of the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales 6 miles south of Huddersfield. The town is best known as the home of the popular TV programme Last of the Summer Wine and every year thousands of fans flock to the area to see the filming locations from the series. Summer Wine is not the only reason to visit Holmfirth as it is a destination with plenty of attractions and an interesting History.

Early Days

Holmfirth was originally established in the 13th century around a corn mill and was largely an agricultural community until the arrival in 1784 of woollen clothier John Fallas. He quickly acquired property in the area for woollen mills and housing for the workers. Until this time the community was mainly built up on the slopes as the river was prone to flooding, but the mills needed to be next to the water and so the industrial revolution saw the town expand down to the valley floor. Unfortunately there have been several major floods in the area over the years. The worst flood happened in February 1852, when the embankment of the Bilberry Reservoir collapsed resulting in 81 fatalities. The most recent serious flooding was in 1944.

Wool

Over the succeeding 200 years a large proportion of the population worked in the woollen industry in the production of yarns and textiles. Even today the area produces some of the finest yarns in the world from the moorland sheep with companies such as Jaeger Handknits and Rowan Yarns being based in the town.

Art & Tourism

The area’s economy is significantly boosted by Tourism. Holmfirth is popular with hikers and wildlife enthusiasts who visit year round to enjoy the stunning scenery of the surrounding countryside. In addition the area is traversed by the Trans Penine Cycleway making it an ideal destination for cyclists. Last of the Summer Wine fans boost the visitor numbers and can enjoy the Summer Wine Location Tour and exhibition or make a pilgrimage to Nora Batty’s Steps and Sid’s Café in the town. There are also the delights of the Wrinkled Stocking Tea Room! Holmfirth was a star of the screen long before Summer Wine. It was home to Bamforth & Co, who were pioneers of film making before moving into the production of cheeky postcards for which they are now more famous. Holmfirth also has a thriving artistic community and is home to several celebrated painters including Ashley Jackson and Trevor Stubley. With its rich cultural history Holmfirth hosts three annual festivals. The Film Festival and Festival of Folk are held each May, and the Arts Festival takes place over two weeks every June all attracting additional visitors to the town.

Music

For music enthusiasts a visit to The Picturedrome is a must. This fine venue host regular gigs in the marvellous setting of an old cinema.

Year Round

Holmfirth is truly a beautiful destination for all seasons, a jewel in the Yorkshire crown. With amazing countryside, pretty town centre, cultural history and TV connections it is a favourite with young and old alike.

Citations:
Featured images:

Guest article by blogger S. Stacey.  Stacey is very familiar with Northern England and often writes about the great things to see and do in the area.  Being a big fan of Yorkshire Rowan yarn inspired Stacey to write this piece.  She shops for Rowan yarn online at www.packlanewool.co.uk.