Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2014 on 8:56 am

A look back at Huddersfield’s iconic Castle Hill

Castle Hill Huddersfield
Castle Hill Huddersfield
Castle Hill Huddersfield
Castle Hill Huddersfield
Castle Hill HuddersfieldCastle Hill HuddersfieldCastle Hill HuddersfieldCastle Hill Huddersfield

A popular destination for local people, tourists and even kite-flyers, Huddersfield’s Castle Hill is a landmark that has been the centre of interest for thousands of years.

It’s an ancient area and has been settled for at least 4,000 years, as experts regard it as one of Yorkshire’s most important early Iron Age hill forts.

The hill fort is believed to have been constructed in the early Iron Age around 555BC, and after the Norman Conquest of 1066, the area became part of the territory known as the Honour of Pontefract, which was held by the de Laci family.

It has been a place of recreation for hundreds of years and its history remains a subject of speculation and interest.

In 1897, Queen Victoria had reigned over the British Empire for sixty years, longer than any other monarch had.

A permanent memorial of this event was planned in the form of a tower perched on the hill overlooking the town of Huddersfield, which is the Victoria Tower (visible today).

The idea was proposed by Mr George William Tomlinson who wanted to ‘give an air of classic dignity to the town’.

After an appeal was launched to bring architects to submit their designs, an architect from London named Isaac Jones was selected to help design the tower.

The corner stone of the tower was laid in 1898 by Mr John Frecheville Ramsden, son of Sir John William Ramsden, Lord of the Manor, and the tower was officially opened by the Earl of Scarborough in 1899.

In the present day, Castle Hill remains a popular destination for many people, who want to capture the breathtaking view over Huddersfield and its surrounding areas.

It has also been home to a number of events that have taken place in Huddersfield, such as the Coronation bonfire in 1953, the 100 years of Scouting celebration in 2007, the New Year’s Day Walk of 2007, and the Kirklees Festival of Light.

Although visitors can see things such as the medieval well and tower, they cannot see the building near to the tower that used to be a pub that catered for locals and visitors for over 100 years.

It was the centre of controversy over the past few years, when two businessmen made attempts to renovate and build up a pub in the area, which would be identical to the one which stood there.

Part of the original hotel was broken down in the expansion attempts, and later the whole building was demolished.

Planning permissions were rejected on numerous occasions due to concerns of local residents and councillors.

[Research compiled with the help of local archives, past newsletters and a visit to Victoria Tower]

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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