A peaceful old Yorkshire mill town in the Holme Valley, located on the doorstep of the Peak District National Park. Traces of Holmfirth's rich history can be seen in the old stone weaver and mill-workers' cottages that line its narrow cobbled streets.
Holmfirth Town © Travel About Britain
Holmfirth, and other nearby mill towns, thrived during the Great War due to the increased demand for uniforms. The looms have long since been silenced and most of the mills have either been demolished or converted into modern offices or accommodation.
Luscious green fields surround the town, enclosed by dry-stone walls that rise up towards tree-topped hills, leading out onto the beautiful Pennine moors. Pleasant walks can be found in almost any direction out of the town and down along the river valley.
Holmside Memorial Gardens © TAB
The town centre has a small thriving shopping area with antiques dealers, gift shops and art galleries.
The tree-lined Holmside Memorial Gardens (formerly the graveyard of the Parish Church) is pleasantly located alongside the river and laid-out with attractive flower beds in summer. A small column topped by a plinth and stone orb commemorates the battle of Amiens in 1801, fought during the Napoleonic wars.
Holmfirth's most recent claim to fame was as the setting for the much loved TV comedy series 'Last of the Summer Wine'. The BBC's longest- running comedy series, which was filmed along the local country lanes and scenery around Holmfirth and the Peak District. A 'Summer Wine' trail follows the route of the inseparable old friends (Seymour, Clegg and Compo) around the town, via Sid's Cafe, Nora Batty's house and Compo's House, which now houses a small 'Summer Wine Exhibition' (30 Huddersfield Rd, Holmfirth HD9 2JS).
The name Holmfirth comes from the Old English for holme (holly) and frith (wood). Which is quite ironic, as the town was actually the birthplace of British silent slapstick film, long before the rise of Hollywood in America. The industry was pioneered by the family-run printing firm Bamforth and Company, who later went on to produce saucy comic seaside postcards. These artist-drawn cards became very fashionable following the war and are now popular collectors' items.
The local museum has the best collection of Bamforth material in the world, including many early black and white films.