William Horsfall's last journey, 28 April 1812

This last weekend, Huddersfield commemorated the Luddites. Details about my public lecture at the Town Hall and the conference at the university will be up soon, and more information is on the Luddite Link website.

On Sunday Cyril and David from the very active local history society took us on a walk retracing the steps of the manufacturer William Horsfall, who was shot by Luddites on Crosland Moor on his way home from Huddersfield on 28 April 1812. Read the trial of the Luddites on google books.

We started at the site of the old cloth hall, demolished in 1936 and now the site of a Sainsbury's. We then walked to Spring Grove School to take in the view across the Colne Valley towards Crosland Moor.

Jeffrey's map of Crosland Moor, c.1775
Descending the steep stone steps we got onto the Manchester Road, and to Longroyd Bridge, by the then-newly completed Huddersfield narrow canal. Alongside the canal were John Wood's cropping shop where George Mellor and other Luddite suspects worked.

We then climbed Blackmoorfoot Road, going past the site of the Warren House Hotel, no longer there, where Horsfall was taken and died. A little further up the hill was the site of the shooting.

Reading the Leeds Mercury report of the shooting of Horsfall, on the site of the shooting.

We then walked back down the hill and turned into William Street to take in the vista over the valley to Milnsbridge.

view down to Milnsbridge House

On the way we crossed Huddersfield narrow canal, where there is a mill opened by Sir Francis Burdett in April 1838.

Milnsbridge House was the seat of Sir Joseph Radcliffe JP.

It is listed but is in a sorry state. It had originally dominated the valley with large grounds and a fishpond, but then was developed in the later 19th century into an industrial area.

Milnsbridge House

We walked back along the canal, a pleasant recently renovated route.


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