Yorkshire A to Y
metropolitan district X
Huddersfield is the administrative town of the metropolitan district.
The district was created in 1974 from eleven council areas, including the two county boroughs of Huddersfield and Dewsbury and several other borough or urban districts of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It covers an area of 157.7 square miles (408.6 sq km)^.
Although well-concealed by a landscape of moors and valleys, agriculture and green spacing, the population of all of the many communities in Kirklees exceeds that of many cities, with a total population of around 433,300*.
The metropolitan district includes around 100 villages, small towns and suburban districts extending across the rural surroundings of Huddersfield and it also includes several other closely-knit towns in the central area of West Yorkshire to the north, including Dewsbury and much of an area known as the Heavy Woollen District in its textile heyday.
Kirklees neatly divides into two parts which are sometimes referred to as North and South Kirklees. By road, the division is clear as both the M62 motorway and the only A-road between the two parts dips out of Kirklees into neighbouring Calderdale metropolitan district and back into Kirklees.
The road passes on its way an irony of the Kirklees name. The name chosen for the new metropolitan district authority back in 1974 was done without favour for any of its constituent towns and was based on Kirklees Priory, reputed to be the location of the death of Robin Hood. However, while situated mid-way between the two parts of the Kirklees district, the ruins and gatehouse of the Kirklees Priory are on the private Kirklees Park estate surrounding Kirklees Hall which are not in Kirklees metropolitan district but in Calderdale metropolitan district.
Kirklees is England's third-largest metropolitan district by area, after Doncaster in South Yorkshire and neighbouring Leeds in West Yorkshire. The metropolitan districts in Yorkshire average around three times the size of those in other parts of England with Kirklees covering around three times the area of Liverpool metropolitan district and around 3½ times the area of Manchester or Newcastle upon Tyne metropolitan districts. It is more than 52% bigger than the largest metropolitan district outside Yorkshire, that being Birmingham.
Kirklees is the fourth most-populated metropolitan district in Yorkshire after Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford. The county-wide population of North Yorkshire, after amalgamation of seven districts into a unitary authority in 2023, is now also higher. Kirklees' population equals about 70% of the combined population of all North Yorkshire. Across all England only three further metropolitan districts have a bigger population than Kirklees — Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. Latest figures* also put Bristol (a city-based unitary authority area not a metropolitan district) a little higher.
Kirklees is the only metropolitan district of West Yorkshire to have boundaries with all the other four — Calderdale, Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield. It also has boundaries with the Barnsley metropolitan district of South Yorkshire, the High Peak district of Derbyshire and the Oldham metropolitan district of Greater Manchester, half of which is made up of areas which were in the West Riding of Yorkshire before 1974.
^ Area figure from ONS Standard Area Measurements 2022 (converted from hectares).
* Population figure from Census 2021.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Places in Kirklees metropolitan district are:
We continue to add more villages to our A to Y gazetteer and the above may not yet list all places in Kirklees metropolitan district