West Yorkshire

Batley is a town in the Kirklees metropolitan district of West Yorkshire.

Batley is a town located among several others in the central area of West Yorkshire surrounded by the ring of its five largest cities and towns.

It is situated 6 miles west-north-west of Wakefield, 8 miles north-east of Huddersfield, 8 miles south-west of Leeds, 8 miles south-east of Bradford and 9 miles east of Halifax.

Batley is also just 2 miles from West Yorkshire's 6th most populated town Dewsbury, with which, since 1974, it has been joined as part of the large Huddersfield-based metropolitan district of Kirklees, the seventh-largest metropolitan authority in the country.

Despite the proximity to its neighbour, Batley had proudly been, until 1974, quite a substantial borough in its own right, with its town centre surrounded by a dozen districts and with a fine town hall, which was opened next to its Market Square in 1853. Batley Town Hall still offers a concert hall and popular venue for community groups.

Batley was already in existence at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 as Bateleia, but was then a small settlement of 11 households, this including the local priest.

The town's historic Grade I listed All Saints' Church dates from around 1485, but incorporates parts of an earlier church, including a south arcade of around 1330. Some features date from a restoration in the 1870s.

Modest growth in the town's size saw the founding of Batley Grammar School in 1612, a school still in existence today.

It was not until the industrial revolution, around 1800, that there began a massive near four-fold increase in the Batley population with people seeking work in its many water-powered spinning and carding mills. Many mills developed in the town and it later became best known as a centre for the shoddy industry, shoddy being a recycling process of reclaiming wool from rags.

Batley is also famous for its biscuits. It was in 1853 that Michael Spedding started making brandy snaps at his Batley bakery. His son-in-law Fred Ellis Fox took over in 1897 and the name of Fox's continues as one of Britain's best-known biscuit brands to this day and still has one of its bakeries in Batley, where it is based.

Another claim to fame for Batley began in 1967 when it became the unlikely location of a Las Vegas-inspired nightclub, the Batley Variety Club, which attracted many of the top entertainers of the era. A club continued under new names from the late 1970s, most famously as The Frontier, which closed its doors in 2016 to become a gym.

 Town features

Batley has pubs.
The town has a range of shops and supermarkets.
The town has a Post Office.
The town has pharmacies.
Batley has bank and building society branches.
Takeaway food outlets in the town include fish and chips, pizzas, sandwiches.
A choice of cafes can be found in Batley.
Batley has a town hall, including a community venue and concert hall.
The town has a park. Wilton Park.
Batley has a museum - Bagshaw Museum.
The town has a library.
The town has a swimming pool.
Batley has schools.
Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Islamic, other.
Batley has an old parish church - All Saints Church.


Batley station

Managed by: Northern
Operator/s: Northern - TransPennine Express -

Northern - Batley   Station and departure information at Northern website.

Bus travel

The town has a bus station.

Road travel

Batley can be reached via the A652 B6123 B6124 B6128

Places to Visit

Oakwell Hall and Country Park

Nutter Lane, Birstall
Oakwell Hall Oakwell Hall is a splendid grade I listed Elizabethan Manor house in an extensive country park near Birstall and around 4 miles north-north-west of Dewsbury. The house was built in 1583 by John Batt and is furnished as the family home in the late 17th century and is surrounded by gardens reflecting the garden styles of that period. Oakwell Hall was the inspiration of Fieldhead in Charlotte Brontë's novel "Shirley". The hall also has information on the English Civil War battle of Adwalton Moor, the site of which is a walk of about a mile from the hall. The Hall is surrounded by a 110-acre country park which includes woodland, farmland and a reclaimed colliery site. There are trail-marked paths around the park which includes ponds and nature information boards. There is also a visitor centre at the hall, a gift shop, playground and nature trail. There are car parks for both the house and the country park, accessed from Nutter Lane, Birstall. The hall is owned and maintained by Kirklees Council.
Find out more at the  Kirklees Council - Oakwell Hall and Country Park web pages
with further information at the  Friends of Oakwell Hall and Country Park website.
Locate on map:  Oakwell Hall

Spen Valley Greenway

Dewsbury to Oakenshaw
The Greenway is a disused railway route which once provided Bradford with a direct and faster route to other parts of Yorkshire and towards London as well as connecting the densely populated areas of Cleckheaton, Liversedge and Heckmondwike with major towns and cities. Today it is a pleasant green corridor providing an escape from the mass of traffic on the poor local road network increasingly pressured by a growing need to commute to big cities. The Greenway offers views towards distant moors and is home to a number of sculptures including a flock of sheep made from industrial scrap and a circle of 40 giant steel hoops. The traffic-free route forms part of Route 66 of the National Cycle Network, providing a gentle ascent from the edge of Dewsbury to Oakenshaw on the outskirts of Bradford.

National Coal Mining Museum for England

National Coal Mining Museum for England Wakefield Road, Overton
The National Coal Mining Museum for England is mid-way between Wakefield and Huddersfield, about 6 miles from each, on the main A642 road at Overton. It is also around 10 miles from Barnsley and just under 5 miles from Dewsbury. The former Caphouse Colliery has exhibits showing the history of mining in the Yorkshire coalfield and beyond. The museum also offers the chance to don a miner's helmet to take an underground tour down the mine. The tour takes about an hour and shows the changes in mining and conditions in the pit through its history. There's also chance to meet pit ponies, to take a trip on a colliery railway, to walk its nature trail or relax with food or a drink in its cafe.
More details at the  National Coal Mining Museum website.

Kirklees Light Railway

Shelley station - Kirklees Light Railway Kirklees Light Railway Park Mill Way, Clayton West, near Huddersfield
The Kirklees Light Railway is a 15-inch-gauge light railway on the trackbed of the former Clayton West branch line from the Huddersfield-Penistone-Sheffield line. The branch had survived the Beeching axe of the 1960s but eventually closed to coal traffic in 1979 and passengers from the large commuter villages of Skelmanthorpe and Clayton West in 1983. Work began to create the new 15-inch-gauge light railway from Clayton West in 1991 and was completed along the full 3.5 miles to Shelley in 1997. The line operates most weekends and on weekdays at certain times of the year. Six steam locomotives and two diesel locomotives are used on the line, some built specially for the railway while others have seen previous service at seaside railways such as the Fairbourne Railway in Wales and Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway in North East Lincolnshire. Special occasions have seen guest visits from other lines, including the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in Sussex and the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in Cumbria. Santa Specials operate in December. The railway is based at Clayton West where there is a cafe, play area, picnic area, miniature railway, gift shop and toilets. At the Shelley end of the line there is also a cafe, play area, picnic area and toilets. There is no interchange with the adjoining main line at KLR's Shelley station, but there is a waymarked walk to the station from Shepley, taking about 20 minutes. The KLR's intermediate stations at Skelmanthorpe and Cuckoo's Nest provide access to a good network of paths for walkers, Skelmanthorpe station being a short walk from the village.

More information at the  Kirklees Light Railway website.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

West Bretton
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the UK's leading open-air sculpture gallery, situated at West Bretton, between Barnsley, Huddersfield and Wakefield. Set in around 500 acres of beautiful parkland within the Bretton Estate adjoining Bretton Hall, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park offers what is probably the finest outdoor exhibition space in the country for modern and contemporary sculpture, attracting regional, national and international exhibits. The museum also has indoor exhibition spaces, cafes and shops. The museum car parks are accessed off the A637 Huddersfield Road between West Bretton and junction 38 of the M1. From 2020, the Yorkshire Sculpture Pak has introduced an admission charge with advance booking required. Parking is included in the admission fee.

More information at the  Yorkshire Sculpture Park website.
Find on map:  Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Peak District National Park

The vast area of the Peak District National Park extends into southern and western parts of the Kirklees district near Holme, Meltham and Marsden. Buses run from Holmfirth into the National Park, which stretches from Yorkshire into Derbyshire and beyond. For more details see our Peak District page.

Emergency services

West Yorkshire Police  West Yorkshire Police website.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Metropolitan district council
Kirklees Council

Kirklees Council covers a large metropolitan district based in Huddersfield but also covering well over 100 towns and villages.

They include those in the former county borough of Huddersfield, the former boroughs of Dewsbury, Batley and Spenborough (based in Cleckheaton), the former urban districts of Heckmondwike and Colne Valley (based in Slaithwaite) and the five large civil parishes created from former urban districts in Holme Valley (around Holmfirth), Denby Dale, Kirkburton, Meltham and Mirfield. Areas other than the latter five are without town or civil parish councils. Part of the district is in the Peak District National Park.

Kirklees Council is made up of 69 councillors with three councillors per ward in 23 wards. Councillors are elected for four-year terms with one-third involved in elections in three out of four years. Councillors elect a Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Kirklees each year. An election of one-third of the council due to be held in 2020 has been postponed to 2021.

Link to  Kirklees Council website.

The political composition after the May 2019 election was:

342179331 DBI
69 members DBI = Dewsbury Borough Independent

County strategic authority
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Covers some combined services of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire -  Bradford,  Calderdale,  Leeds,  Kirklees and  Wakefield - which were at one time provided by a West Yorkshire metropolitan county council, with the addition of the non-contiguous unitary authority area of the City of  York council as well as the unelected Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

 West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Police and Crime Commissioner
The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
 Police and Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire website.

Fire Authority
West Yorkshire Fire Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield.
 West Yorkshire Fire Authority web pages.

Ceremonial county
West Yorkshire

-1974 Within the West Riding of Yorkshire

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