Cleckheaton is about 4 miles north-west of Dewsbury, 6 miles north-west of Huddersfield, 6 miles south-south-east of Bradford, 7 miles east of Halifax, about 9 miles south-west of Leeds, and nearly 10 miles west-north-west of Wakefield.
Junction 26 of the
While Cleckheaton is only served by the road network today, in its era as a mill town in Victorian times it was well served by two rival companies' railways and stations. Serving Cleckheaton Central station was the line which connected Bradford via Heckmondwike and Mirfield to the more direct trans-Pennine route through Huddersfield and also towards Wakefield, where there was direct access towards London and the south of England. The line's closure in the 1960s was possibly among the most significant losses of the Beeching axe both in terms of the road traffic congestion that would in future years trouble the Spen Valley and also in cutting the connectivity of Bradford to other parts of the country. Today the trackbed between Low Moor and Ravensthorpe remains open to cyclists as the Spen Valley Greenway.
While textile production had begun as a cottage industry among the local farmsteads, it was in the Georgian period that large mills started to be developed and these included new machinery. In 1812, one of the most noted uprisings of the machine-smashing Luddite revolution took place when around 150 Luddite protesters marched from the Dumb Steeple near Cooper Bridge, just north of Huddersfield, to Rawfolds Mill beside the Spen River at Cleckheaton. While damage was done to the mill, it had been guarded by soldiers. Two of the Luddites died from their injuries as they were treated for gunshot wounds. Charlotte Brontë, one of the famous literary sisters would later base part of her novel "Shirley" around the incident, the march having passed through the village of Hartshead where her father, the Rev Patrick Brontë was then curate.
The fine Victorian town hall was built for the Cleckheaton Urban District, which in 1915 amalgamated with its Spen Valley neighbouring urban districts of Liversedge and Gomersal to form the local government district of Spenborough. Spenbororough came to an end in 1974 when it became one of many boroughs and urban districts which made up the huge new metropolitan district of Kirklees, based in Huddersfield.
Another fine building in Cleckheaton is its huge former Providence Congregational Church, built in 1859 at Providence Place in Bradford Road. It has an imposing entrance with its six Corinthian pillars. For several years since the church was closed the building has housed an Indian restaurant which has been able to accomodate up to 850 people.
Since the textile era, the town has seen a wide range of industries, including factories involved in brake lining production and food production companies. Famously, it was once the headquarters of supermarket group Hillards, founded as a shop in the town in 1885 which expanded for over 100 years to stores in many towns before it was taken over by Tesco in 1987. A diverse range of industry now occupies industrial units in the town and its central location has also seen residential expansion in recent years.
The town is on the Spen River (Spen Beck).
Cleckheaton has pubs.
Cleckheaton has local traders and a supermarket.
The town has a Post Office.
The town has pharmacies.
Cleckheaton has bank and building society branches.
Restaurant dining can be found in Cleckheaton.
Cleckheaton has takeaway food outlets.
A choice of cafes can be found in Cleckheaton.
Cleckheaton has a town hall, including a community venue and concert hall.
The town has a library - outside the town centre at Whitcliffe Road.
The town has a sports hall - Spenborough Fitness Complex.
Cleckheaton has schools.
Places of worship: Anglican, Methodist.
Places to stay in Cleckheaton include hotel accommodation.
Bus travelThe town has a bus station with services to neighbouring towns and villages and city centres.
Road travelCleckheaton can be reached via the M62 M606 A58 A638 A643 B6120 B6121 .
Places to Visit
Oakwell Hall and Country ParkNutter Lane, Birstall
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with further information at the
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Spen Valley GreenwayDewsbury 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
The National Coal Mining Museum for England is mid-way between
More details at the
formerly Kirklees Light Railway
Whistelstop Valley is a rebranding of the Kirklees Light Railway, 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
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Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West BrettonThe Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the UK's leading open-air sculpture gallery, situated at
More information at the
Yorkshire Sculpture Park website.
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Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Peak District National ParkThe 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
Emergency servicesWest Yorkshire Police
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Metropolitan district council
Kirklees Council covers a large metropolitan district based in
They include those in the former county borough of
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.
Kirklees Council website.
Political composition after the May 2022 election:
County strategic authority
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Covers some combined services of the five metropolitan district councils of
Operates with elected mayor Tracy Brabin as chairman and as decision-maker for some responsibilities after May 2021 election.
Police and Crime Commissioner
The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
This role has become one of the many responsibilities of the West Yorkshire elected mayor since May 2021.
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.
-1974 Within the West Riding of Yorkshire