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Former Tannery on Whitley Road

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Whitley Lower is a village near ThornhillFormer township now a suburb of Dewsbury in Kirkless, West Yorkshire. in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

The village occupies high undulating ground a mile south of the River Calder and the same distance north of Grange MoorTract of moorland more than 700 feet above sea level that gave its name to Grange Moor, a residential village. . The land falls more sharply south of the village into the valley made by the Howroyd Beck. It is in a sparsely populated rural area linked to Dewsbury and Huddersfield by a network of minor roads and lanes.[1] Whitley Reservoir, at the junction of Whitley Road and Scopesley Lane, was built by the Dewsbury and Heckmondwike Water Works in the 19th century.

The underlying geology is formed from the Lower and Middle Pennine Coal Measures. Old mine shafts, small disused quarries and the chimney of the former tannery on Whitley Road are relics of the village’s industrial past.[1]

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St Mary and St Michael’s Church
Wikimedia Commons

Whitley Lower was a township and chapelry in the ancient parishAncient or ancient ecclesiastical parishes encompassed groups of villages and hamlets and their adjacent lands, over which a clergyman had jurisdiction. of Thornhill in the West Riding of Yorkshire.[2] The township contained the hamlets of Briestwhistle (Briestfield) and Falhouse.[3] In the mid-19th century the village had two scribbling mills, a quarry, a tannery and a colliery (at Falhouse).[4] In 1905 Howroyd CollieryName for a number of day holes and drifts that worked the coal at the outcrop. was started by the Jagger Brothers, it lasted until 1962.[5]

St Mary and St Michael’s Church was built at the expense of Thomas Wheatley on a site on Howroyd Lane given by the Earl of Dartmouth.[4] It was consecrated in 1846.[6] Now a Grade II listed building, it is in the Norman style.[7] A Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built on Scopesley Lane in 1826.[6]



A Vision of Britain. “Whitley Lower CP/Tn.” A Vision of Britain through Time,
Borthwick Institute. Yorkshire Returns of the 1851 Census of Religious Worship: West Riding (South). Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.
Downes, Eddie. Yorkshire Collieries 1947–1994. Think Pit Publications, 2016.
GENUKI. “Thornhill Supplementary.” GenUKI,
Historic England. Church of St Mary and St Michael.
Lewis, Samuel. “Whitley Lower.” A Topographical Dictionary of England, Online, British History Online, 1948.
LUC Bristol. Kirklees District Landscape Character Assessment. Kirklees Council, 2015, p. 73,