Districts M – R

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MIDGLEY is another hill top village which also gives its name to a township. Lying on the north side of the river Calder the township was bounded on the west by Foster Clough and on the east by the Luddenden stream. One of the oldest churches in the area St. Mary’s (C.1620) in the village of Luddenden lies within its boundaries. It has also strong connections with Methodism, John Wesley having stayed at Ewood Hall on numerous occasions.

MOUNT TABOR is a village lying north of Halifax and just within the boundaries of Ovenden township. It was a centre of the stone trade and a perusal of the census returns for the last century show a large proportion of the male population engaged in getting and dressing stone. Whiteley Turner the author of “A Spring Time Saunter” was born here and his remains are buried in the Methodist church graveyard located in the village.

MYTHOLMROYD is one of the few early settlements in the valley bottom. It derives it’s name from Mytholm (meeting of the waters) and Royd (clearing in the wood). Here the Calder and the Elphin stream join dividing Mytholmroyd between three townships viz. Sowerby, Erringden and Wadsworth. Mytholmroyd has associations with the Cragg Coiners since the Inn by the bridge was one of their favourite meeting places.

NORLAND a village and a township south of the river Calder, adjoining the townships of Sowerby and Elland-cum-Greetland and overlooking Sowerby Bridge. The area has suffered little from modern development and was and still is rich in old buildings. To the visitor it probably best represents the old parish as it was before the Industrial revolution.

NORTHOWRAM is again the name of a hill top village which was also a township. It was situated in the north east of the parish. Following the Industrial Revolution the south western portion adjoining the Hebble stream and Halifax became heavily industrialised and when Halifax received Borough status in 1848 this was the portion which was incorporated.

OVENDEN was bounded on the south by the township of Halifax with the townships of Warley to the west and Northowram to the east. It lay within the Halifax chapelry with a sub chapel at Illingworth dedicated to St. Mary. Ovenden Wood is within Ovenden township and here James Murgatroyd the great 17th. century house builder built Long Can and Yew Tree. The impressive remains of a high level rail viaduct also cross the valley, which carried the branch line from Holmfield to Pellon.

PECKET WELL is a village just north of Hebden Bridge situated in Wadsworth township on the road to Keighley. The Methodist chapel built in 1835 is now a private dwelling house. Pecket Well is adjacent to the Crimsworth valley which today remains very much as it always was, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

PELLON is a district north west of Halifax. Originally named Mount Pellon it was just within the boundary of the Halifax township where Brackenbed road from the Wheatley valley joined Pellon Lane. A Baptist chapel was erected here C. 1750. The present Anglican church, Christ Church dates from C. 1850.

QUEENSBURY can be a problem for the family historian. It was originally called Queenshead taking its name from a coaching inn of the same name. It developed in the last century around Black Dyke Mills a large textile manufacturing company created by the Foster family. Part of the village lay within the township of Northowram in the parish of Halifax and part within the township of Clayton in the parish of Bradford. It is now part of Bradford M.D.C.

RASTRICK a village and a township lying south of the river Calder, to the east of Elland and adjoining the Huddersfield boundary. The records for the present church of St. Matthew commence in 1719 but a chapelry had existed in Rastrick before the 16th. century. Quarrying was extensive in the area in the last century.

RIPPONDEN is a village in the Ryburn valley situated on the turnpike road which was once know as the cotton route and it is here that the roads from Rochdale and Oldham meet. The Queen hotel (formerly the Stansfield Arms) was a main stopping place for the Halifax to Liverpool stagecoach. By 1811 nine cotton mills were in operation in the Ripponden area deriving power from the river Ryburn making it a thriving commercial centre. The church which was dedicated to St. Bartholomew was founded C. 1460 it lies within the Elland chapelry and catered for the spiritual needs of the townships of Soyland, Rishworth and Barkisland. In 1722 there occurred a great flood when the river rose 15 above normal level to become a raging torrent, hurtling beneath the graveyard and flinging the dead from their graves.

RISHWORTH is the most southerly township of the ancient parish of Halifax bounded on the north by the townships of Soyland and Barkisland and adjoining Huddersfield (Kirklees District) on the south. The M62 motorway crosses the township and part of the east and west bound carriageways divide around a solitary farm. The farmer’s protests and the subsequent diversion received much press and television comment when the road was being constructed. Rishworth Grammar School was founded in 1724 by the trustees of Wheelwright’s charity, a private boarding school it attracts pupils from around the world.

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