“The Town that Bought Itself”

“Huddersfield
is to own
Huddersfield.”

London Globe (23/Oct/1919)

Huddersfield Corporation made history a century ago, in October 1919, when it agreed to buy the 4,300-plus acres of the Ramsden Estate — nearly half the land within the Borough boundary and the whole of the town centre — for £1.3 million. The deal was struck via locally-born entrepreneur Sam Copley and finalised a year later, on 29 September 1920.

To mark the centenary, Alderman Clifford Stephenson’s lively account of events, The Ramsdens and their Estate in Huddersfield: The Town that Bought Itself, has now been republished on three local websites — those of Huddersfield Civic Society, Huddersfield Local History Society and Huddersfield Exposed.

Stephenson, who chaired the Corporation’s estates committee, published his booklet in 1972. It follows the story of the Ramsdens in Huddersfield from their purchase of the manor in 1599 to the sale in 1920.

Its re-publication begins a year of activity by Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire Archive Service, Huddersfield University and local societies to mark the historic centenary, including: