Great demand for local Huddersfield history book … and people are urged to help with the next one

A local history book has proved to be so popular it’s been reprinted for a third time and its author is now on with another book but needs people’s help with it.

The Villas of Edgerton, written bylocal historian David Griffiths, was first published in 2017 and subtitled Home To Huddersfield’s Victorian Elite. It details more than 70 of the grand houses of Edgerton along with the careers of their owners’ business and public lives. 

Edgerton was largely created between 1850 and 1875 and most of its Victorian villas are still standing although many no longer as private houses with some split into apartments and others into businesses, including nursing homes.

The core of the Edgerton area has 98 listed building entries, although some of them are for walls and all are Grade II apart from the Banney Royd mansion just off Halifax Road which is Grade I. Edgerton became a Conservation Area in 1976.

David said: “The years around 1850 have long been recognised as a turning point in British history when the intense economic, social and political growing pains of the Industrial Revolution gave way to a period of mid-Victorian prosperity, political stability and social complacency.

“Work on Huddersfield Railway Station began in 1846, offering services to Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield by 1850. This enabled the rapid development of the ‘new town’, centred on St George’s Square.”

It also meant that the business owners didn’t need to invest so much in stock so turned their thoughts to spending the money on themselves in large detached homes and Edgerton was just far enough away from the town centre and upwind from all the smoke from the mills to provide the ideal building plots.

The book is illustrated with historic maps and images, along with contemporary photographs by Andrew Caveney. On first publication it was described by the Yorkshire Postas ‘impressively well-researched, lavishly illustrated and stylishly designed.’

In 2020 David followed The Villas of Edgerton with a companion volume, Highfields: A Most Handsome Suburb.

Highfields was developed before Edgerton and closer to the town centre with some elegant Georgian houses, but is now largely hidden behind Huddersfield ring road. 

David is starting work on a planned third book about Huddersfield’s best suburban houses into the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Manchester-based architect Edgar Wood is famous nationally for his Huddersfield works, such as Lindley Clock Tower and Banney Royd, but several local architects followed in his footsteps to design impressive houses in the Arts & Crafts style. 

David would be keen to hear from any owners of such houses who have information to share.

Contact him via the Huddersfield Civic Society website at

Local history books are available on the Huddersfield Civic Society website and also in local bookshops, including Waterstones in Kingsgate and Handmade in Huddersfield which is based in Imperial Arcade.