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Huddersfield Highways Down the Ages…
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Huddersfield Highways Down the Ages (Kirklees historical reprints)

by W.B. Crump

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Recently added bySunnyJim, b.beaumont

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First published by the Tolson Memorial Museum in 1949 and re-printed by Kirklees Leisure Services in 1988, W.B. Crump's study of the highways in and around Huddersfield is a treasure-trove of information about an often-overlooked aspect of this West Yorkshire town's history and development.

Covering the period from before the Roman conquest of Britain through to the nineteenth century, Crump's work includes a descriptive historical sketch of ancient pathways, manorial highways, monastic ways, The Priests' Way, kirkgates, causeys, guide stoops and turnpike roads.

That is followed by a description, with illustrations, of the main highways across the Pennines (viz. Stanedge Road, New Hey Road, Marsden Pack-Horse Way, Woodhead Causey), Southern Highways (viz. Ogilby's Road from London, the Road to Rotherham and Sheffield, Warburton's Road to Penistone), Beyond the Calder Northwards (viz. Elland Bridge to Halifax, Rastrick Bridge, Cooper Bridge, Horbury Bridge to Wakefield) and, last but not least, Cross Routes (viz. Elland to Almondbury, Ripponden to Huddersfield, the Nodal Point at the Royal George in Scammonden and Marsden to Holmfirth and Penistone).

This is a book which will be an invaluable aid to anyone studying the history and development of the places named above. On the other hand, it offers little to the general reader that cannot be obtained from a quick trawl of other, more up-to-date sources.

So Crump's studious work is not for everyone, though for those whose interests touch on the early forms of communication in this part of the world, in my opinion, it is essential reading.

I particularly enjoyed his observation (on pg. 40) that when lists or tables of highways began to appear in almanacs or chronicles towards the end of the 16th century, they were "the first known successors, after a very long lapse of time, of the Antonine Itinerary that gave the great roads of the Roman Empire". He goes on to observe that this "is in no way a unique fact, but it is a striking illustration of the spirit of the Renaissance - the revival of learning". ( )
  SunnyJim | Aug 9, 2017 |
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