Thomas Normington also goes on to describe in detail the route from Manchester through to Leeds. There is no mention of a stop at Mirfield so this
account must date from before the opening of Mirfield Station. Here is an excerpt from his description starting at Brighouse and finishing at Horbury:
Crossing the Leeds and Elland turnpike road by a stone viaduct
of 6 arches of 45 feet span, with Rastrick on our right, and passing under the Bradford and Huddersfield road, we arrive at the BRIGHOUSE Station, 34 miles from Manchester, and 26 from
Brighouse is a large, well-built, and flourishing village, possessing facilities for trade rarely to be met with. The river Calder skirts the south side of the village, by means of which,
and the canal of the Calder and Hebble Navigation Company, a direct communication is kept up with London, Liverpool, Hull, and other important places. Excellent turnpike roads connect the village
with the towns of Halifax, Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield, and intermediate localities. Its principal trade consists in corn, malt, and cards; besides which a great proportion of the
working classes are employed in the adjoining stone quarries of Hipperholme and Rastrick, whence a great quantity of stone is brought to Brighouse, and shipped to all parts of the kingdom. The
population is about 3,500.
Omnibuses from Huddersfield, 4 miles, Halifax, 6 miles, and Bradford, 7 miles, meet and await the arrival of most of the trains.
Continuing our course down the
south-east side of the valley, on the hill to our left is the village of Clifton, abounding in excellent coal. Here may be seen a number of furnaces, for the conversion of the coal into coke. Passing
on our right Woodhouse, formerly the residence of John Armitage, Esq. but now of John Archbell, Esq. we soon enter a deep excavation through Bradley Wood, whence several portions of fossil trees, and
also large quantities of shells, were obtained. Afterwards crossing the river by a stone viaduct of 2 arches of 76 feet span, we proceed down the valley on an embankment, with the rich woods of
Kirklees on our left. Kirklees Park is celebrated as containing the burial place of the renowned freebooter Robin Hood, and also the site of a Benedictine Nunnery, founded in the reign of Henry the
2nd, by one of the Beyners. The Hall, the seat of Sir George Armytage, Bart., is of the date of James the 1st. and commands fine views of the southern vale of Calder.
We now arrive at the COOPER
BRIDGE Station, 36 miles from Manchester, and 24 from Leeds, the nearest Station for Huddersfield, distant about 4 miles up the valley to our right; whither a Branch line is likely to be formed, for
which there is every facility. Immediately on our left is Obelisk Grove, the residence of Mrs. Fairburn.
Crossing the Birstal and Huddersfield turnpike road, and continuing down the valley on an
embankment, on our right is Heaton Lodge, the seat of Joseph Starkey, Esq., and on the left are the West Mills, occupied by Messrs. Tyas for the grinding of Corn, near to the hamlet of Batty- ford,
in Mirfield, where is a new Church, consecrated on the 28th October last, and in the incumbency of the Rev. Thomas Nevin, M. A. Crossing the river again by a viaduct of 2 arches of 70 feet span, and
passing through a short cutting, on the hill side to the left is Bank House, the residence of Benjamin Wilson, Esq. A little beyond, near the line, is the Woollen manufactory of Messrs. Wheatley.
Mirfield abounds in gentlemen's seats ; but a special reference to each would take up too much time and space. It is a favourite seat of the Woollen manufacture: the business of malting is also
carried on to a very considerable extent.
Crossing the river, and the Mirfield and Hopton road, by a stone viaduct of 13 arches of 45 feet span each, on our left is the Corn mill of Mr. Charles
Wooler. A little further, on our right, is the Hopton Independent Chapel, and on our left Canal Lodge, the residence of Joseph Stancliffe, Esq. and Blake Hall, the seat of Joshua Ingham, Esq. the
birthplace of John Hopton the