A Huddersfield historian is appealing for information about the grand villas of Edgerton to help his research for a forthcoming book.

David Griffiths, author of the histories of Greenhead Park and Greenhead Hall and an Edgerton resident himself, has long felt the district has not received due attention as a classic Victorian suburb – despite including almost 100 listed buildings and other structures.

And when you take the time to look at them they are absolutely magnificent.

He said: “Manchester’s Victoria Park, Headingley in Leeds and Manningham in Bradford are all the subject of substantial histories but a group from the Victorian Society was amazed by the quality of housing and town planning in Edgerton when I took them round a couple of years ago.”

Particularly important, in his view, is that few of the area’s ‘big houses’ have been demolished over the years – though many have been divided into flats or turned over to business use.

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Although the place name Edgerton has been traced back to the 14th century, its suburban history began around 1820 with the building of three substantial Georgian houses in the Edgerton Green area – one of which, Edgerton Hill, survives as today’s Ukrainian Club.

But the district’s rapid development came in the third quarter of the 19th century as land for development was released in turn by the Lockwood, Thornhill and Fenton estates. By about 1880 the suburb we know today was largely in place, though some more modern housing has been added since.

David already has a lot of information, particularly on Edgerton’s early residents.

He said: “I was given a flying start by a splendid piece of research undertaken by John Brook in the 1970s. He looked into the families who lived in Edgerton’s villas down to about 1900 and documented them with great care. But his work is only available as a typescript in the Local Studies Library. It deserves to be better known and I’m aiming to extend its coverage to a somewhat wider area and to add information about the houses themselves, their architects, and the development process. I’m also planning to put Edgerton’s story into the context of the town’s Victorian social history.”

Although his research is well-advanced there are still gaps to fill and this is where David hopes Edgerton residents will be able to help.

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Old photographs, house plans, maps, deeds and reminiscences of buildings that have been lost will all help to fill out the picture.

His booklet will concentrate on the period to 1914 and cover the area on both sides of Edgerton/Halifax Road from Blacker Road up to Thornhill Road – including the Queen’s Road, Murray Road, Bryan Road and the Binham Road areas as well as properties along the main road and just off it.

He’d be delighted to hear from people or businesses in this area who have any information to offer – and will be happy to share his own knowledge in return.

The booklet will be published by Huddersfield Civic Society this autumn and David can be contacted on 01484 540309, or via griffi.davidj@gmail.com