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Farnley Tyas

Information and History of Our Village

New to Farnley Tyas? Click here for some useful local resources.

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Where is Farnley Tyas?

Farnley Tyas is high on a hill four miles south of Huddersfield in the former West Riding of Yorkshire. The village is some 900ft above sea level, surrounded by Green Belt, and the majority of the village is designated as a Conservation area, with a number of listed buildings.


The surrounding countryside to the north and west is designated as an area of High Landscape Value and there are belts of ancient woodland close to the village. The church spire can be seen for miles around and there are many old footpaths which are used by locals and visitors.

The focal points in Farnley Tyas village include St Lucius’ Church, the Good Ofsted rated Primary School (C of E controlled), the Golden Cock Inn and the Bowling Club, along with the Recreation Ground. There is also a thriving WI and several lively and active groups, including Knit & Knatter and Farnley Readers book club. Farnley Ride offers a 6-mile off-road horse riding course in land off Field Lane between 1 April and 1 October (weather permitting).

Wikipedia page

History of Farnley Tyas

Where does the name Farnley Tyas originate?

There are early references in the Doomsday Book in 1086 to Ferlei or Fereleia, and in later records in 1236 Farlegh, 1316 Farneley and 1361 Farneley Tyas. Possible explanations for Farnley are either 'lea of the ferns' or 'the far lea'. Fearn meaning a fern and leah a lea or meadow, so maybe describing a 'woodland glade or clearing overgrown with ferns'?

In 1236 there is a connection with Farlegh and a feudal name from the family Baldwin le Teys and a charter about the same time shows Roger de Notton granted all lands at Farnley to Baldwinus Teutonicus. There are associations from ancient lords of the manor of Farnley and Woodsome, the heirs to the Tyas family were the Finchendena, whose lands later passed to the Kayes, who were largely responsible for building Woodsome Hall.

Through marriage, the lands in 1732 came into the possession of the Earls of Dartmouth, and continued to grow into a, mainly farming, thriving community.

In 1671, when England was settling down after the Civil War, a John Schofield of Manor Farm chiselled his initials and date over the door of his house. In the 1930's Manor Farm was tenanted by Mrs Willie Kaye a descendant of John Schofield and the memorial Schofield made to himself is still there, although it is no longer inhabited and is a disused barn. It is the oldest building in Farnley Tyas and is located in Coronation Yard, now part of Yew Tree Farm. The idea to be 'commemorated' this way was also taken up by some of his neighbours, for in 1678 the letters K.I.D were carved on a house nearby and W.P, G.R.P and I.P were inscribed on another.

Many of the eighteenth century buildings housed clothiers which was then a thriving domestic industry. Goods were sent to Huddersfield Cloth Hall which opened in 1768.

Between the years 1820 - 1840 there were seventeen providers of work in Farnley Tyas, employing some nine hundred people, the largest employed ever in the Village. By 1904 the figure had reduced to some four hundred.
In the mid 1800s there were the following skills in the Village – thirty two farmers, fourteen cloth manufacturers, four butchers, two grocers, and two tailors.

In the days of the Earls of Dartmouth, Farnley Feast used to be held every Whitsuntide. The whole Village took a holiday for it, and the young men vied with each other in climbing a greasy pole to capture a leg of mutton at the top.

Gas supplies were first brought to the Village from the Gas Works at the bottom of Storthes Hall Lane and the gas supply contract for Woodsome Hall is dated 1869. In 1926 an underground electricity cable was laid from Dogley, through land at Woodsome Hall and up Field Lane, and then ran through Farnley Tyas Village down to Honley. Electricity was finally turned on for the Village in 1928. A private bus service arrived in Farnley Tyas in 1924 with buses with hard wheels.

Farnley folk were sometimes known as 'Robinets' – a nickname from a tradition that the ghost of Jack Rimington, a steward to the Kayes at Woodsome Hall, after haunting and causing several local disturbances, was changed into a robin.

The old Reading Room, which is located on The Village, was occupied by the 'Home Guard' and was their Headquarters during the last war. It was used as a 'radio listening centre' and became known as the 'bug box'. In 1988, this building was converted into a small family home.

The Village is now a mix of old cottages and farmsteads with a couple of converted farm barns with the majority of the old buildings are built in the vernacular in local stone with traditional mullioned windows. Between the Wars, Dartmouth Terrace was added by the local Council, followed by 'old peoples bungalows in the 1970's , St Lucius' Close was built by private builders in the 1990s. Manor Road has an eclectic mix of over thirty residences, some converted from farm buildings and cottages with a few more recently built modern properties.

In 1966 the Dartmouth Family sold the land and property not already in private hands to a local family. The estate was then known as Farnley Estates Limited. In 2018 parts of the estate were sold to the Rochester Bridge Trust, including the let farms, houses and a number of commercial properties in and around the village, including the Field Lane units, bowling club and rifle range. Find out more about about Rochester Bridge Trust in the village.

Farming was for many years the main occupation in Farnley Tyas. In the past there were as many as thirty farms in the village and as late as 1923 all these were in existence. The land was divided up in the old strip principle, where it was the custom to give each farm a selection of good and not so good land. Though dairy farming was once a principle activity for many years, the last dairy farm ceased milk production in 2003. As of 2024, most of the farms have been developed for other uses, including housing (Beech Farm and Park House Farm, with Yew Tree Farm under development). Low Common Farm is acknowledged to be one of the oldest farmsteads in the area. Ivy Farm has been developed into an Equestrian Centre. Wood Farm has a diverse mix of activities.

Guide Post

How many times have you passed the guide post at Farnley Tyas on the road junction on Thurstonland Road and wondered why railings surround it? Guide stoops are listed ancient buildings and are part of our heritage. The Romans laid good metalled roads to move soldiers and supplies quickly across their empire. They measured distance to aid timing and efficiency, marking every thousandth double step with a large cylindrical stone. The Latin for thousand was 'mille', hence mile. The one at Farnley Tyas is probably one of the best preserved guide posts in the district, and it provides a clue to forgotten routes and lines of traffic. It even had a sundial on top that has long since disappeared, as have many stoops used for road marking or someone's gatepost. It is there because in 1698 an Act of Parliament said that 'stoops must be set up in Crosse highways with the name of the next Market Town to which each of the joining highways leede', and in 1733 they had to be set up on Moor and Commons where intelligence was difficult to be had. Later, the distance to towns had to be marked.

War Memorial

The Farnley Tyas war memorial was unveiled in the centre of the village in Summer 2014, one hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War. The memorial carries the names of five local men: Walter Johnsey, William Lodge, Ernest Price, Arthur William Rothery, George Edmund Shaw. You can find out more information about their lives here.

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