Introduction to the Project
Burton Dean is the main valley running through the heart of the township of Kirkburton, a village located five miles south-east of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. For the purpose of our story, the Dean follows the course of the Dean Bottom Dike, from Dean End at the village centre, near All Hallows Church, north-westwards to Penistone Road at Dean Bottom.
Writing in 1816, Dr T D Whitaker described the setting of the village as 'beautiful; on the edge of a valley, finely diversified with native oak which have been permitted to attain greater bulk than usual'. Much of the Dean retains a green and pleasant character, though even by 1816 the village would have displayed a 'busy scene of industry'. For two centuries, that scene continued as Kirkburton became a centre for woollen textiles and other industries. Now much of that industry has gone.
Our story focuses on Burton Dean Park, the site of the former Carter Mill, and now a small public open space, owned and managed by Kirklees Council, with assistance from the local community. Burton Environment Group had a vision of the site as a durable and valued greenspace at the heart of the village. This vision was translated into a bid for grant assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which was approved in 2006.
Through 2007 works were undertaken to repair site features and improve accessibility. A local history interpretation programme explored, presented and recorded the history of Burton Dean. These pages hopefully capture that story.