Birstall Yorkshire Family History Guide

Birstall is an Ancient Parish in the county of Yorkshire.

Parish church: St. Peter

Parish registers begin: 1558

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Plymouth Brethren, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Birstall

  • Batley
  • Heckmondwike
  • Birkenshaw cum Hunsworth
  • Gomersal
  • Drighlington
  • Gildersome
  • Morley
  • Tong

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BIRSTALL, a village in Dewsbury district, and a parish in Dewsbury and Bradford districts, W. R. Yorkshire. The village stands at the terminus of a branch of the Leeds and Dewsbury railway, 7 miles SW of Leeds; has a post office under Leeds; and is a polling-place. The parish includes the townships of Gomersal, Heckmondwike, Liversedge, Wike, Cleckheaton, Hunsworth, Drighlington, and Tong. Acres, 13,656. Real property, £132,020.,-of which £25,594 are in mines, and £2,719 in quarries. Pop. in 1841, 29,723; in 1861, 43,505. Houses, 9,237. The property is much subdivided. Many of the inhabitants are employed in numerous factories, or in handicrafts connected with them; and not a few are miners of coal and ironstone. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £480.* Patron, the Bishop of Ripon. The church was erected in the time of Henry VIII., and was not long ago enlarged. The chapelries of Birkenshaw, Whitechapel, Cleckheaton, Gomersal, Wike, Heckmondwike, Liversedge, Robertown, Drighlington, Tong, and Tong-Street are separate benefices. There are several dissenting chapels, and charities £119. Dr. Priestley was a native.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1831

BIRSTALL, a parish in the wapentake of MORLEY, west riding of the county of YORK, 7½ miles (S. W.) from Leeds, comprising the chapelries of Clackheaton, Drighlington, Liversedge, and Tong, and the townships of Great and Little Gomersall, Heckmondwike, Hunsworth, and Wike, and containing 21,217 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, rated in the king’s books at £23. 19. 2., and in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, has lately been enlarged by the addition of one hundred and fifty sittings, one hundred of which are free; for this purpose, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches granted £150. A chapel is also being erected at Birkenshaw, in this parish. Many of the inhabitants are occupied in the clothing business. The Rev. William Armystead, in 1601, bequeathed £100 for the erection of a school: the fund now produces £8. 10. per annum, for which, six children are instructed gratuitously in a National school, which was established in 1819. Dr. Priestley, equally distinguished for his advocacy of Unitarianism, and his discoveries in chemistry, was born at Field-head, in this parish, in 1733 ; he died in America, in 1804.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1831

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  • County: Yorkshire
  • Riding: West
  • Civil Registration District: Dewsbury
  • Probate Court: Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York
  • Diocese: Pre-1836 - York, Post-1835 - Ripon
  • Rural Deanery: Pontefract
  • Poor Law Union: Dewsbury
  • Wapentake: Morley
  • Province: York