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Huddersfield is a market town in the Kirklees district in West Yorkshire, England. It is the administrative centre and largest settlement in the Kirklees district. The town is in the foothills of the Pennines. The River Holme’s confluence into the similar-sized Colne to the south of the town centre which then flows into the Calder in the north eastern outskirts of the town.
The rivers around the town provided soft water required for textile treatment in large weaving sheds, this made it a prominent mill town with an economic boom in the early part of the Victorian era Industrial Revolution. The town centre has much neoclassical Victorian architecture, one example is its railway station which is a Grade I listed building – described by John Betjeman as “the most splendid station façade in England” – and won the Europa Nostra award for architecture.
It hosts the University of Huddersfield and three colleges: Greenhead College, Kirklees College and Huddersfield New College. The town is the birthplace of rugby league with the local team, Huddersfield Giants, playing in the Super League. It also has a professional football team called Huddersfield Town, currently compete in the Championship, as well as two Rugby Union clubs Huddersfield R.U.F.C. and Huddersfield YM RUFC. Notable people from the town include twice British Prime Minister Harold Wilson (for Labour), film star James Mason born in the town and Jodie Whittaker, the 13th actor to play Doctor Who, was born in Skelmanthorpe.
The town has been classed under Yorkshire, the West Riding of Yorkshire and West Yorkshire for statistics throughout its history. The town’s population in 1961 was 130,652 with an increase to 162,949 at the 2011 census; it is in the West Yorkshire Built-up Area. The town is 14 miles (23 km) south-west of Leeds, 12 miles (19 km) west of Wakefield, 23 miles (37 km) north-west of Sheffield and 24 miles (39 km) north-east of Manchester.