News and Events

Skelmanthorpe Textile Heritage Centre Summer opening times can be found here

Heritage Open Days 2023

                               Heritage Open Days
            Thursday September 14th – Sunday September 17th                       

Under the annual national Heritage Open Days scheme, thousands of volunteers invite us to experience free of charge local history, architecture and culture.
For information nationwide see
Three wonderful buildings in the Denby Dale area will feature this year.

The High Flatts Quaker Meeting House down Firth Lane is a very early Quaker meeting house from c1653 and is situated in a beautiful hamlet until recently exclusively Quaker owned. Built in local stone, it offers spectacular views over magnificent rolling countryside.
Open10am to 5pm Thursday to Saturday, 12 to 5pm Sunday. Guided nature tours of the area are available on request, featuring reflections on local agriculture and rural industry, the 1932 typhoid epidemic and the original village water-supply driven by water-power.  The Skelmanthorpe Textile Heritage Centre on Queen Street is a “one-up one-down” former weaver’s cottage. The downstairs family-living quarters have been maintained & furnished as in c1900. Upstairs is an authentic hand-loom in working condition, along with fascinating displays/artefacts linked to our textile history.
Guided visits12 noon to 5pm Thursday & Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday & Sunday. Loom demonstrations 1pm to 4pm Thurs – Sat, all day Sunday.
Booking required: e-mail
Free parking, toilets and refreshments are available at the nearby Community Centre at the junction of Lodge Street & Elm Street.
Creative Sunday: on Sunday only, at the Community Centre, families can twist fleece from a local farm into yarn; see a spinning wheel demonstration; before getting creative with weaving activities and rag-rugging. Combine with a visit to the Textile Centre. Booking required.
Leaflets for self-guided walks along the Skelmanthorpe Village Trail will be available or can be downloaded from .

St Michael’s Church, Emley
Open Saturday 16th 11am – 4pm
Experience 600 years of history by visiting this Grade 1 Listed medieval church, and enjoy guided tours by our resident architect. You will be able to ascend the 100-foot tower to enjoy spectacular views of Yorkshire. Believe it or not, this lovely, unassuming Parish Church stood in for scenes set at the Tower of London in the 2021 Channel 5 Anne Boleyn drama.
Refreshments will be available throughout the day and visitors are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy if they wish.

Latest publications available: Emley Tittle Tattle

We are delighted to be publishing a re-print of this fascinating local history book – the reminiscences of Tom Swallow, born in Emley in 1894. This follows our publication of 5 books by the late Scissett historian Leslie Robinson see for details.

Citizens Advice ~ Drop-in Advice Service

2nd and 4th Friday of every month, 10.00am til 1.00pm, starting Friday 12th August. (Contact the clerk on or see here for further information.)

Park Gate events

Become a Friend of Park Gate

For general information about the wider Park Gate project, visit

Park Gate nature area consultation

Planning and development work continues at Park Gate nature area!

Kirklees Council and Denby Dale Parish Council are working together to develop plans for landscape and biodiversity improvements at the old screens site off Park Gate in Skelmanthorpe. The site already has some very biodiverse wet woodland along the Dyke, as well as plantation woodlands, different types of grassland and scrub habitat which have developed since the colliery operations ceased and the site was re-profiled in the late 1980s. The site recently came back into Kirklees Council ownership and this is a really exciting opportunity to make it into something really special both for wildlife, through habitat enhancement and creation, and for a range of local community uses. 

Consultation on a draft master plan for the site was undertaken in Autumn 2020 and the masterplan was updated in light of the responses received. Please see the full consultation report, and the updated Master Plan.

The main themes emerging from the consultation were that the focus for the site should be on nature and biodiversity enhancements and allowing people to use the site for quiet enjoyment using a network of good footpaths with accessibility for all. Many people also wanted to find out more about the history and ecology of the site.

Since the consultation was undertaken the project team have been busy:

  • Planting over 3000 trees over the winter at the site to create additional wildlife habitat and contribute towards climate emergency mitigation;
  • Working with local volunteers to better understand the ecology of the site, including bird and bumblebee surveys ;
  • Developing a list of practical management tasks that existing volunteer groups can make a start on at the site, and planning for setting up a site-specific Friends group once Covid restrictions allow;
  • Recruiting a local artist, Helen Brook, to run activities at the site to explore possibilities for public art features in future that would be in keeping with the site and help to explain some of the history and ecology; and
  • Working with Experience Community to explore how the new path network can be as accessible as possible and how it might be funded.

Watch this space for more updates soon!

Community Orchard in Skelmanthorpe

This is a small piece of land owned by Kirklees council that has no strategic value to the council, and was identified by Cllr Turner and Simpson has been a suitable space to create a community orchard, which will create a much more bio diverse area and help tackle the current climate change emergency.

Dave Wilde and Andy Wickham, a kirklees officer supported by a member of the northern fruit group, planting a variety of apple and pear trees to create a community orchard in the centre of Skelmanthorpe, last week.


Denby Dale Parish Council is keen to bring you news from around the parish and to keep you informed about the work of the council. If you have any community news or events to share please contact the Clerk and we will try our best to include it! Newsletters are delivered quarterly around the ward, however, if you are missed out, they are put on the council’s noticeboards and can be collected from Skelmanthorpe Library. 

As each newsletter is produced, it will be published on this website – use the links below to access the parish council newsletters.