Passionate about making the River Holme a better place for people, businesses and wildlife
The River Holme and tributaries 2018

RIVER HOLME

From its source on the moorlands above Holme, West Yorkshire, the River Holme winds its way through countryside and villages before reaching Huddersfield town centre where it joins the River Colne.

The river and its banks teem with wildlife and, over the centuries, the River Holme has been the lifeblood for villages.

Today, the river is still a focal point, acting as a leisure facility for anglers, a destination for dog walkers and a place for locals and visitors to relax, enjoy the views and watch the wildlife.

 

River Holme Geography

From Digley Reservoir, south-west of Huddersfield, the River Holme flows north through the Holme Valley before meeting the River Colne near Folly Hall in Huddersfield.

The river passes through many villages, including: Holmbridge, Holmfirth, Thongsbridge, Brockholes, Honley, Berry Brow, Armitage Bridge and Lockwood.

It also has a number of tributaries:

  • River Ribble, runs through Hade Edge before joining River Holme at Holmfirth.
  • Meltham Dike runs through Meltham, turning into Hall Dike beyond Netherton.
  • New Mill Dike begins in the hills above Hepworth, travels through New Mill and joins the River Holme at Thongsbridge.
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River Holme history

In centuries gone by, the River Holme has been the source of some notable floods. History books dating back to 1738 record prolonged rain leading to floods that damaged fields. Towards the end of the same century, further flooding occurred. In 1777 a church dating back to the 1740s was destroyed, while in 1799 several houses and mills in Holmfirth and Huddersfield were washed away by the overflowing river.

Perhaps the most notorious case of flooding occurred in 1852. Following heavy rain, a defective embankment of the Bilberry Reservoir gave way, and around 86 million gallons of water cascaded down the hill towards Holmfirth. It’s reported that 81 people lost their lives, and 7 bridges were washed away along with mills and homes.

In recent years, floods have been few and far between and thankfully none as deadly as previous centuries.