The ancient parish of Halifax was the second largest in area in England (after Rochdale). It comprised 23 townships, though two – Elland-cum-Greetland and Hipperholme-cum-Brighouse – were each made up of two separate entities. Because of its size chapelries were established in the 13th century in Heptonstall and Elland.
With the exception of Fixby (now in Huddersfield), those parts of Queensbury that were in Northowram, and the parts of Lancashire taken in by Todmorden, its boundary was identical to that of present-day Calderdale.
By the 19th century urban settlements had grown up that did not reflect the township boundaries, and Urban Sanitary Districts were created in Hebden Bridge (taking in parts of Heptonstall, Wadsworth and Erringden) and Sowerby Bridge (taking in parts of Sowerby, Warley, Norland and Skircoat). Luddenden Foot Local Board was also created out of part of Warley township and a small part of Sowerby over the river. Todmorden, also not one of the original townships, being at the meeting-point of several, gave its name to both an Urban and a Rural district, while the UD became a Municipal Borough in 1896.
Halifax became a Municipal Borough in 1848 and a County Borough in 1889, expanding to incorporate the surrounding townships
In 1937 a major re-organisation of local government saw many small Urban District Councils merged into larger ones, such as Elland , Ripponden, and Queensbury & Shelf. All the remaining rural bits west of Hebden Bridge were combined into the Hepton Rural District at the same time.
Many boundary stones of the original townships, and later ones, survive of which these are typical examples.
RWH / rev August 2020
|On Stainland Road (B6112) just outside West Vale
Grid Reference: SE 0910 2067
National ID: YW_GRESTA01pb
|On the main A646 opposite Jumble Hole Road. Probably erected in 1896 when Todmorden MB was created
Grid Reference: SD 9699 2621
National ID: YW_TOHA02pb
|This boundary stone is one of several now in the grounds of Clay House, West Vale.
Grid Reference: SE 0970 2134
National ID: YW_SOYBAR01pb
|There are many of these stones on the boundary of Soyland township.
Grid Reference: SE 0124 2131
National ID: YW_SOWRIP02pb
|This stone stands at the junction of Deep Lane and Butts Green Lane. NB: Luddenden Foot was not an original township, but part of Warley.
Grid Reference: SE 048 252
National ID: not yet registered
|This stone survives on the A6036 road between Halifax and Bradford.
Grid Reference: SE 1317 2904
National ID: YW_SHEL01pb