The market town of Ossett lies half way between the east coast and the west coast of England. This small town of nearly 16 000 people, has evolved many times being a town of textiles, a coal mining town and at some point almost gained fame as a spa town.
Ossett has its origins in Saxon times, but the Romans were the first settlers. In the 14th century, Ossett was already developing into a sizeable town, with economic activity mainly in the textiles, coal and agricultural sectors. In 1890, the town was granted its own Borough charter. It was only in April 1974 that the town became part of the Wakefield Metropolitan District.
In the early 18th century, Ossett prided itself in its expertise in the textile industry. However, workers at the time toiled for fifteen hours a day for just 8 pence. Much of the cloth that was produced was sold in the Leeds market.
Later the boom led to the export of the famous Ossett Meltons to other countries on the continent. Nevertheless, that boom was to be dealt a blow as a result of high tariffs. Melton manufacturing suffered a severe decline. The coal industry was also a key driver of the local economy. Two collieries opened in the late 19th century, one in 1875 and the other in 1890. Both were to close in the early 20th century. In 1900, the extension of the borough boundary saw the development of another colliery, which only stopped operations in 1966. Coal mining became the lifeblood of the economy in 20th century Ossett, employing a lot of local labour. In the 19th century, Ossett was known as spa town, but that fame was short lived. A local stonemason founded the spa and the waters became popular with those seeking relief from diseases of the 19th century. The spa closed in 1870, but the south east of the city is still referred to as spa city today. Now, the economy thrives on textiles and brewing.
Osset’s most notable landmark is the Holy Trinity Parish Church. It was designed by architect William Henry Crossland and completed in May 1865. This ambitious architectural structure cost 8000 pounds to build.
The Town Hall was officially opened on 2 June 1908. While the building cost £22,000 to build and furnish, a substantial amount of money at the time, it remains a significant city attraction. Long hours, tired and stressed you need a good night’s rest. Try a Hypnia memory foam mattress and pillow and you will never look back.
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