Possibly the oldest building in Holmfirth, dating from around 1600, is set to open its doors to the public during the weekend of September 8 and 9 as part of a fantasic, natiowide Heritage Open Day.
The building in question, tucked behind Brambles pub, is Th’Owd Towser. From the outside it is an unremarkable stone building but the odly named location has been a jail, mortuary and even a fire station during its long life.
Other local venues being opened up to the public during the same weekend include St Mary’s Church, Honley; Lydgate Unitarian Chapel, New Mill; Holy Trinity Church, Denby Dale’ Colne Valley Museum, Golcar, and St Bartholomew’s Church, Marsden.
For full details of events and activities visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk
Th’Owd Towser – Potted History
Many visitors to Holmfirth first heard about Th’Owd Towser during Gary’s popular walk n talk tours which used to regularly take place in the town several summers ago. And locals will know about its fascinating history.
Built next to the parish church it lies on land known as God’s Acre.
A spokeswoman for the local civic society, told Holmfirthweb.com: “It is such a small building and insignificant, even from the inside, but people are surprised when they hear such interesting stories.”
Although the building on Daisy Lane has been rebuilt during its history, it is believed still to stand on the original foundations.
Built on a steep hill there are two floors; the top has two bare rooms and it is the smaller of these that served as a jail.
Visitors can still see the iron ring in the floor where prisoners were chained.
There is only one tiny window and a ledge on which a candle is placed for lighting
Approached from the other side of the building is a larger single room, about 12ft (4m) by 10ft (3m).
It was here that Holmfirth once kept a rudimentary fire engine, although many of the other uses for this room are unknown.