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Ossett Timeline -

Compiled by David Mitchell

Roman times to 1800

1800 to 1900

1900 to Present Day

6th Century : The Vikings arrive, our town name believed originates from a local leader, Osla, whose Camp (or set) became Osleset


626 : A Christian priest ‘Paulinus' preached locally and was buried at Dewsbury.


1086: Doomsday Book- Osleset, described as a settlement of 3 ½ carucates (arable land of 3½ x annual area that one plough could work) + 4 villeins, 3 bordars with 2 ploughs.


1366 : A miner, Adam Adamson reported falling down Gawthorpe pit. He died of broken neck.

Medeival times

1379 : Poll tax for Ossett - 27 shillings paid for 74 households (400 persons). Coal Mining, Handloom Weaving and Farming were identified as town occupations. Defined as a considerable town for the times.

1409 : License from Archbishop of York for Divine Services in a Holy Trinity Church.


1559 : Churchwarden appointed for Ossett chapelry.


1593 : Plague in Ossett (Jane Wilson buried).


1642 : English Civil war, Ossett was strongly royalist.


1662 : Rates levied. (Total population 1200 est).


1665 : A strong non-conformist population, the town constable was reprimanded for leniency to Quakers.


1725 : Gallery built onto the Chapel of Ease in Market Place, Ossett. (rebuilt 1806).


1735 : Ossett Grammar School founded.


1750 : A School erected on Maypole Hill, Gawthorpe.


1770 : Residents still making cloth on attic handlooms, for sale in Leeds Cloth market.

1800 : Grammar School built in Market Place with 50 pupils studying in 1830. Subjects included; reading, writing, and accounts.


1806 : Parish church built in Market Place (moved in 1865).


1814 : C of E school built in Old Church Street but moved to Church Street site in 1874.

Coal minor

1830 : Six coal pits listed in Ossett.

1837 : Many families built mills with power looms and made the coarse uniform cloth supplied to both sides in Crimea War. The mechanical looms caused loss of home weaving. Ossett became the Centre of the recycling industry (rag trade) of wool, making Mungo and Shoddy, (differing qualities of re-claimed wool) used in the many cloth and felt mills. Ossett became an important centre of this trade.


1834 : Formation of Select Vestry.


1836 : Board of Surveyors formed.


1837 : Formed a Poor Law Union District with local towns. The Poor were against new system of relief and ‘great disturbances' resulted.


1853 : Ossett purchased its exemption from the Manor Court of Wakefield.


1854 : Ossett Gas Company formed.


1861 : Ossett Industrial Co-operative Society registered.


1865 : Consecration of the current ‘Holy and Undivided Trinity Church' replacing others dating back to before 1409.


1870 : Local Town Board appointed.


1874 : Opening of Railway from Ossett To Dewsbury.


1875 : Act of Parliament (Ossett Local Board Act) £50,000 borrowed and spent on street works, sewers and water supply.


1888 :Station Road started from town over the new Station.

Alderman edward clay

1890 : Charter of Incorporation by Royal Ascent. (Petition Feb 25th, Incorporation August 16th). First Town Council Meeting November 10th. (Alderman Edward Clay was first Mayor - pictured left).

1893 : Hannah Pickard Fountain erected in Market place to water animals with £500 left to town.


1894 : First sitting of Borough Justices. (First case was a drunk soldier with head wounds from service to his country; given a discharge, a dinner, a pair of boots and then sent on his way). A new hospital erected at Storrs Hill.


1898 : Corporation Technical School (started 1885) takes over Mechanics Institute (currently Library building). Electricity supply installed across the town.


1900 : Roundwood added to Ossett by an ‘Order of Extension of Borough' after a public inquiry.


1904 : Trams start from Ossett to Wakefield.


1906 : First co-education school in Yorkshire, initiated at Park House by Ossett Corporation with part funding from West Riding County Council, part of the Grammar School move.


1908 : Grand opening of new Town Hall in Market Place which was built by public subscription. Opening of South Dale Council School. Ossett to Dewsbury electric trams started.

1912 : Royal visit by King George V (pictured right) and Queen Mary. Opening of Flushdyke Council School.

King george v

1920 : Municipal houses opened on Manor Road (62 in all).


1926 : Opening of Queens Drive.


1927 : Opening of Gawthorpe Council School.


1928 : Opening of Pildacre Water Works. Opening of Child Welfare Clinic, Croft House. Opening of Kingsway. Unveiling of War Memorial. Grammar School extension opened for 155 scholars.


1933 : Trams replaced by buses (rails taken for war effort).


1935 : Opening of Public Library in Mechanics Institute.


1936 : Ossett Town Football Club was formed.

winston churchill

1941 : Only stick of bombs dropped on town by German aircraft. British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (pictured right)

1944: Ossett Albion Football Club founded.


1950 : Area of Borough equals 3332 acres witha population 14,070. Part of Dewsbury Parliamentary Division.


1952 : Royal Train stops overnight in Healey sidings.


1972 Town Centre pedestrianised under Town and Country Planning change.


1974 : Incorporated into Wakefield Metropolitan District Council without Parish or Community Council. Pits lost at Pildacre, Gawthorpe, Runtlins, Crownlands, Shawcross Coal Pit closed. Roundwood Coal Pit closed. End of mining in town.Ossett turned to engineering.


1993 : Ossett Co-op closes down.


1998 : The Co-op opens after re-build.


2001 : The census estimates the town's population at 20,988.


2005 : New bus station opens.


2008 : Ossett Town Hall celebrates centenary.


2010 : 21st Ossett Gala

Ossett Civic Trust

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Prospect Road



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Disclaimer: The views expressed in the articles on this website are the views of the authors of the articles and not necessarily the views of Ossett Civic Trust. © Ossett Civic Trust 2013


The Roman Road- VIA VICINALIS ran from Agbrigg, west to Batley and Halifax. Its route followed the old Dewsbury/Wakefield Road via Flushdyke and Streetside. Roman coins were found along its route in the 20th century.