Newsletter – November/December 2019

The Gift to the people of Huddersfield

On the 31st December 1919 Legh Tolson gave his house and park to the people of Huddersfield.

It was on that day that a contract, was made between Legh Tolson and the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the County Borough of Huddersfield. This marvellous gift included the

‘hereditaments’ and premises comprising’ the Mansion House called Ravensknowle and the dwelling house called Ravenshill’

(at this time the building had been divided in to two adjoined houses.)

Legh Tolson required that this gift be

‘a lasting memorial and tribute to his two nephews Second Lieutenant Robert Huntriss Tolson and Second Lieutenant James Martin Tolson who died in service of their country in the late European War…’

The gift was accepted. The document agreed and declared:-

– To place at all times … a tablet recording that the gift was made as a lasting memorial and tribute to the memory of the said Robert Huntries Tolson and James Martin Tolson.

– The said Mansion House and Dwellinghouse shall be used as a museum and the Corporation will as far as is reasonably possible adopt the scheme for the development of a local museum outlined in the short treaties by Thomas William Woodhead Ph.D, M.SC., F.L.S. … Approved by the General Purposes Committee on 12th August 1919.

– … the whole of the said estate and premises shall for ever hereafter be used for the purposes of a museum park recreation ground or other purposes of a like nature.

It was

Signed, sealed and delivered by Legh Tolson, J Henry Field, Town Clerk, J Nicholas Grimhaw, Solicitor with the corporation. The Commom Seal of the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the County Borough of Huddersfield was hereun to affixed.

The full document, all three pages of it, can be read here »

To celebrate this momentous event the Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle, with other special guests, will be invited to an event in Tolson Museum on 31st December 2019. Invitations to follow.

Tolson Memorial Museum – Tea & Cake

2pm – 3.30pm. Free events.
Second hand book stall. Refreshments.

13th Nov. Picture show of local events by Huddersfield Filmmakers Club.

11th Dec. Christmas Party with entertainment.

8th Jan. The story of Emily Frances Siddon an amazing woman from Honley by local historian Peter Marshal.

12th Feb. The developments of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at Stirley Community Farm.

Tolson Memorial Museum

The very successful afternoon tea with live music. We will definitely be putting on another such event next year.

Heritage Memorial Garden, Tolson Memorial Museum

Service of Remembrance
Monday 11th November 10.45
Led by the Rev Margaret Fossey
Refreshments in the Museum.

The Autumn Lecture by Dr Alice Brumby

The Woodhead Hall was full for the lecture about the Huddersfield War Hospital at Royds Hall. We learnt that at the time it was one of the biggest hospitals treating servicemen in the country with at one time nearly 2,000 beds and was believed to have had the lowest death rate in the country. From 1916 a Hospital Magazine was produced monthly by the patients. It is from these publications that so much can be learnt about conditions in the hospital and the humour that was found even in such difficult circumstances. This hospital was well served by the people of Huddersfield who not only raised money but brought thousands of eggs to the hospital!

Stop press.

The latest on the Tolson Museum roof, though nothing can be seen, works are ongoing in preparation for the repair of the roof.

About Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle

The Committee of Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle meet once a month to plan the programme for the local community and support the work of the Museum. We look after the Heritage Memorial Garden. We would welcome any one who is interested in working with us.

For more information please contact Volunteer Ann, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle. m: 07803159506 email: