In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hemsworth like this:
HEMSWORTH, a village, a parish, and a district in W. R. Yorkshire. The village stands adjacent to the Wakefield and Doncaster railway, 7¾ miles SE of Wakefield; is well built and large; and has a post office under Pontefract, a r. station, a working men's readingroom, a church, three dissenting chapels, a well endowed hospital, a free grammar school, a national school, and a workhouse. The reading room is a recent and handsome edifice, and contains a well selected library. The church is later English; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with porch and tower; and contains a font and a few ancient monuments. ...
The hospital was founded in 1555, by Archbishop Holgate; has now a new building, and an endowed income of £3, 200; and devotes one-fifth of that income to a master, and the rest to twenty men and twenty women. The grammar school was founded in 1546, also by Archbishop Holgate, who was a native; and it now has an endowed income of about £400. Other charities have £15. The workhouse is recent; and was erected in consequence of the separation of Hemsworth district from that of Pontefract.The parish contains also Little Hemsworth hamlet, ½ a mile E of the village, and comprises 4, 120 acres. Real property, £7, 487. Pop., 975. Houses, 214. The property is chiefly divided among five. Hemsworth Hall was the birthplace of the Right Hon. Sir Charles Wood, and his residence till 1830; and is now the seat of W. H. Leatham, Esq. Newstead Hall is the seat of the Rev. Peter Jackson. Building stone is quarried; bricks are made; and there is a steam corn mill. The living is a rectory in the diocese of York. Value, £880.* Patron, W. B. Wrightson, Esq.The district contains also the parishes of Ackworth, Wragby, Felkirk, Badsworth, Kirk-Smeaton, and South Kirby, two townships of Womersley, two of Darfield, and the extra-parochial tract of Foulby, Nostell, and Huntwick. Acres, 33, 870. Poor rates in 1863, £4, 026. Pop. in 1851, 8, 158; in 1861, 7, 793. Houses, 1, 657. Marriages in 1862, 39; births, 238, -of which 17 were illegitimate; deaths, 154, -of which 34 were at ages under 5 years, and 7 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 415; births, 2, 319; deaths, 1, 292. The places of worship, in 1851, were 10 of the Church of England, with 3, 189 sittings; 1 of Quakers, with 850 s.; 18 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 2, 296 s.; 7 of Primitive Methodists, with 257 s.; 2 undefined, with 50 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 70 s. The schools were 18 public day schools, with 1, 187 scholars; 17 private day schools, with 305 s.; and 21 Sunday schools, with 1, 045 s.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Hemsworth has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Wakefield. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Hemsworth and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hemsworth, in Wakefield and West Riding | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 09th December 2013
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