Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury

Ravensthorpe is an area of Dewsbury, in West Yorkshire, England. Ravensthorpe is on the western outskirts of Dewsbury and is part of the "Dewsbury West" ward in the district of Kirklees. The area has always been heavily industrial and was once bustling with textile mills. There is now a toxic tip in the area and a large industrial estate. Ravensthorpe has a very multicultural population. It is also one of the most deprived areas of the country, as measured by super output [http://www.kirkleesmc.gov.uk/community/statistics/ward-profiles/wards2004/DewsburyWest.pdf] .


Despite its apparently Norse name, Ravensthorpe did not exist as a community until the middle of the nineteenth century when large numbers of houses were constructed alongside the new textile mills. The name was supplied by a local clergyman and historian to fit in with other Norse-named settlements in the area.

Prior to the building of textile mills in the 1870s the main economic activity in the area was the production of malt for the brewing industry and coke production based around the mine in the Shill Bank area.

Following the Second World War, large areas of Ravensthorpe were demolished as part of the slum clearance programme. A brief poem from the time read

:"Ravensthorpe, Ravensthorpe, what are they doing to you? They're knocking down the houses and building far too few."

There is a railway station in Ravensthorpe, opened in 19th century, near the Thornhill power station. The station is on the Huddersfield Line and has a regular service to Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Leeds.

Recent times

From the 1960s onwards, immigrants moved into the area, especially from Pakistan. More recently, there has been a large immigration of Iraqi Kurds and Hungarians into the area. From have been small riots between Hungarians and Pakistanis in February 2008, and between Kurds and Pakistanis in Summer 2007. [http://www.thepressnewspaper.co.uk/NewsDetails.asp?id=1169]

One incident that attracted limited media attention came in 1999, when it appeared that a section of the Pakistani community had made it appear that several dead people had voted for the Labour Party candidate, in a local election where the Labour candidate only marginally won. The police abandoned the investigation, however.

Early 2008 will see an exciting development in the town, in the shape of a new shopping park. Eight new retail units are planned in total and all are due to open in February/March 2008. Tenants on the park include retailers such as Netto, Instore, Home Bargains, Greggs and Subway.

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