Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Watching the Film

The film is intended as a starting point for a local history study at KS1/2. Two local history study options are suggested:
  • The role of the Ramsden family in building the town of Huddersfield, including the University
  • The history of the University, reflecting the development of British education since the mid 19th century, including women’s education.


Visits (by arrangement) to the archives to view the collection first hand, or to the Ramsden building would be a valuable addition to either option.


It is suggested that teachers watch the film before showing it to students, and become familiar with the contents of this pack so that they are able to answer any questions. 


The film is 2 minutes 59 seconds long and includes a question focusing on the Ramsden family, known as the “family that shaped Huddersfield”.


Photo of an 1890s classroom at Huddersfield Mechanical Institute showing desks and rows of glass bottles on shelves.
An 1890s Classroom at Huddersfield Mechanical Institute

The question is as follows:

  • 2:13 The Ramsden family played an important role in the history of Huddersfield. Can you find their coat of arms in other buildings in the town?

An example of the Ramsden coat of arms can be seen on the Estate Buildings, Byram Arcade. Evidence of the Ramsden family can be found in street names as well as the coat of arms. As Lords of the Manor, they had control of naming the streets, many of which reflect their ownership of land in other parts of the country.


The 4 lions on the coats of arms seen on the Ramsden building, represent the Guild of Clothworkers, the town of Huddersfield, and the Brooke and Ramsden families. These two families were instrumental in the Technical Institute as it then was, being built.


Ramsden Street is named after the family, as is the Ramsden building (in the University).  John William Street is named after the 5th baronet, Sir John William Ramsden.


Dundas Street is named after Isabella Dundas, who was the mother of the 5th baronet.  The Huddersfield Canal was originally known as the Sir John Ramsden Canal.  Byram Street and Byram Arcade are named after Byram Hall, the Ramsden family’s country house near Pontefract.