New arrival in the Netherlands

Scott James Armitage

Scott James Armitage

New arrival at the Netherlands branch of the Armitage family. Scott James Armitage was born shortly after midnight on January 27 2017. Parents Matthew and Marsha and Scott’s little sister Lucy Mae are over the moon. Grandparents Mark (alias James Richard Mark) and Mariam are also besides themselves.

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Mr & Mrs Michael Armitage

Many congratulations to Mike & Wiz, who tied the knot festival-style on 28 August 2016. Weddstonbury 2016 took place at Maunsel House in Somerset and, as with any festival, there was sunshine and the odd shower, lots of music (featuring Mark Armitage playing classical guitar) and plenty of colour.

See some of Tricia’s photographs here >>

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70 is the new 50!

IMG_2692Brothers (from left to right) Peter, Tony and Michael Armitage, with a combined age of 210 years photographed skiing in Verbier in March 2016, proving that 70 is the new 50!!!

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From Huddersfield with Love

from Huddersfield with Love

From Huddersfield with Love

Sue Woodd has spent many years and travelled thousands of miles researching the lives of her parents Andrew and Helen (nee Broadbent) Armitage, their siblings, ancestors and descendants and, based on this research, has now written a fascinating book entitled ‘From Huddersfield with Love’.

Published in a limited edition of 100 hard back copies, the book was launched in Huddersfield in December 2015 to an invited audience of some 20 people, which included The Huddersfield Daily Examiner in which a feature article appeared. Priced at £30.00 plus postage and packing, more than 60 copies have already been sold.

The book, which tells the story of Andrew and Helen Armitage, contains much history of the Armitage, Dickson and Liddell families, as well the stories of Sue’s cousins, and includes family trees from the 18th century to the present day and is illustrated by many black and white and colour photographs. For anyone with an interest in the Armitage family, this book is a must and an email to Sue is the best way of finding out if copies are still available for purchase.

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Trip to China

Mariam and I are in China at the moment. We started our trip almost four weeks ago in Beijing (former Peking), visited the Forbidden City and the Great Wall before leaving by train to the ancient city of PingYao in Shanxi Province. From there we took another train to Xi’An to visit the Terra-cotta Warriors in all their splendor, moved to Incredible Buddhist mountain sculptures and caves in LouYang before continuing our journey to cosmopolitan Shanghai. From Shanghai we took another train to Hangzhou to cool off on a very beautiful lake. After this we moved inward and south to Changsha and then onto the famous National Park of Zhangjiajie where film makers Eric Hanson and James Cameron got their inspiration to make the 2014 film AVATAR. We are now currently resting up on the Li River near Yuangshuo, a tributary of the Yangtze River. Thank the heavens we didn’t take a cruise on this River after the tragedy that occurred last week.

Our original intention was to backpack our way through China and pay for our way by giving English lessons to the Chinese. We both are certified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Well, we were only able to get a tourist visa of forty days and most teaching engagements are for longer periods than a month. We now have to leave China on June 10 so we are heading south to Nanning and Hanoi in Vietnam. We may teach or do charity work through Foundation Maria Theresa. Exciting times for two retirees. Our expected return to The Netherlands is September 10, 2015, two days before our youngest son, Lawrence, turns 30.

Mark & Mariam Armitage

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Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

Family near their waterfall

Family near their waterfall

Our youngest daughter Anna, husband Chris and three small boys surprised us all just over a year ago when they announced their intention to emigrate to South Africa. Their enthusiastic plans to start a business in the tourist industry progressed faster than any of us imagined possible, and with the proceeds of their Surrey house they have bought a “farm” with a house, 5 “cottages” and 600 acres of land near Hermanus. The land is “fynbos”, a particular form of SA flora and, apart from the 1,000 olive trees, not suitable for farming. Chris is a botanist who has specialized in SA flora in Cape Town where he did a PhD. Anna did her PhD on elephants at Addo Elephant National Park, so both have many years experience of South African living.

Anna painting a cottage

Anna painting a cottage

They left in November last and we were keen to visit and help in the early stages. We have just returned from three wonderful and surprisingly relaxed weeks with them, enjoying being together with the peace and wildlife. We painted vast areas of wall in the first 2 cottages, although for a spacious modern house able to sleep 6 or more we felt cottage is a bit of a misnomer! But then everything in South Africa is on a huge scale. Our small hire car ground to a halt up their steep, rough track when we arrived, but the road was upgraded to passable while we were there. Proper trails across their virgin, quite difficult, but very interesting terrain, which includes the mountain, a large cave and a delightful waterfall, still need to be made. Surrounding countryside with the stunning coastline just 20 minutes away, is beautiful.

A daunting prospect to get it all going but we feel confident that they will, although Anna home schools her children so has little spare time. The youngsters go barefoot everywhere, and are enthusiastic wildlife experts. Employing permanent staff will happen soon, yet another major challenge.

Boys walking through fynbos to their home

Boys walking through fynbos to their home, Phillipskop Mountain in background

After three weeks we felt that while nearest neighbours are not exactly round the corner, their “village” of Stanford, 15 minutes drive away, is very friendly, with lots going on and reasonable shops, and we always met people we knew down there. We also met folk who own farms in their valley, all kind and supportive.

We were in touch with Helen Roberts (nee Gee) who lives in SA. However she is near Johannesburg and wasn’t able to come over and stay this time as we were almost camping in very basic accommodation in one of the cottages. Maybe next year when we go out again.

It’s a wonderful part of the world with delightful climate, and we wish them every success with their venture. If you want to know more, look at their excellent and very informative website at

Sue Woodd

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Guy and Yukie

Guy Armitage and Yukie Yokoyama will marry in Aubonne, Switzerland on 9th May 2015. Yukie is an architect and Guy is the founder of Zealous. They live in London.

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Baby news!

Lucy Mae Armitage

Lucy Mae Armitage

Lucy Mae Armitage, born on July 13, 2013 at 20.21 hrs, weighing in at 2595 grams (5 pounds 1 ounce), Leiden, the Netherlands.

Daughter Lucy and proud parents Matthew and Marsha Armitage are doing well, not to mention the grandparents Mark and Mariam Armitage.

Mark Armitage
2 August 2013

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Wedding in The Netherlands

The eldest son of Mark and Mariam Armitage, Matthew Sebastian Armitage, and Marsha Kooreman were married in Leiden, the Netherlands on May 30th 2013

Matthew and Marsha Armitage

Matthew and Marsha. Photo: Vera Bos

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A visit to Armitage Bridge

Saturday 18 August 2012 turned out to be one of the more memorable days in an English summer that will not be fondly remembered for it’s weather.

Accompanying cousin Sue and her husband Hugh, I visited The Hermitage at Armitage Bridge in the parish of Almondbury. The Hermitage is home to Mark and Clare Oldfield who fell in love with the property at first sight and bought it some 9 years ago.  As they became increasingly interested in the history of their home, they came across The Armitage Family website through which they made contact with Sue and kindly invited her and family to visit them.

Mark and Clare made us most welcome and enthusiastically showed us around the house and gardens of The Hermitage and then took us on a tour of Armitage Bridge.

The Hermitage was built around 1750 and is the oldest property in Armitage Bridge even predating the local church of St Pauls which was originally built in 1848 and rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1987.

Locals have told the Oldfields that as recently as the early 1950’s a disused half-timbered medieval style house/barn stood in the grounds of The Hermitage. Whether this was the original Hermitage is unknown but half timbered houses were built from the 13th century onwards.

There are two bridges in Armitage Bridge, one of which would originally have been Ermitage’s Bridge, so named because it would have been known as a place where a hermit lived or as a resting place on one of the many Almondbury trade routes. The main bridge over the river Holme is close to the church and the smaller bridge over Dean Brook (Tolson Dye House Bridge) is close to The Hermitage. It is not known after which of these the village of Armitage Bridge is named.

George Redmonds, a local historian, in his paper on the origin of the name Armitage speculates that all Armitages owe their surname to the same place-name. He writes that the present bridge in the village of Armitage Bridge is first mentioned in 1817 but the settlement known as ARMITAGE dates back at least 750 years. The present village is situated on the spot where, over 750 years ago, land was granted to the Knights Templar and a deed drawn up between 1236 and 1258 refers to “ a certain messuage with garden and building erected thereupon with appurtenances which was called the hermitage with 10 acres of land”. Certainly the locality, Redmonds writes, gave rise to a family name before very long for a reference of 1258 in the deeds of a priory at Pontefract mentions Richard de Hermitagio living in Almondbury parish.

Mark and Clare showed us a large and ancient stone sited in their garden which is believed to mark the spot where an earlier building once stood. Could this have been the messuage referred to in the deed mentioned by George Redmonds and did Sue, Hugh and I stand on the very spot where the first Armitage stood almost 800 years before us?

Michael Armitage
August 2012

Mark and Clare recently acquired The Golden Cock, a very well known pub with restaurant in nearby Farnley Tyas, which has now reopened following extensive refurbishment. Should this article encourage you to tread where many Armitages have trodden before, a warm welcome and excellent food awaits there.

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