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town in Kirklees metropolitan borough, metropolitan county of West Yorkshire, historic county of Yorkshire, northern England. It lies along the River Calder 9 miles (14 km) south-southwest of Leeds. Dewsbury (which was mentioned in Domesday Book in 1086) had a woolen industry as early as the 13th century, but there was no great expansion until the Industrial Revolution, when the town became the natural centre of a heavy woolen district. Textiles declined during the late 20th century, to be replaced by engineering and light manufacturing.