Holy Trinity Church, Highfields, Huddersfield

Holy Trinity is an Anglican church situated off Trinity Street and is located in the Highfields area of Huddersfield.


The church was founded by Benjamin Haigh Allen of Greenhead Hall at a cost of £12,000. The design was by Leeds architect Thomas Taylor and was built by Joseph Kaye.

An Act of Parliament was required to build the church as a chapel of ease:

Whereas the Inhabitants of the Township of Huddersfield in the Parish of Huddersfield, in the West Riding of the County of York, have of late Years considerably increased in Number, and are likely to continue to do so, the present Population of that Township consisting of Ten thousand five hundred Inhabitants: And whereas the Church of the said Parish, situate in the Town of Huddersfield, contains Seats for only about One thousand four hundred Persons, and is therefore very inadequate to the Accommodation of the said Inhabitants, and there being no other Place for the Performance of Divine Worship, according to the Rites and Usage of the Church of England, within Two Miles Distance from the said Church, it would be of great Benefit and Utility to the said Inhabitants, and to the other Inhabitants of the said Parish, if a Church or Chapel of Ease, for the Celebration of Divine Worship, according to the Rites and Usage of the Church oi England, were erected within some Distance, not exceeding Half a Mile, of the said Town of Huddersfield: And whereas the said Parish Church is in the Diocese of York, and Sir John Ramsden of Byram in the County of York, Baronet, is Patron of the Vicarage of the said Parish Church, and the Reverend John Coates is the present Vicar thereof: And whereas Benjamin Haigh Allen of Greenhead in the said Parish of Huddersfield, Esquire, with the Privity and Consent of the most Reverend Edward Archbishop of York, and the said John Coates is desirous, at his own Expense, to purchase a Piece of Land situate within Half a Mile of the laid Town of Huddersfield, and to erect on Part thereof a Church or Chapel of Ease for the Celebration of Divine Worship, according to the Rites and Usage of the Church of England, and to apply the remaining Part for the Purposes of a Cemetery or Burial Ground, and to secure a suitable Provision for the Minister of the said Church or Chapel of Ease...

The foundation stone was laid on 19 December 1816 by the Rev. John Coates, Vicar of Huddersfield, and was completed 3 years later. The opening service took place on Sunday 10 October 1819.

Designed by architect Thomas Taylor of Leeds, the foundation stone was laid in 1817 and the church opened on Sunday 10 October 1819.[1]

A new east window was dedicated to the memory of Sarah Allen (1803-1884)[2], widow of Benjamin Haigh Allen's brother John, on 17 December 1885. The window was designed by Messrs. A.O. Hemmingway & Co. of London.[3]


A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) edited by Samuel Lewis:

Trinity district church, erected in 1819, by the late Benjamin H. Allen, Esq., of Greenhead, on his own land, at an expense of £12,000, to which he added £4000 for its endowment, is an elegant structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower, and contains 1500 sittings, whereof 500 are free: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Mrs. Davies ; net income, £135.

A New and Complete History of the County of York (1828-31) by Thomas Allen

Trinity church, situate on an eminence, was built by B. Haigh Allen, Esq. (who has an elegant seat here) at Greenhead, at an expense of £12,000.[4] The first stone of this edifice was laid in 1817, and the church was opened for public worship on Sunday, the 10th of October, 1819, having been consecrated two days before by the archbishop of this province. The architect was J. Taylor, Esq. of Leeds. It is a handsome edifice, in the pointed style of architecture, comprising a nave and aisles, chancel, and embattled tower, with pinnacles, at the west end. The interior is fitted up with much taste, and in the gallery, at the west end, is a good organ. The church contains upwards of one thousand five hundred sittings, of which one-third are free seats. Its situation, which is on the north-west side of the town, is very commanding, and in every part of the surrounding country it forms a beautiful object, at once picturesque and impressive.

Historic England Listing

  • Grade II*
  • first listed 29 September 1978
  • listing entry numbers 1223128 & 1223219


Parish church of 1816-19 by Thomas Taylor.

MATERIALS: Coursed and squared sandstone, slate roofs.

PLAN: Aisled nave with lower chancel, west tower, north organ chamber and south vestry, and with crypt beneath nave and aisles.

EXTERIOR: Tall church in the simple Gothic style of the early C19. The 4-stage tower has angle buttresses, and embattled parapet with corner pinnacles. It has a west doorway in a projecting surround, with Y-tracery windows, round clock faces in the 3rd stage and taller bell stage which has 3-light openings with intersecting tracery and arcaded transom. The 5-bay nave and aisles have an embattled parapets with pinnacles rising from the buttresses. Y-tracery clerestorey windows are above tall 3-light aisle windows with intersecting tracery. The chancel is also embattled, with buttresses carried up above the parapet under gable caps. The large 5-light east window has intersecting tracery and a transom. Below the east window are arched doorways to the crypt. In the north and south wall are 2 blind clerestorey chancel windows, above 2-bay vestry and organ chamber under lean-to roofs.

INTERIOR: The first 2 bays of the nave beneath the west gallery, and the first 2 bays of the aisles, have been divided off from the main body of the church. However, the original architectural elements all remain visible. Nave arcades have tall octagonal piers with chamfered arches. The chancel arch is tall and finely moulded, of which only an inner order on corbelled shafts has capitals. The tower arch also has an inner order on shafts. The nave has an arched-brace roof on corbelled wall shafts, and with cusped decoration in the spandrels, behind which the roof is plastered, with 3 purlins on each side. The 2-bay chancel roof is similar. Lean-to aisle roofs have cusped detail matching nave and chancel. Tall arches open to the organ recess from north aisle and chancel. Walls are plastered. The floor is concealed beneath modern carpet. The crypt, unusually for this period, is rib-vaulted on octagonal piers, and has walls of exposed stone, loculi for coffins.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The font has an octagonal bowl and stem with blind arcading. Its cover is dated 1965. Other nave furnishings were removed in 1995, of which the openwork Gothic pulpit is in the crypt. The present west gallery has a frontal incorporating older panels. Elaborate choir stalls have ends with blind arches and tracery, and open-tracery frontals. They are probably early C20, as is the sanctuary panelling, including a reredos with 3 canopied niches. Among C19 memorials is a wall monument to Benjamin Allen (d 1829), by Bennett of York, in the form of a sarcophagus with a fulsome inscription to the founder of this church, set beneath a palm tree and dove; Allen family vaults are in the crypt. Stained-glass windows include a 1914-18 war-memorial window by Hardman of Birmingham.

SUBSIDARY FEATURES: Four octagonal gate piers, with Gothick overthrow, and attached wall.

HISTORY: Parish church of 1816-19 by Thomas Taylor (1778-1826), architect of Leeds who had worked under James Wyatt but by the 1820s was in private practice with many commissions for new churches. Holy Trinity was built to serve the growing population of Huddersfield in the early C19, in particular the middle-class villas and terraces of Mountjoy Road; Benjamin Allen was a leading promoter. Originally the interior had galleries on 3 sides of nave and aisles, which accounts for the tall proportions of the building. There was a major re-ordering of the interior in 1995 when most of the nave furnishings were removed, and service rooms were partitioned off from the main body of the church; this work was designed by Peter Wright and Martin Phelps.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of the Holy Trinity, Trinity Street, Huddersfield, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

  • It is a large early C19 town church with a prominent, well-designed tower.
  • It is one of a group of churches built in Huddersfield in the simple Gothic style to serve the growing urban population in the early C19.
  • Although many of the fittings have been removed, the chancel retains early C20 fittings of consistent quality.
  • It is a good example of Thomas Taylor's late Georgian church design. * The crypt is unusually elaborate for a late Georgian church.

SOURCES: Pevsner, N., The Buildings of England: Yorkshire, West Riding (1967), 272.

TRINITY STREET (North Side). Highfield. Lychgate, Inner gates and gate piers to Holy Trinity Churchyard Lampost in churchyard east of chancel. C19. Inner gates to churchyard from Trinity Street have 4 ashlar piers. Lychgate to Wentworth Street has stone plinth: timber-pitched slate roof: crenellated bargeboard. Lampstand in church yard, just east of chancel cast iron fluted column: spiral fluted bar and finial tapering lamp.


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Further Reading




Notes and References

  1. .
  2. Died 23 December 1884.
  3. "Dedication of the East Window at Holy Trinity Church" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (18/Dec/1885).
  4. The entire expense, including the procuring of the act of parliament, enclosing site and endowment, was upwards of £16,000.