Joseph Kaye (c.1779-1858)

Joseph Kaye was responsible for building many of the most well-known buildings in Huddersfield during the period 1802 to 1856, including the railway station, Britannia Buildings, George Hotel, St. Paul's Church, Queen Street Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Huddersfield Infirmary, as well as churches in South Crosland, Linthwaite, Golcar, Lindley, Paddock and Birkenshaw.


portrait of Joseph Kaye

He was born around 1779, the son of innkeeper and stonemason John Kaye.[1]

It seems likely that both his parents died soon after, leaving Joseph and his brother John orphans, and that he was raised by relatives. John appears to have followed in his father's footsteps by taking over the licence of the Masons Arms, whereas Joseph apparently became an apprentice builder.[2]

His first major commission was Thornton Lodge, built around 1803 for local merchant John Horsfall, who had purchased around 30 acres of Longroyd Bridge.[3]

Joseph Kaye married Hannah Rigg on 6 February 1803 at Huddersfield Parish Church and they had at least seven children, some of whom died in infancy. Hannah passed away in January 1836, aged 53.

He married again in June 1841 to widow Eliza Aspinall, daughter of John Day, who was around 25 years his junior. She died in 1871, aged 66.

Joseph Kaye died on 18 March 1858 and was buried at the parish church in Huddersfield on 22 March 1858.


In his pamphlet Joseph Kaye: Builder of Huddersfield c.1779-1858, local historian Edward J. Law attributes the following local buildings to Joseph Kaye.

Date Name Location Architect Commissioner
c.1802 Thornton Lodge Longroyd Bridge, Huddersfield John Horsfall
1811 Brown Cow Inn Market Place, Huddersfield Daniel Armitage
1816-19 Holy Trinity Church Greenhead, Huddersfield T. Taylor Benjamin Haigh Allen
1818-19 Methodist Chapel Queen Street, Huddersfield
c.1818 Riding School Huddersfield
1823 Barn Grange Ash Sir John Lister Kaye
1823-26 St. Paul's Church Shipley John Oates Church Building Commissioners
1824-25 Independent Chapel Ramsden Street, Huddersfield
1825-27 Mill[4] Folly Hall
1827-29 Christ Church Linthwaite Peter Atkinson Church Building Commissioners
1827-29 Holy Trinity South Crosland Peter Atkinson Church Building Commissioners
1928-29 St. John's Church Golcar Peter Atkinson Church Building Commissioners
1828-30 St. Stephen's Church Lindley John Oates Church Building Commissioners
1828-30 All Saint's Church Paddock John Oates Church Building Commissioners
1828-31 St. Paul's Church Huddersfield John Oates Church Building Commissioners
c.1828-29 St. Paul's Church Birkenshaw Atkinson and Sharp Church Building Commissioners
1829-31 Huddersfield Infirmary New North Road John Oates
c.1831-32 St. Patrick's Church Huddersfield John Child Roman Catholic Church
1833 Mill[5] Folly Hall
c.1842 Warehouse & Houses Victoria Street, Huddersfield
c.1844 Mill[6] Folly Hall
1846-47 Railway Station Huddersfield J.P. Pritchett Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Company and Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway Company
1846-47 Cart Bridge[7] Kings Mill, Huddersfield Ramsden estate
1848 Cloth Hall butresses Huddersfield Ramsden estate
1848 Fox Street Huddersfield
1849-51 George Hotel Huddersfield William Wallen Ramsden estate
1850 George Hotel stables Huddersfield William Wallen For the Ramsden estate
1852 Market Cross[8] Huddersfield Ramsden estate
1851-52 Britannia Buildings[9] Huddersfield William Cocking George Crosland
1851-53 St. John's Church Bay Hall William Butterfield Trustees of the will of Sir John Ramsden
c.1856 Mill[10] Folly Hall

Further Reading

Notes and References

  1. Source: 1841 marriage register.
  2. Joseph Kaye: Builder of Huddersfield c.1779 to 1757 (1989) by Edward J. Law, pages 4-5.
  3. Joseph Kaye: Builder of Huddersfield c.1779 to 1757 (1989) by Edward J. Law, page 6.
  4. Number one mill.
  5. Number two mill.
  6. Rebuilding of number one mill following destruction by fire.
  7. Two abuttments and two stone piers for a wooden bridge over the River Colne. It was destroyed by the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.
  8. Re-erected.
  9. Original known as "Crosland's Building".
  10. Rebuilding following fire. Commended by Kaye, completed by his executors.