Pole Moor Baptist Chapel, Pole Moor, Scammonden


  • location: Pole Gate, Pole Moor, Scammonden
  • status: still exists but now in different use
  • category: church or chapel

Reportedly the Earl of Dartmouth would not consent to them building chapel in Slaithwaite, so the early Baptists in the area built their first chapel in 1790 at Pole Moor on the Scammonden side of the boundary with Slaithwaite. Prior to then, they had reportedly met in the upper rooms of the Silent Woman inn.[1]

An adjoining Sunday School was added during the ministry of the Rev. H.W. Holmes (1829 to 1874). The chapel was rebuilt by 1859 at a cost of £1,800.

The church closed in 1992 and was later converted into residential use after a planning application in 1999 to demolish the building was withdrawn.[2]


The Baptists of Yorkshire (1912) by Rev. C.E. Shipley:

Pole Moor, which even to-day is a place of scattered dwellings and sparse population, must have been a wild and primeval spot when, towards the close of the 18th century, the Baptists first found their way there. In 1788 they came to Slaithwaite, but, as the whole of the village was the property of the Earl of Dartmouth, no land could be obtained. They were compelled to go two miles further, to the freeholders of Scammondon, who consented to their building a chapel on some waste land, in 1790. Some trouble ensued with the Lord of the Manor, to whom they had to pay a ground-rent until the land was finally purchased in 1817. Mr. Bruce first ministered to the Church (1790-2), although he does not appear to have been ordained as pastor. The Rev. C. Bamford followed, from 1793 to 1804, and fifty were baptised during his ministry, which was terminated by death. He was succeeded, in 1808, by Mr. Abraham Webster, who found a Church so much divided on matters of doctrine that a secession took place. He however, was not left without seals to his ministry, ere he removed, in 1818, to Hebden Bridge. His salary at Pole Moor was £48 per annum, but he kept a day school, and his people made an annual collection for the support of the pastor's cow. Mr. Lawrence Shaw, who followed, had a troubled pastorate of five years, his views being more liberal than Pole Moor could appreciate, but he baptised fifty converts before removing to Steep Lane. The Church then invited Mr. Webster to return, which he did, but, after four years of happy ministry, he passed away in 1828. The Rev. H.W. Holmes accepted the pastorate in 1829, and found here a work that engaged him for forty-five years. Of his long and honourable life among his people space permits but little to be said. Amongst the happenings of these forty-five years the old chapel was freed from debt and a school was built, and in 1849 a school was opened at Scape Goat Hill. In 1859, the present Pole Moor chapel was completed, having cost £1800. In 1871, twenty-one members of Pole Moor founded the Church at Scape Goat Hill. Mr. Holmes through all the years not only ministered to his own Church, but was the friend and spiritual adviser of the whole countryside. He resigned in 1874, and three months after passed to his rest. His successor, Rev. J. Evans (1875-93), reaped much of the harvest which Mr. Holmes had so faithfully sown, forty-four persons confessing Christ in the first year of his ministry. Rev. T. Isles (1897-1901), was followed by Rev. H. Rolfe (1902-09). The present minister is Rev. W. Turpitt, B.A.

Historic England Listing

  • Grade II
  • first listed 5 April 1879
  • listing entry number 1274705

POLE GATE. Pole Moor. Pole Moor Baptist Church, Sunday School and adjoining house. Present chapel reported to have been built in 1859 though datestone reads 1838. Chapel, Sunday School and residence. Hammer dressed stone with ashlar dressings. Rusticated quoins. Tie rods and plates. Pitched stone slate roof. Coped gables. Squared and moulded footstones on paired carved consoles. Stone brackets to south elevation. Two storeys and basement. Ground floor: East gable: eight steps lead up from setted courtyard to large central doorway with fanlight and panelled doors with ashlar surrounds and ashlar semi-circular head. Round engaged columns with Ionic capitals, support architrave and cornice. To either side is a single window with moulded ashlar surround, cornice and pronounced sill on two small square brackets. First floor: central 3-light window with moulded ashlar surround, architrave and pediment and pronounced sill. To either side is single window with moulded ashlar surround, and pronounced sill on two small square brackets. Above first floor windows is ashlar string course. Plaque in apex of gable reads: "POLE MOOR Particular Baptist Chapel Erected in the year of our Lord 1838 The Hill of Sion Yields a thousand sacred sweets." North & south elevations: Ground floor: five single lights with pronounced sill (no surround). First floor: five single lights with pronounced sill and segmental arched head (ashlar). Sunday School, to west, has entrance and seven single lights to ground floor and seven lights with pronounced sill to first floor. Dwellings to west end have entrance in modern porch, and one 3-light stone mullioned window to first and second floors. Adjoining building is late C19 warehouse of two storeys. History: Chapel founded in 1788 as daughter of Salendine Nook Baptist Chapel.


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Further Reading


Planning Applications

The follow planning applications were submitted to Kirklees Planning & Development:

  • 19/Apr/1985 — 85/62/01791/C1 Extension to form lounge, entrance hall and first floor bathroom (granted conditionally)
  • 21/May/1985 — 85/62/02391/C1 Erection of detached dwelling (withdrawn 1991)
  • 18/Jan/1996 — 96/65/90134/W1 Relocation of Gravestones (refused)
  • 07/Mar/1994 — 94/62/90753/W1 Conversion of Redundant Church Building to 9 No. Dwellings and Erection of Detached Double Garage (conditional full permission)
  • 07/Mar/1994 — 94/65/90754/W1 Demolition of Porch and Conversion of Redundant Church Building to 9 No. Dwellings (granted)
  • 18/Aug/1997 — 97/65/92589/W1 Relocation of Headstones (granted)
  • 18/Aug/1997 — 97/65/92588/W1 Demolition of Stone Boundary Wall (granted)
  • 18/Aug/1997 — 97/65/92590/W1 Jet Washing and Stonecleaning of Listed Building (granted)
  • 13/Feb/1998 — 98/62/90399/W1 Conversion of Link Buildings to 2 Dwelling Units, External Alterations, and Change of Use of Graveyard to Garden at Rear (conditional full permission)
  • 25/Feb/1999 — 99/65/90579/W1 Demolition of Chapel (withdrawn)
  • 24/Oct/2000 — 2000/65/93186/W1 Conversion of Chapel to 6 No. Dweelings (granted)


Notes and References