St. David's Church, Woodhead Road, Holmbridge

The Church of St. David, situated on Woodhead Road at Holmbridge, was built to serve the three rural townships of Austonley, Cartworth and Holme.


The church was designed by Leeds based architect R.D. Chantrell, with notices placed in the local press in January 1837:[1]


Person desirous of Contracting for the different Works required in the ERECTION of a NEW CHURCH, to be Built at HOLME-BRIDGE, in the Parish to Almondbury, may inspect the Plans and Specifications (from Nine in the Morning to Four in the Afternoon) on application at the Vestry of the Parish Church, from the 2nd to the 11th of February inclusive. Tenders, sealed up and directed to the Rev. L. Jones, Almondbury Vicarage, to be sent, free of Expense, on or before Monday the 13th of February next.

Dates Almondbury, Jan 27th.

The foundation stone was laid on Monday 28 May 1838 by the Rev. Lewis Jones, Vicar of Almondbury, and read:[2]

This Foundation Stone of St. David's Church, built by Subscription, that the Inhabitants within the Graveship of Holme, may have the privilege of attending the Public Worship of Almighty God, according to the Scriptural forms of the Protestant United Church of England and Ireland, as now by Law Established, was laid by the Rev. Lewis Jones, Vicar of Almondbury, on the 28th day of May, 1838, being the first year of the reign of her Majesty Queen Victoria. Wm. Leak, John Roebuck, George Hinchliffe, Churchwardens of Holme, Austonley & Cartworth.

The new church was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Ripon on the afternoon of Saturday 28 March 1840. Earlier in the day, he had consecrated the new church of St. Lucius at Farnley Tyas.[3] Sermons were being preached at the church by the summer of 1841, if not earlier.

By March 1842, the Leeds Intelligencer reported that "it must be truly gratifying to the friends of the establishment to witness the rapid progress hitherto made towards rendering the new Church at Holme Bridge as complete as they could desire. The elegant Sunday School connected with it, now nearly finished at Field End, will be a great desideratum." It was also stated that "a grant of £250 was made towards erecting a Parsonage House".[4]

The church in incorrectly named "St. James's" on the first Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1850/1.

Following the devastating flood of 5 February 1852, when the embankment of Bilberry Reservoir failed, architect William Wallen was approached to work on the restoration of the church.

Historic England Listing

  • Grade II
  • first listed 16 January 1967
  • listing entry number 1134742

WOODHEAD ROAD (Holmbridge). Church of St David. North-east/south-west. Gothic revival Church with west tower. 1839-40 by R D Chantrell. Chancel added 1887. Deeply coursed dressed stone with ashlar dressings. Pitched slate roof with roll-top copings. Seven bay nave with lancet lights with stained glass and hood mould. Four tier tower with diagonal buttreses of crenellated parapet with tall pinnacles. Bell chamber with 2-light louvred openings. Clock to 3 elevations. chancel of 2 bays with tall 3-light stained glass east window. Later Vestry with shouldered arch openings. Interior: Chancel arch. West gallery.


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Notes and References

  1. Leeds Intelligencer (28/Jan/1837).
  2. "New Church at Holme Bridge" in Leeds Intelligencer (02/Jun/1838). The article incorrectly names the architect as "William Allen, Esq., F.S.A."
  3. "Consecration of Two New Churches" in Leeds Intelligencer (04/Apr/1840).
  4. "Holmfirth" in Leeds Intelligencer (12/Mar/1842).