St. Mark's Church, Longwood

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  • location: St. Mark's Road, Longwood
  • status: still exists
  • category: church or chapel
  • architect: William Cocking (1817-1874)

Historic England Listing

  • Grade II
  • first listed 29 September 1978
  • listing entry number 1217677

Parish church of 1877-82 by W. Cocking, with tower added in 1914.

MATERIALS: Coursed squared sandstone, Westmorland graded-slate roofs with ridge tiles.

PLAN: Asymmetrical plan of aisled nave with south-west tower and north-west porch, lower chancel with north organ chamber and south vestry.

EXTERIOR: Parish church in Decorated style, with steep roofs on corbel tables, and with coped gables. The nave and buttressed aisles are 5 bays long, with a clerestorey and aisle windows which have alternate Y-tracery and geometrical tracery. On the wall of the south aisle is a sundial with gnomon, brought from another site and made by Joseph Miller (1749), but restored in 1829, 1921 and 1993. The porch has a moulded entrance arch with a single order of shafts and leaf capitals. The west front has a 4-light window. The thin Perpendicular 3-stage south-west tower has diagonal buttresses with gabled offsets, and embattled parapet with corner pinnacles on a deep corbel table. The lower stage has an east doorway with moulded surround. Above it are small square-headed middle-stage windows and, in the bell stage, tall 3-light openings with louvres, and with panelling above an impost band. The chancel has a 4-light east window under a circle with blind trefoil, and single-light north and south windows. The organ chamber and vestry both have lean-to roofs. The vestry has 2 trefoil-headed south windows with hood moulds and heads stops, and blocked east window. The organ chamber has a moulded doorway.

INTERIOR: Nave arcades have octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches. The nave roof has 2 tiers of arched braces above and below collar beams, with simpler subsidiary collar-beam trusses. The chancel has an arched-brace roof on stiff-leaf corbels. The chancel arch is finely moulded, as are the arches leading into organ chamber and vestry. Walls are plastered, except for the exposed stonework of the east wall of the nave. The nave has a wood-block floor.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Furnishings date mainly from the early C20 and are of a consistent quality. The font has a circular bowl, with painted inscription, on a round stem, and with a tall Gothic wooden canopy. Behind the font is Gothic panelling against the west nave wall. Benches have square ends with blind tracery and the polygonal pulpit (1922) has open Gothic tracery on a freestone pedestal. The chancel screen, dated 1926, is late-medieval style with open tracery lights, cornice, brattishing and surmounted by a large cross. Choir stalls have ends with poppy heads and blind tracery, and open tracery to the frontals. The reredos has a vine trail cornice and brattishing, and is dated 1919. Several windows have stained glass, including the east window by Curtis, Ward & Hughes (1899), 2 windows by Jones & Willis in the north aisle, window by A.J. Moore showing Christ as the Light of the World (1918) and a 1914-18 war-memorial west window.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Church of St Mark, Longwood, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

  • The church is a well-design Gothic-Revival building retaining original character and detail, and picturesquely conceived overall.
  • It has a range of early C20 fittings of consistent quality.
  • The church is on a prominent hill-side site in Longwood and is a good example of how C19 churches were carefully sited to occupy commanding positions in the townscape.

HISTORY: Built between 1877 and 1882 by the firm of J.W. Cocking & Sons, architects of Huddersfield, at a cost of over £4280. A drawing of a tower by J.W. Cocking and Frank Abbey is dated 1913, but the tower as built is of a different design, possibly by the same architects. The Hirst family, owners of a local textile mill, funded some of the early C20 fittings.


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Further Reading