CHURCH OF ST STEPHEN. Parish church of 1864 by Blackmoor & Mitchell-Withers.
MATERIALS: Coursed, squared local sandstone, slate roof incorporating bands of lozenge-pattern slates.
PLAN: Cruciform plan with south porch, south-east tower and north-east vestry.
EXTERIOR: Church in the early-Decorated style fashionable in the 1860s, with low walls, steeply pitched roofs, and windows with recessed tracery. The 5-bay nave has 2-light plate-tracery north and south windows and large 5-light west window. The porch has low raked buttresses, entrance with nook shafts and simple boarded doors. The transepts are 2 bays long, with paired cusped windows, and end walls with large rose windows, over cusped single windows on the south side, and pointed north doorway under a tympanum of 3 blind trefoils, and the weather course of an intended porch. The chancel has a 4-light east window and single-light north and south windows. The 3-stage tower is in the angle of the chancel and south transept, and has a south-west turret, set-back buttresses, and a tall broach spire. There is a segmental-pointed south doorway, narrow windows in the middle stage, and 2-light belfry openings under steep gables carried up above the eaves. The vestry is gabled to the east with trefoils in the gable and stack in the north wall.
INTERIOR: Only one bay of the nave is part of the main body of the church. The remainder has been screened off for parish rooms. Nave and transepts have arched-brace roofs on short corbelled shafts, with 3 tiers of plain windbraces, and are decorated with C20 stencilling. The narrow steeply pointed chancel arch has an inner order on shafts. The chancel roof is closely-spaced scissor braces. Walls are plastered. There are raised floorboards below pews, and terrazzo floor in the sanctuary.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: C19 furnishings comprising some of the nave and transept benches, which have ends with arm rests and backs with diagonal boarding. The wooden communion rail on iron uprights may also be C19. A probable former chancel screen has been moved and now frames the doorway in the nave partition. In the south transept a chapel has been screened off by a wooden screen brought from St Matthew, Primrose Hill, London, in 1972. It also has a 1914-18 war-memorial timber reredos in the form of a central arch framing the window, and outer blind arched panels with inscriptions, in a frame with blind tracery in the spandrels, and brattishing. The altar, which has blind arcading with painted Passion symbols in shields, is C19. The chancel has Gothic panelling in the sanctuary incorporating a painted reredos. The font is late C20, an orb with detachable lid, on a frame of 2 curved metal sheets. The stained-glass east window is of the 1860s and original to the church.
HISTORY: Built in 1864 by Sheffield and Rotherham architects William Blackmoor and John Mitchell-Withers (1837-94).
REASON FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Stephen, St Stephens Street, Huddersfield, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
- The church has kept its original plan and retains strong C19 architectural character, derived especially from its steeply pitched roofs, asymmetrically placed, well-proportioned spire, and the simple muscular detailing of the windows characteristic of the 1860s.
SOURCES: Lambeth Palace Library, Incorporated Church Building Society Archives, file 05917.