St. Stephen's Church, Lidget Street, Lindley

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  • location: Lidget Street, Lindley
  • status: still exists
  • category: church or chapel

Historic England Listings


DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: Parish church of 1829 by J. Oates, with late C19 chancel extension and late C20 interior re-ordering.

MATERIALS: Coursed local sandstone with slate roofs.

PLAN: Nave, south porch, west tower, lower and narrower chancel with north and south vestry and north organ chamber.

EXTERIOR: In the simple Gothic style favoured in the early C19. The 5-bay nave is wide, intended to accommodate a 3-sided gallery, and is buttressed with a plain parapet. It has pointed windows and, in the first bay, a shallow porch with pinnacles on buttresses, and pointed doorway with ribbed doors. In the second bay the tall window has been divided into 2 short windows on account of the inserted floor inside. The 4-stage west tower has angle buttresses and embattled parapet with corner pinnacles. It has a south doorway, the entrance to the gallery stairs, in a projecting gabled surround. There is a pointed west window, similar but smaller 2nd stage windows, oculi in the short 3rd stage and pointed, broad-chamfered belfry openings with louvres. On the north side of the tower is an L-plan extension with lancet windows. The chancel has detail of the later C19, a 5-light Decorated east window, and trefoil-headed north and south windows. Vestry and organ chamber are under lean-to roofs. The vestry has a 2-light window and steps up to a doorway with chamfered surround.

INTERIOR: The wide nave and the chancel have double-hammerbeam roofs on corbels, enriched with cusped braces and central pendants. The moulded chancel arch is on attached shafts. The first 2 bays of the nave have been partitioned off from the main body of the church to create 2-storey meeting rooms, office and choir vestry. The tower retains its original cantilever stone stair with iron balusters. On the north side of the chancel is a 2-bay arcade to the organ chamber. Walls are plastered.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The west gallery is carried on slender piers of clustered shafts. The gallery front, re-arranged when the north and south sections of the gallery were removed, has blind arches spanning the width of the nave. Other furnishings and fittings are late C19 and early C20. The font is a tapering round bowl on a marble stem. The polygonal wooden pulpit has elaborate blind tracery, on a freestone base also decorated with blind tracery. Surviving nave benches have shaped ends and panelled frontal. In the chancel is a Gothic-panelled dado, and choir stalls with poppy heads and frontal with open arcading. There are several late C19 and early C20 stained-glass windows, including 2 by Ward & Hughes (c1887 and 1902), one by C.E. Steel of Tudor Studios, Leeds, and another by Kayll & Reed of Leeds (1918). There are also some C19 wall tablets.

HISTORY: Parish church built at a cost of £2,714, wholly funded under the auspices of the 1818 Church Building Act, which was passed in order to build new churches in growing industrial districts where the provision for Anglican worship was generally lacking. The architect was John Oates (1793-1831) of Halifax, who had a busy practice in the 1820s, during which he built several Gothic churches. His best-known secular works were Huddersfield Infirmary and Halifax Assembly and Concert Rooms. The chancel was remodelled, and refurnished, in the late C19. Parts of the original gallery may have been removed at this period. The interior was significantly altered in 1996-2000, to the design of Peter Langtry-Langton.

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

  • It is one of several churches that document the growth of Huddersfield in the early C19 and one of the minority of such churches in Yorkshire that were wholly government funded.
  • The church is in the simple Gothic style favoured in the early C19, and retains much of its external character and detail.
  • The interior reflects changing patterns of worship that characterise the C19. It retains some original features such as the roofs and part of the original gallery, with late C19 enrichment, especially of the chancel, demonstrating the focus on sacraments that came with the ecclesiological revival of the mid century.

SOURCES: Pevsner, N., The Buildings of England: Yorkshire, West Riding (1967), 272. Port, M H., Six Hundred New Churches (1961), 168-69 Lambeth Palace Library, Incorporated Church Building Society Archives.

LIDGET STREET (West Side). Lindley. Lych-gate to churchyard of Church of St Stephen. Late C19. Timber with stone plinths pitched stone slate roof wooden tracery between studs.

PLOVER ROAD (West Side). Lindley. Gate piers at entrance to churchyard of Church of St Stephen. Mid C19. Ashlar: panelled ornate cast-iron gates.


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Further Reading