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English Church Architecture.


CLAREMOUNT (formerly Charlestown) (HALIFAX),

St. Thomas  (SE 098 259),


(Bedrock:  Carboniferous Westphalian Series, mixed deposits from the Lower Coal Measures.)


One of a several churches by Mallinson and Healey erected on a prominent hilltop site, where their silhouettes could stand out against the skyline.




One of the subjects examined by this web-site is the near-complete oeuvre of a little-known but regionally dominant, mid-nineteenth century architectural firm specialising in ecclesiastical work, in order to discover how they built their local reputation, how they maintained a financially competitive edge and sustained a very busy practice with few or no staff, and what 'success' looked like in terms of monetary reward and the provincial architect's acquired position in Victorian society.  The firm chosen is the partnership between James Mallinson and Thomas Healey (fl. 1845-62/3), who worked out of offices in Halifax and Bradford.  The majority of the extant church buildings for which the partners were responsible are listed below and should ideally be examined in chronological order.  They are:

  1.  Queensbury, Holy Trinity (Bradford)  (1843)  (Mallinson alone) 19. East Keswick, St. Mary Magdalene (Leeds) (1856)
  2.  Wyke, St. Mary (Bradford)  (1844)  (Mallinson alone) 20. Claremount, St. Thomas (Calderdale) (1857)
  3.  Clayton, St. John the Baptist (Bradford) (1846) 21. Clifton, St. John (Calderdale) (1857)
  4.  Baildon, St. John the Baptist (Bradford) (1846) 22. Salterhebble, All Saints (Calderdale) (1857)
  5.  Manningham, St. Paul (Bradford) (1846) 23. Thornaby-on-Tees, St. Paul (Stockton-on-Tees) (1857)
  6.  Mytholmroyd, St. Michael (Calderdale) (1847) 24. Thornhill Lees, Holy Innocents (Wakefield) (1858)
  7. Bankfoot, St. Matthew (Bradford) (1848) 25. Bugthorpe, St. Andrew (East Riding) (1858) (nave only)
  8. Shelf, St. Michael & All Angels (Bradford) (1848) 26. Bowling, St. Stephen (Bradford) (1859)
  9. South Ossett, Christ Church (Wakefield) (1850) 27. Girlington, St. Phillip (Bradford) (1859)
10. Barkisland, Christ Church (Calderdale) (1851) 28. Lower Dunsforth, St. Mary (North Yorkshire) (1859)
11. Boroughbridge, St. James (North Yorkshire) (1851) 29. Welburn, St. John (North Yorkshire) (1859)
12. Langcliffe, St. John the Evangelist (North Yorkshire) (1851) 30. Ilkley, All Saints (Bradford) (1860) (chancel only)
13. Cundall, St. Mary & All Saints (North Yorkshire) (1852) 31. Horton, All Saints (Bradford) (1862)
14. Heptonstall, St. Thomas the Apostle (Calderdale) (1853) 32. Hepworth, Holy Trinity (Kirklees) (1862)
15. Mount Pellon, Christ Church (Calderdale) (1854) 33. Dewsbury, St. Mark (Wakefield) (1862)
16. Thorner, St. Peter (Leeds) (1854) (partial reconstruction) 34. Heaton, St. Barnabas (Bradford) (1863) (Mallinson with T.H. Healey) 
17. Withernwick, St. Alban (East Riding) (1854) (reconstruction) 35. Tockwith,  Church of the Epiphany (North Yorkshire) (1863) (as above)
18. Mappleton, All Saints (East Riding) (1855) (not the tower)  





This is another church by Mallinson and Healey (seen above from the northeast) perched on the edge of a hill, and although it is not one of the partners' best, it would obviously have looked more impressive before it lost its spire.  (The photograph, below left, shows the view from the churchyard.)  As it is today, it consists of an aisled nave with a N. porch and tall but shallow transepts, and a chancel with a south tower rising in four stages to ugly, three-light bell-openings that have lost all their tracery The style is (or was) the late geometric of c. 1310, a style it shares with All Saintsí, Salterhebble, and St. Johnís, Clifton, both of which are in Calderdale and both and both of which were designed the same year as St. Thomas's, namely 1857.  Windows lights in all parts of the building are almost entirely trefoil-cusped, the N. and S. transept windows have tracery composed of three encircled cinquefoils, and the five-light chancel E. window (illustrated below right) features, in the apex, an encircled trefoil surrounded by a wheel of trilobes, and outer lights subarcuated in pairs above trilobes and encircled sexfoils.  This is now the best architectural feature remaining.


Inside the church, the five-bay nave arcades are formed of double-flat-chamfered arches supported on octagonal piers, as they are in the majority of the partnersí cheap churches in the mid-1850s.   (See the interior view of the church below, looking east.)  The transepts communicate with the nave through the westernmost arch of the aisle arcades, and the chancel arch adopts a similar form, albeit slightly larger.  The arch from the chancel to the vestry, located in the tower, bears two flat chamfers which die into the jambs.


The Leeds Intelligencer, reporting on the opening of the church on 28th April 1860 (p. 7), recorded the cost of the building to have been:

...about £3,000, including the purchase of a grave yard.  The site of the church was given by Mr. Alderman Green, who has acted as chairman of the building committee, and shewn great liberality and interest in the building of a church in that neighbourhood.  The edifice is a plain, but withal handsome structure, in the Gothic style... It accommodates about six hundred persons... The endowment fund is not yet completed, the sum wanting being about £70.


Indeed, there was a much larger sum wanting for essential repairs to the church at the time of this visit, and with a very small congregation, the church was facing closure.