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English Church Architecture -

Calderdale (U. A.).

 

CLAREMOUNT (HALIFAX), St. Thomas (SE 098 259)     (September 2017)

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

 

This is yet another church by the Halifax and Bradford firm of Mallinson and Healey (seen above from the northeast), perched on the edge of a hill, and although it is not one of the parters' best, it would obviously have been more impressive before it lost its spire.  (The photograph, below left, shows the view from the churchyard.)  As it is, 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 bell-openings that have lost their tracery and battlements above The style is the late geometric of c.1310, a style it shares with All Saintsí, Salterhebble, and St. Johnís, Clifton, both in Calderdale and both designed the same year (1857).  Windows lights are mostly trefoil-cusped.  The N. and S. transept windows have tracery formed of three encircled cinquefoils and the five-light E. window to the chancel (below right) features a trefoil surrounded by a wheel of trilobes in the apex and outer lights subarcuated in pairs above trilobes and encircled sexfoils.

 

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 around this time.   (See the interior view of the church below, looking towards the east.)  The transepts communicate with the nave through a continuation of the aisle arcades, and the chancel arch in similar style, albeit slightly larger.  The arch from the chancel to the vestry in the bottom of the southwest tower, bears two flat chamfers that die into the jambs.

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

"...about £3,000, incuding 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 acommodates about six hundred persions... The endowment fund is not yet completed, the sum wanting being about £70."

 

Indeed, there is a much larger sum wanting for essential repairs to the church today, and with a very small congragation, the church is facing closure.