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English Church Architecture.


CLIFTON, St. John  (SE 162 228),


(Bedrock:  Carboniferous Westphalian Series, Clifton Rock 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 a small pseudo-cruciform building (seen above from the southeast), sitting in a prominent position on the edge of a hill like so many churches by the architects, Mallinson and Healey.  Erected in 1857, it has now been stripped bare inside of whatever interest it may once have possessed and today it is only its architectural style and building plan that have anything worthwhile to say about its origins. The church consists of an aisleless nave with shallow transepts and a N. porch, and a chancel with a little tower adjoining to the southwest, followed to the east by a lean-to vestry.  The tower turns octagonal just below the bell-stage and the surmounting spire rises directly from the walls below in a similar manner to the spire at All Saintsí, Salterhebble, constructed the same year.  The  larger All Saintsí also shares the same building style as St. Johnís, namely the late geometrical of c. 1310, in which tracery shapes are largely confined to trefoils, trilobes and quatrefoils, with just slight suggestions of the ogee arch beginning surreptitiously to creep in.  The chancel E. window is four-light and the transept windows, three-light, with cinquefoil-cusped arches in which the middle cusp is pointed.  The one-light bell-openings rise through the bell-stage to gables in the cardinal faces of the spire.


Inside the church, the chunky transept and chancel arches bear two flat chamfers which die into the jambs.  The sanctuary E. wall is now completely plain, and the font, which may or may not be original, now occupies a position on the N. side of the chancel.  The chancel roof is framed in seven cants and the nave roof has purlins at the ⅓ and ⅔ stages and scissor-bracing above the collars.  The photograph below shows a lithograph of what the church was expected to look like, before construction had actually begun.  The likely date is 1856.