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English Church Architecture -

Wakefield (U. A.).


SOUTH OSSETT, Christ Church (SE 283 195)     (March 2018)

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


This church (shown above from the south and in the architects' lithograph at the foot of the page) by the Halifax and Bradford partnership of Mallinson & Healey, has been completely stripped bare of all interest within and it is now only the shell of the building that speaks of its origins in 1851.  Pseudo-cruciform in plan, it has transepts but no true crossing, a S. porch but no aisles, and a short W. tower rising in three stages to battlements and a squat pyramidal cap, supported by angle buttresses. Windows are of geometric form everywhere, with trefoil-cusped lights and mostly minimal tracery.  The three-light chancel E. window has three quatrefoils in the head, the N. transept N. window, which is also three-light, has trilobes above the outer lights and a sexfoil in the apex, and the S. transept S. wall is pierced by two trefoil-cusped lancets and a wheel window formed of four trefoils.


The church was consecrated on 16th October 1851 described by The Leeds Intelligencer, not unfairly, as  commanding "a most extensive prospect" by virtue of its "very eligible site given by Joseph Thornes, Esq., of Ossett Green".   The total cost of the building was estimated at 1,940, which included 100 for the architects' commission and 50 for the salary of the clerk-of-the-works, and the church at that time contained 608 seats, making the cost per sitting a very modest 3.3s.10d.   The architects were also asked to design a parsonage, school and teacher's house here, however, so the commission was not an insignificant one.