History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Whitechapel Church, Cleckheaton

A Grade II Listed Building in Cleckheaton, Kirklees

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 53.7287 / 53°43'43"N

Longitude: -1.7297 / 1°43'47"W

OS Eastings: 417928

OS Northings: 425849

OS Grid: SE179258

Mapcode National: GBR JTCB.92

Mapcode Global: WHC9P.DJKT

Plus Code: 9C5WP7HC+F4

Entry Name: Whitechapel Church, Cleckheaton

Listing Date: 13 January 1984

Last Amended: 27 September 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1184647

English Heritage Legacy ID: 341083

Location: Cleckheaton, Kirklees, BD19

County: Kirklees

Electoral Ward/Division: Cleckheaton

Built-Up Area: Cleckheaton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Whitechapel, Cleckheaton

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

Find accommodation in


Anglican church of 1821, restored in 1887-8 by W.H. Howorth of Cleckheaton with further work in 1930s and 2004-7.


MATERIALS: the building is constructed of hammer dressed stone with quoins and a stone slate roof.

PLAN: the church has a nave and chancel under a single roof, aligned east-west. At the west end is a bell cote and there is a south porch.

EXTERIOR: the nave and chancel are not differentiated externally. A low plinth runs round the base of the building. The east end has a three-light pointed arch window with simple tracery, hood mould and shield stops. Above the window is a small blocked opening and a stone cross surmounts the gable end. The north side of the church has six two-light pointed arch windows with Y tracery and hood moulds. The south side also has six similar windows, and an arched doorway approached up three steps between the fifth and sixth windows. Above the doorway is a sun-dial of 1606 and a decorative stone shield, with another shield close by. The second window on the south side is partially obscured by a porch which has a pitched roof, corbelled eaves, diagonal buttresses and a pointed arch opening to the front with hood mould. There are two-light round-arched windows to either side, beneath a squared hood mould. The west end has a central tower, corbelled out on two brackets at first floor level and octagonal above the roof line. There is a single ground floor window in the base of the tower and another above the corbel brackets, with an oculus above. There are smaller windows to either side at a higher level. A little above the roof line is the restored bell chamber with louvred openings and a short spire above with an original finial.

INTERIOR: the chancel and nave are defined by a carved oak chancel screen dating from 1924 which crosses between the fourth and fifth windows. The carved oak altar is of the same period. The organ, of 1963, is to the left of the altar while to the right is an enclosed kitchen area. An oak pulpit stands in the north-east corner of the nave and dates to 1911. The nave has timber pews arranged with a central aisle and two side aisles, and an open area to the rear beneath the gallery. The gallery is supported on two steel columns and has a panelled timber front. To the rear of the gallery is access to the bell-ringing chamber where the 'Ellacombe' system allows one person to play all eight bells from a single panel. Only the central part of the gallery is open, the rest being occupied by organ pipes. At the rear of the nave is a restored Norman stone font on a later base. It is cylindrical and decorated with intersecting arches, abstract shapes and faces with cable moulding at the top. All but the two easternmost windows have stained glass dating from the late C19 and early C20, with most dedicated to individual families.

SUBSIDIARY ITEMS: the graveyard contains a number of chest tombs and other substantial memorials, some pre-dating the current building. It contains the headstone of a niece of Patrick Brontë.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 20 July 2017.


The church was constructed in 1821 on the site of earlier chapels dating to c.1130 (a Norman font survives) and 1706. The church was restored in 1877-88 by W.H. Howorth of Cleckheaton, at which time the original box pews, three decker pulpit and north-south alignment was replaced with the current arrangement. The south porch was added as a War Memorial after the First World War in 1923. The roof was renewed in 1934, along with other improvements, to create the current barrel vault shape; previously the church had a flat ceiling. A new organ was installed in 1963, with its pipes occupying part of the gallery.

At the time of listing, the upper levels of the tower, above the bellcote, had been removed because of instability. Restoration work from 2004 to 2007 replaced the upper levels to the same pattern as the original of 1821, including the reintroduction of the original finial of the tower.

Reasons for Listing

Whitechapel Church, Cleckheaton, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Date: the church, on the site of earlier chapels, pre-dates the Victorian period and contains several fragments of the earlier buildings on the site;

* Architecture: the style of the building is a modest Gothic Revival, but has added interest in a corbelled tower at the western end with bell-chamber and restored spire. The exterior is largely unaltered apart from the addition of a south porch of 1923 that commemorates the fallen of the First World War;

* Fittings: fittings of interest include a substantial carved Norman font, a sun-dial of 1606, several fragments of earlier fabric, a gallery of 1821 and an oak chancel screen and altar of 1924.

Selected Sources

Book cover links are generated automatically from the sources. They are not necessarily always correct, as book names at Amazon may not be quite the same as those used referenced in the text.

Source title links go to a search for the specified title at Amazon. Availability of the title is dependent on current publication status. You may also want to check AbeBooks, particularly for older titles.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.