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The Church of St Cuthbert

A Grade II Listed Building in Huddersfield, Kirklees

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6611 / 53°39'39"N

Longitude: -1.793 / 1°47'34"W

OS Eastings: 413774

OS Northings: 418308

OS Grid: SE137183

Mapcode National: GBR HVX3.MB

Mapcode Global: WHCB1.F7DP

Entry Name: The Church of St Cuthbert

Listing Date: 21 September 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393445

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507221

Location: Kirklees, HD2

County: Kirklees

Electoral Ward/Division: Greenhead

Built-Up Area: Huddersfield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: St Cuthbert Birkby Huddersfield

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

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Listing Text

HUDDERSFIELD

919/0/10079 GRIMSCAR AVENUE
21-SEP-09 BIRKBY
The Church of St Cuthbert

II
Anglican Church, 1920s-1956, by Hoare and Wheeler of London.

MATERIALS: Coursed and dressed rusticated local stone and grey slate roof.

PLAN: The church has a nave and chancel area under a single roof, with a lower south aisle, and a main entrance and lobby at the west end and a small vestry on the north side. A lower level at the east end houses children's and young people's areas and storage.

EXTERIOR: The main body of the church is housed under a single roof. The east end has a single large drop arch window with tracery set between stepped buttresses. These rise to a string course which continues from the parapet of the south aisle and echoes the gable end of the main roof. At the lower level is a plinth containing 4 mullioned and transomed windows with plain stone dressings. The gable end is raised. The plinth continues along the north side, diminishing in height as the ground level rises. The north side has 4 pointed arch, 2-light windows with tracery (the 2 outer windows matching and the 2 inner windows each slightly different), separated by stepped buttresses. There are also windows below the plinth. At the east end is the vestry, which has a flat roof with pediment lower than the main roof. A pointed arch door leads to the lower level and there is scattered fenestration including one 6-light mullioned and transomed window. All the windows have leaded panes. A plain pediment hides the roof line of the main wall. The south side, also with a plinth of diminishing height, has a small pointed arch entrance with two 2-light traceried pointed arch windows above at the east end. The south aisle projects from the south side at a lower height and is shorter in length than the main body. It has 4 windows matching those on the north side, held between 6 stepped buttresses, with irregular openings to the lower level within the plinth. The parapet of the aisle has widely spaced crenellations and there are small rectangular clerestory windows above. A string course at the base of the parapet continues to the gable end at the east end, mirroring that on the east end of the church. There is a pointed arch doorway at the east end of the south aisle. At the west end the gable is shaped and a stone niche carries a large bell above the string course. A 3-light leaded four-centred arch window is set in a slightly recessed panel with plain stone dressings, and this is repeated in the side wall of the nave. There is a drop arch window above. The west end of the church has a string course similar to that at the east end, and a single tall drop arch window with tracery above the four-centred arch doorway with blind arcade tracery between. A large plain wooden cross hangs to the right of the entrance.

INTERIOR: The glazed double doors at the west end lead to an inner porch and narthex with storage and toilets to either side. The double inner porch door and door to the nave are matching four-centred arches with vertical timbers holding plain glass, and there are matching windows to either side of the nave door. The nave is open with a parquet floor. An arcade of four arches supported on exposed stone pillars leads to the south aisle. At the east end are 3 steps to a raised platform with low stone walls to either side, and a further 4 steps to the rear. The altar stands at the front of the lower platform with the stone font to the left. The original organ of 1926, by Abbott & Smith of Leeds, occupies the east end of the south aisle, set in a matching archway, and there is a small side altar in the aisle facing the side of the organ. To the left of the chancel area are two doors in pointed arches, leading to the vestry and stairs down to the lower level. Above the narthex at the west end is a modern glass and timber screen which partitions off the upper level (1970s). All the windows have original leading, and the tracery shows Arts and Crafts influences. All the doors are either glazed with vertical timber struts or solid timber with similar vertical panels.

In the south-west corner is a timber panelled partition concealing the kitchen (1990s). The roof structure is composed of queen post trusses alternating with more slender modified scissor brace trusses, all in plain dark wood. Some of the main trusses have been supported by metal sheaths. The lower level houses a number of rooms adapted for community use and storage.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The church is surrounded to the north and west by iron railings with double gates to the west leading to the main entrance at the west end.

HISTORY: Birkby, a suburb of Huddersfield, was expanding in the early C20 and church services were first held in the parish hall, immediately to the east of the current church, which was built in 1913. Local fundraising provided the money to build the church in the 1920s, and the London architectural practice of Hoare and Wheeler was commissioned. Hoare and Wheeler were involved in the design or redesign of a number of churches throughout the country, as well as other buildings. Those listed include Rudolf Steiner House in London and the Church of St Mark in Berkshire, as well as the nave and tower of the Grade II* Church of the Holy Trinity in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The original design included a tower at the west end and a north aisle, but the funds for this were insufficient and the west end was finally completed without the tower in 1956. Subsequent changes have included the removal of the fixed seating in the nave, the insertion of the screen over the narthex and the kitchen partition, and the moving forward of the altar. A photograph of 1936 appears to show some panelling to either side of a curtained reredos at the east end, which is now gone. The Parish Hall was sold off in the 1990s.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The Church of St. Cuthbert is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The design is imaginative and individual, making full use of a restricted sloping site and limited budget
* The internal spaces created are generous and expansive, with careful attention given to the sparing detailing serving to emphasise its impact
* Careful differentiation of worship space and other uses is achieved through window styles, and is also used to create a sense of elevation to the church
* There has been minimal alteration to the original church, while the later completion of the west end has been achieved in harmony with the original design

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Reasons for Listing

The Church of St. Cuthbert, of the mid 1920's, has been designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The design is imaginative and individual, making full use of a restricted sloping site and limited budget
* The internal spaces created are generous and expansive, with careful attention given to the sparing detailing serving to emphasise its impact
* Careful differentiation of worship space and other uses is achieved through window styles, and is also used to create a sense of elevation to the church
* There has been minimal alteration to the original church, while the later completion of the west end has been achieved in harmony with the original design

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