Saint Anne's Church, Southowram

St Anne's in the Grove Church, Southowram is also known as Briers Chapel, Chapel-le-Briers, Chapel-le-Grove, Lacey's Chapel, St Anne's in the Briers, and Southowram Parish Church.

The church should not be confused with St Ann's in the Grove House where services were originally held.

In 1449, a licence was granted by Pope Eugenius IV to offer Mass at the house

In 1445, as the congregation grew, a papal licence was granted to the Manor of Southowram to build a free chapel. This was dedicated to St John and not under the supervision of Halifax Parish Church.

A chapel of ease – known as Chapel le Briers – was built by John Lacey of Cromwellbottom Hall in 1530.

The first stone for a new church was laid by the Vicar of Halifax Rev Dr Henry William Coulthurst on 2nd July 1816. The church was rebuilt nearer to the village on the present site by Thomas Taylor in 1816-1819. The architect George Hepworth did some work on the church.

The font from the old chapel was taken to the new church.

There are Royal Arms decorating the church.

On his way to the inauguration ceremony, Samuel Knight, the Vicar of Halifax, fell off a carriage which was taking him up Southowram Bank, breaking his arm.

The building was further altered in 1869. There are stained glass windows to the south, 3 are by Ward & Hughes [1909-1922].

The chancel was given by Mrs Freeman of Bilton Court, Knaresborough.

The organ was given by Hanson Freeman. Details can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register.

St Anne's Southowram Quarterly Messenger & Record is mentioned in 1873.

The Chapel of Gimmerden Sough in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights is said to be based upon St Anne's.

On 14th October 1934, there was a service in connection with the dedication of the newly-installed electric light at the Church.

In Summer 2005, restoration work began, following great fund-raising efforts by the vicar – Rev Guy Jamieson – and the community, and a grant of £155,000 from National Heritage. A new cross, carved by Romanian artist Cristinel Ioan Paslaru, was erected over the nave arch. The church reopened when the restoration was completed in May 2006

The records for the Church are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service office in Wakefield (Collection WDP58): Baptisms [1813-1952], Banns [1886-1963], Marriages [1838-1991] and Burials [1818-1935].

A list of some of the Vicars of Saint Anne's in the Grove, Southowram is given in a separate Foldout

Churchwardens here have included


See Wilson Marshall, Harold Vauzey Richardson, Amos Robinson, St Anne's, Southowram: War Memorial, St Anne's, Southowram: Graveyard, St Anne's Sabbath School, Southowram, St Peter's Mission Church, Brookfoot and Southowram Vicarage

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 13:13 / 19th January 2022 / 7249

Page Ref: KK_114

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