Holy Trinity Church, Halifax

Holy Trinity Church on Harrison Road, Halifax was designed by William Bradley and Thomas Johnson.

The Church was built in 1795-1798 for Dr Coulthurst, and at his own expense, on land bought from the Waterhouse charities, under the powers of an Act of Parliament passed in 1795. This required that £100 per annum be paid out of the rent to the incumbent, and that four-fifths of the cemetery be a common burial ground for the inhabitants of Skircoat and Southowram. The Act provided for the furnishing of the Church with galleries, pews, communion plate and other ornaments, and authorised the Vicar to raise money from the rental of the pews and part of the burial ground. A requirement was that the incumbent must be a graduate of either Oxford or Cambridge. At the time, there was a need for a new Church as the area around the parish church had become increasingly populous.

The building was designed by Thomas Johnson of Leeds, although the work has been attributed to John Oates and William Bradley.

The Church was consecrated in January 1798, by Dr Watson, Bishop of Llandaff.

The first minister was the Rev Samuel Knight, Fellow of Magdalen College, Cambridge.

The Neo-Classical building is square in plan. The entrances are either side of the altar which is on a raised platform. The tower is at the south end of the building, and is crowned by a dome.

The clock in the tower is dated 1818 and inscribed by the maker Titus Bankcroft. An inscription on the pendulum reads:

The Church was erected 1798 by Henry William Coulthurst DD 27 years Vicar of Halifax

Blackwall Lodge was the parsonage.

In her journals, Anne Lister refers to this as the New Church.

In the mid-19th century, the average congregation of 600 included many well-known families, such as

In June 1864, work began on a new pulpit – costing about £120 – to replace the old three-decker pulpit, desk & clerk's box, which stood in the centre of the church and blocked the view of the altar.

On 14th August 1864, the Church re-opened after it had been closed for several weeks for alterations and re-decoration, costing £300.

On 27th December 1888, a bazaar was held in Trinity Girls' School to raise funds to clear the debt of £400 which still after improvements in the interior of the Church. New windows had been inserted, chiefly on the north and west side, and the walls and ceilings had been redecorated.

In October 1907, a stained-glass window was installed in memory of Joseph Taylor.

The Church closed on 13th July 1956 when the roof became unsafe. G. H. Gledhill's used the basement for lathe turning. In 1978, it was declared redundant as a consequence of dry rot, vandalism, and water damage.

It was subsequently sold to Sam Rorke, a local businessman. A plan to convert it into a conference centre / restaurant came to naught.

With help from English Heritage, the Church was saved from complete destruction by an ambitious conversion scheme, proposed by architects Richard and Jill Wilson of Oddy & Sykes, which retained most of the original features, and the Church was converted into offices – known as Trinity House – in 1987.

The new church has been built behind the Holy Trinity School at Savile Hall.

By 2014, the Church had joined with St Jude's Church

A list of some of the Vicars of Holy Trinity is given in a separate Foldout

The records for the Church are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service office in Wakefield (Collection WDP109): Baptisms [1832-1977], Banns [1844-1985], Marriages [1837-1978] and Burials [1798-1939].

See Benjamin Booth, Christ Church, Todmorden: Graveyard, Holy Trinity War Memorial, Halifax, Parish of Holy Trinity, Holy Trinity Vicarage, Halifax and James Argyll Spalding Inglis

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 13:13 / 19th January 2022 / 8097

Page Ref: KK_19

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