Saint Peter's Church, Hartshead

St Peter's Church, Hartshead was the Parish church for Hartshead-cum-Clifton.

It is possibly of Saxon origin.

The church is recorded in 1120 when the Earl of Warren granted it to the Priory of Lewes.

It has Norman features and was heavily restored by W. S. Barber in 1881.

The 12th century chancel arch, the west tower, and the south door are the oldest parts of the church.

There are two sundials near the main door, one dated 1611.

The reredos and a small altar were given by Sir John Armytage in 1708.

The candelabra comes from Hartshead Hall.

The clock was electrified in 2001.

There are 3 bells

Bells 1 and 3 are cracked and bell 2 had a piece snipped out. An old rhyme goes:

    Two cracked bells, an' a chipped 'un

    Two cracked bells, an' a snipped 'un
In 17??, Warley Grange was bought by the incumbents of Hartshead and the rents from the property went to the living at Hartshead.

The Rev Patrick Brontë was incumbent here 1810-1815. In the early hours of April 12th 1812, the morning after the Luddite attack on William Cartwright's mill at Rawfolds, he is said to have seen men burying bodies in the south-east corner of the graveyard and assumed that they were Luddites. It is said that there is a space in the graveyard where nobody has wanted to cover over the Luddite graves.

The old parish school – originally a resting place for coffins – stands in the churchyard.

The stump of an old yew tree stands in the grounds.

In the 17th century, Quakers could not buried in the churchyard, and were buried in the Quaker Burial Ground at Hare Park Lane – see The Sepulchre

The Sunday School was built in 1856 and extended whilst Rev R. W. B. Chapman was Vicar. The Vicarage was built in 1872 at a cost of £1,557 on land given by Sir George Armytage. The architect was T. W. Helliwell.

The church was completely restored in 1881 at a cost of £2,530.

The records for the Church are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service office in Wakefield (Collection WDP31): Baptisms [1612-1968], Banns [1846-1986], Marriages [1612-1973] and Burials [1612-1964].

A list of some of the Vicars of Saint Peter's, Hartshead is given in a separate Foldout

See Grange House, Warley and St Mark's Eve Vigil

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 6019

Page Ref: KK_83

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