Bridge End Congregational Chapel, Rastrick

In the early 18th century, there were independent religious meetings in private houses at Bridge End.

The congregation was established by a group which included Benjamin Morton.

A small chapel for a congregation of about 300 was built in 1778 on land which had been leased to James Whitaker by the Duke of Leeds.

After delays during the winter, the builders – John Aked, William Jagger, and James Oates - promised to complete the construction in 12 weeks – under a penalty clause of £12.

The chapel – with a school room – opened in October 1779.

Around 1785, the debt on the chapel was cleared and – with the financial help of Lady Glenorchy – a house was built for the Minister.

Around 1811, the Chapel received an annual grant of £6 from Lady Hewley's Charity.

In 1818, the Trustees bought the land from the Duke of Leeds for £300.

Around 1820, the increasing congregation demanded modification to the Chapel. A vestry was built, galleries and lofts were added. The pulpit was repositioned and the pews rearranged. It accommodated

In 18??, some of the congregation – including John Holland – left the Chapel and moved to Slead Syke.

The nearby Sunday School was built in 1821, superseding those at Mally North's Chamber, Rastrick and the Kiln, Slead Syke.

In December 1837, it was registered for the solemnisation of marriages. The registrar was Charles Barstow.

The organ was installed in 1840 replacing earlier wind instruments.

In 1847, land was bought for a new chapel and for a burial ground. The present building was designed by Mallinson & Healey and was begun in September 1854.

It opened on 16th January 1856 and could accommodate 1075 people. The cost was £3000.

The old chapel was bought by Charles Brooke and rebuilt on Hangram Field for use as a chapel-of-ease for what later became St Paul's Chapel

In the 1870s, the organ was replaced by one from Square Chapel, Halifax. Details can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register.

In 1872, the organ was enlarged by Holt's at a cost of £225.

In 1873, a branch was built at Waring Green.

During World War II, the Chapel was used by the Army.

The chapel closed in 1976 and is now a sports centre.

A list of some of the Ministers of Bridge End Congregational Church, Brighouse is given in a separate Foldout

The Henry Sugden Memorial Hall stands next door.

Alderman Henry Sugden and members of his family are buried on Bridge End Cemetery.

Horsfall Turner's 1878 book, Independency at Brighouse, gives many details about the Chapel

See James Barnes, Bridge End Congregational Graveyard, Rastrick, Bridge End Congregational Manse, Rastrick, Mr Broomhead and Snowdrop Band

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 18:25 / 13th April 2021 / 5875

Page Ref: QQ_81

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