Baildon - St Aidan

Baildon Road, Baildon, Shipley, Bradford 17

Late Gothic Revival design of the 1930s by the Bradford architect Charles Simpson, who built widely in the parish. This dual purpose stone-built structure makes a positive contribution to the local scene.

Baildon originated as a village in the hills to the north of Shipley, but was greatly extended with inter-war housing. From 1863 Baildon Catholics attended Mass in Shipley. A Mass centre to serve the growing community was established 1929; Fr McGarvey first celebrated Mass in the Woodbottom School in December that year and in 1930 in a hut in Cliffe Lane. The site for a new church was bought for £720 in 1930; Fr McGarvey raised 90% of the building fund from America. The first Mass was celebrated in the new church on 2 July 1933. St Aidan’s became a parish in 1945 with Fr McGarvey the first parish priest.

Baildon Road, the main route to Baildon, climbs steeply to the north from Shipley. The character of the area is suburban with inter-war housing built on either side of the road. There are views across the Aire Valley to the southeast. St Aidan’s is built across the contours with a steep access drive leading to the lower ground floor level and tarmacadam car park. The presbytery is set in a spacious garden, with open ground to the south. The front of the site is bounded by low sandstone walls.

The building is built across a steep slope so that the parish hall is on the lower ground floor beneath the church. The church is built of coursed sandstone, with nave and chancel under one roof, covered with Welsh slates, with coped verges and cast-iron eaves gutters. The church is entered by a flat-roofed porch with parapet at the west end facing the road, with original double timber side doors. The 4-bay nave has three pointed windows to the south and four to the north side, all in concrete surrounds, between pilaster buttresses. The chancel is expressed by a stone bellcote carried up above the south wall, and has single lancets to each side and to the east. To the south of the chancel is a 2-storey tower with swept hipped roof, containing entrance to parish rooms on lower ground floor and vestry and sacristy on ground floor. The lower ground floor parish room has segmental-headed windows.

The interior has not been inspected, but is understood to have an aisleless nave with oak pews and plain plastered walls. The shallow sanctuary has an oak altar and liturgical fittings. The floor is carpeted and there are two mosaic panels to St Aidan and St Oswald in the sanctuary. The parish hall has a suspended ceiling and timber floor, with a bar at one end.

Diocese: Leeds

Architect: Charles Simpson

Original Date: 1933

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed