Building » Barnsley – Our Lady and St James

Barnsley – Our Lady and St James

West Street, Worsbrough, Barnsley, S70

A small Gothic Revival design of the turn of the twentieth century, built for Anglican worship and acquired for Roman Catholic use in the 1970s. The simple interior has heavy trussed roofs and fine wall paintings by Powell Brothers. 

The church was built as the Anglican church of St James in 1902, to the designs of T.H. & F. Healey of Bradford.  When it closed in 1973, the Church of England placed a condition on the sale requiring that the main use of the building should continue to be religious. It remained vacant for some time, and was subject to vandalism.

From 1900, Catholics in the area had worshipped in a chapel-of-ease t the parish of Our Lady. In 1962 a primary school had been built and this also served as a Mass centre. When it became available, the parish was keen to purchase St James’s church, and local businessman Alan Finley, a member of the congregation, coordinated the fundraising which enabled acquisition of the church and the building of a presbytery and parish hall. The church reopened as Our Lady and St James on 15 June 1976, when the altar was consecrated by Bishop Moverley in the presence of Bishop Wheeler of Leeds.

The building was damaged by fire in 2008, but was subsequently made good.


The church was built in 1902 in a simplified Gothic style and consists of a short aisleless nave and small sanctuary. The east sides of the sanctuary directly abut the small parish meeting space and presbytery (modern structures which are identified in the list entry as not of special interest). The interior has undergone redecoration in recent years following a fire in the sacristy in 2008. The walls are plain plastered and painted. The nave roof has three arch-braced trusses carried on moulded stone corbels, exposed purlins and rafters with infill tongue and groove panelling. The circulation area has a terrazzo floor while there is wooden boarding beneath the pews.

List descriptions



Church. 1902 by T. H. and F. Healey of Bradford, patron S. J. Cooper (Plan register, 1901; Kelly’s Directory, 1912). Thinly-coursed sandstone, graduated Westmorland slate roof. 3-bay nave with south porch, narrower chancel with south tower in angle with nave, adjoining vestry on east. Nave: porch to bay 1 has double-chamfered arch with floral-stopped hoodmould, gable copings with cross. String course on right beneath windows of 3 : 2 and 1 lights, buttress between the first two. West window has buttress between 2 sets of 3 lancets with hoodmoulds; vesica. Tower: south priest’s door with string course rising as hoodmould. Quoined slit windows beneath offset ashlar belfry stage having semi-octagonal corner piers and flanking 2-light trefoiled openings; continuous hoodmould. Short lead-covered spire with corner spirelets and turret at north-east corner. Gabled south vestry has ashlar panel with 3-light mullioned window; central light taller, transomed and cusped. Chancel windows of 2 and 1 lights, corbel table to ashlar-coped parapet. East window of 3 cusped lights divided by shafts, outer lights blind. East and west gable copings with crosses.

Interior: simple Gothic-Revival styled interior with marble font and wall paintings above chancel arch. Originally dedicated to St. James, now in Roman Catholic use, the Anglican congregation being accommodated at the Church of St. Thomas and St. James (q.v.). Adjoining buildings at east end not of special interest.

Worsbrough U.D.C. Plan Register 1901 plan 22 (held in Barnsley Local Studies Library). Kelly’s Directory, West Riding, 1912, vol 1, p996.

Listing NGR: SE3541003558

Lych gate


Lych gate. Probably 1902 by T. H. and F. Healey of Bradford (as church (q.v.)). Ashlar sandstone. Free-standing archway with double iron gates, in Gothic Revival style. Double-chamfered arch with hoodmould beneath panel inscribed: ‘Believers in the word and not hearers only’, shield above with insignia of St. James. Flanking buttresses with roll-moulded copings, ashlar-gable copings with apex cross. Contemporary iron gates. Included for group value. Listing NGR: SE3541503542

Heritage Details

Architect: T. H. & F. Healey

Original Date: 1902

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II