Building » Bradford – St Patrick

Bradford – St Patrick

Sedgefield Terrace, Bradford 1

The second Catholic church to be built in Bradford. With the associated convent and schools it forms part of a dense urban church group. Architecturally, the church and presbytery are good examples of mid-Victorian Gothic design by George Goldie, who was born in York and designed many Catholic churches in Yorkshire and elsewhere. They make a strong statement on Westgate; the convent and schools less so. The quality of the interior of the church has been eroded by the reordering and redecoration of the early 1970s, but some notable fittings survive in situ.

The area around Westgate, on the northwest edge of Bradford, grew rapidly during the mid-nineteenth century, with an influx of Irish immigrants to work in the mills. St Patrick’s was founded by Canon Thomas Harrison, from St Mary’s (the first Catholic church in Bradford, originally built in 1824-5). Local anti-Catholic feeling was such that it was necessary to conduct the transaction in the greatest secrecy, employing two intermediaries. The sellers, Misses Mary and Elizabeth Rawson, were later furious to discover that the land they sold in 1850 was to be used for a Catholic church.

The new church was opened on 13 July 1853 by Bishop Briggs. St Patrick’s was established as a separate mission in 1855. The interior of the church was not fully fitted until the 1860s, under Canon Scruton, who added the south porch (1869) and presbytery (1866). The interior was redecorated with stencilling and the Lady Chapel reordered to his memory; he died in 1887. The church was finally consecrated in 1903 when the debt from construction was settled, at the church’s Golden Jubilee. The convent was first established in 1869, before moving to a new building adjoining the church in the later nineteenth century, and the two-storey, L-plan school (Scruton Memorial Schools) was built in 1892 for 800 children, designed by Edward Simpson. Internal reordering in response to Vatican II was undertaken by Canon Coghlan between 1968 and 1972.

*The church closed in 2008*

Description (May 2008)

See attached list description (below) for exterior. In addition, There is a World War I memorial set on the side wall of the presbytery; the statue of St Patrick is missing from the corner of Westgate/Sedgefield Terrace. The liturgical east end of the church is orientated to the north; liturgical compass points will be used here. The six-bay nave has a pointed arcade on octagonal and cylindrical piers, with carved stone statues of the twelve apostles between arches. The chancel has a three-bay hammerbeam roof, with remains of the 1880s painted scheme on the walls. The Caen stone Lady Chapel altar dates from 1867 and the Gothic oak parclose screen was installed after 1887, designed by Dunn, Hansom and Dunn of Newcastle. The lean-to aisle ceilings are covered in modern boarding, with the 1880s stencilled polychrome decoration visible in places. The fine east window is by Hardman of Powell and Hardman, installed in 1871 to the memory of Fr Lynch. The Nicholson pipe organ was first erected in the west gallery, moved to the southeast organ loft in 1902. Liturgical fittings in the chancel and the glazed screen below the west gallery are 1970s. There are late nineteenth century brass wall memorials to the Fattorini, Farrell and Foster families. The 1903 account by Canon Earnshaw indicates that the interior was richly decorated and finished prior to the 1970s reordering and over-painting.

List description (church, presbytery and adjoining boys’ school)


Roman Catholic. 1852-53. The second Catholic Church in Bradford. The priest’s house added in 1866. George Goldie, architect (Weightman, Hadfield and Goldie) circa 1300 Gothic style. Complicated and picturesque grouping of house, church and school on corner site with Westgate. Sandstone “brick” with ashlar dressings. Tall nave, shallow aisles and slightly lower chancel. Large ogee arched east window of 6 lights with curvilinear tracery to head of ornate pattern. The priest’s house stands on the corner, 2-storeys with a steep hipped slate roof. Canted oriel bay windows. Single, 2 and 3 light cusped headed windows otherwise. Statue of St Patrick inset on corner at first floor level. External chimneys and 2-storey gabled porch to return, shafted doorway under pointed arch. Linking range to church has 2 gabled semi-dormers flanking external chimney. To rear of priest’s house is a bell cot with stone spirelet. The school to west end of site has mullioned transomed windows, pointed heads to lights. Slate roof. Listing NGR: SE1572533498


Amended by AHP 17.01.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: Weightman, Hadfield & Goldie

Original Date: 1852

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II