Building » Bradford – St William

Bradford – St William

Ingleby Road, Bradford

This inner city church is an important local landmark, built in a stripped Gothic style. The interior retains its spatial quality with some good fittings.

The Brownroyd area of Bradford grew rapidly during the second half of the nineteenth century due to the influx of mill workers, many of them Catholics. In response, the missions of St Patrick’s and St Cuthbert’s jointly built a school-chapel on Bingley Street, dedicated to St William. Mass was first celebrated here in 1882. After a period of closure the chapel re-opened in 1902 and Fr Patrick MacMahon became the first parish priest in 1909. He developed the present large church and presbytery, built to designs from Edward Simpson & Son, and dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes and St William. Bishop Cowgill laid the foundation stone in 1924. The sanctuary was reordered in 1971 to designs by D. Chambers, replacing the 1930 fittings. The church was finally consecrated 1952.


The large town church is faced in coursed sandstone, with plain Gothic detailing. Nave and chancel are under one long roof, covered in Welsh slates with clay ridges and cast-iron eaves gutters. The volume is articulated by the double-gabled transepts and lean-to aisles and chapels. The entrance to the church faces west to the ring road, with a full-height arched recess containing triple lancets above a pair of double doors. A short tower is carried up above the northwest corner and has an open belfry stage. The west entrance is marked by a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, protected by a small canopy. The plain exterior has windowless aisles; the nave is lit by pairs of lancets in the clerestory. The three-bay chancel has trefoiled lancets and a pair of lancets to the east end, set in a full-height recessed arch. The single-storey sacristy is at the southeast corner, with plain mullioned windows, and the south aisle is hidden behind this and the presbytery.

Internally, the nave has a tall six-bay arcade on octagonal piers, with angels between the pointed arches. The transepts each have full-height two-bay arcades. The eight-bay nave and three-bay chancel wagon roofs are lined with pine boarding. The floors are boarded in pew areas, with terrazzo in circulation areas. The oak pews are probably original. The chancel retains an oak pulpit of 1930, and good marble communion rail with brass gates, given in 1933 by the parish in memory of Fr Earnshaw, died 1929. The gates were made by J. & G. McCloughlin of Dublin. All other fittings date from 1971. The west gallery has a plain pine front and pipe organ in Gothic oak case, made by Bower & Dunn, Sheffield. The glazed screen to the narthex below dates from 1971. The Stations of the Cross are carved on wood in high relief and subtly painted, set into the walls in rectangular panels, installed in 1927.

Heritage Details

Architect: E. Simpson & Son

Original Date: 1926

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed