Building » Cross Hills, Silsden – St Joseph

Cross Hills, Silsden – St Joseph

Aire Street, Cross Hills, Silsden, West Yorkshire

A very modest brick church of the 1920s.

Fr (later Canon) Joseph Russell was priest of St Anne’s Keighley from 1905 to 1945, during which time he was responsible for considerable expansion of Catholic church provision in the Keighley area; not just two additional churches in Keighley itself but also those at Silsden, Haworth, Cullingworth and Cross Hills, or Crosshills as it is sometimes known. A plot of land for the church was bought at Cross Hills in 1920 and Mass was said at first at a local public house. The foundation stone of St Joseph’s was not laid until 25 April 1925. St Anne’s contributed £150 and the remainder of the cost was covered by families ‘buying a brick’ for 6d.


The church has the altar facing south but in this section all references will be to conventional orientation, i.e. as if the church faced east.

A low and modest building of red brick with a blue slate roof. Nave and sanctuary as one with a flat-roofed eastern extension (sacristy), a gabled southwest projection and a gabled porch (now blocked) projecting forward from the front of the church on the right. The west front has a symmetrical group of five windows, the centre one larger and round-headed, those to the sides smaller and with segment heads. Domestic style window frames. The gabled porch has a segmental, slightly pointed arch with stone springing blocks and kneelers and copings to the gable. Within the opening there is a set back wall. The remaining windows of the church are all renewed, possibly with altered openings, and are of horizontal format with domestic style window frames.

The interior is equally simple. Boarded roof with purlins on braced A-frame trusses on stone corbels. Shallow pitch. There is no division between nave and sanctuary other  than  a  change  of  levels.  The  sanctuary  has  plain  wooden  fittings  of  altar (brought forward), panelled reredos from floor to roof and pedestals for statues on either side. Plain deal pews arranged herringbone fashion. Stations of the Cross of plaster with scenes in shallow relief.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1925

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed