Building » Dewsbury – Our Lady and St Paulinus

Dewsbury – Our Lady and St Paulinus

Cemetery Road, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

A handsome and dramatically-sited Gothic Revival church by E. W. Pugin, with some good furnishings.

Mass was first said in Dewsbury in 1841 and services were later said in a school chapel.  The first parish priest was appointed in 1865 and the foundation stone of the present church, built from designs by Edward Welby Pugin, were laid in 1867.  The building was opened for worship in June 1871. A new high altar was introduced in 1884 and a new Lady altar in 1930, second new high altar 1984, stained glass in apse dates from 1890s.

The church stands over a substructure which contains a parish hall and other rooms, and is consequently very tall. The southwestern baptistery was converted to a war memorial chapel in 1919 and now contains memorial inscriptions with the names of the fallen, as well as the plaster Madonna and Christ referred to in the list description. The east end has been reordered and the triple blind arches in the lower part of the sanctuary apse date from the reordering.  As part of this work, the original pulpit was much reduced in size, and some of its woodwork reused to make ambos. The western organ gallery is presumably original to the building and the timber openwork screen beneath the wide gallery arch must also date from the later 19th  century. The three stained glass windows in the apse look like the work of Hardman, Pugin’s favourite stained glass makers.


Gothic Revival Roman Catholic church. 1871 by Edward Welby Pugin. Pitched-faced stone with ashlar dressings. Slate roof. A tall slender building on a steeply sloping site. 9-bay nave. 3-bay chancel with 3-bay porch to right. Bays are marked by slender buttresses. Paired lancets with cusped heads and 6-foil over, to nave and apse. Single lancets with simple tracery to chancel. On the very tall south side is lean-to aisle with lancets, and lancets to the clerestorey. To the left is a small projecting baptistery bay with an 8-foiled rose window.

Interior: Arcade to south of 6 bays. Very large square bases to the columns. Gallery to rear with elegant carved oak screen below. Chancel arch on small colonnette responds, at high level, with heavily foliated capital and corbel. In the baptistery is a well carved Madonna and Christ in plaster. 14 stations of the cross in the nave.

Heritage Details

Architect: Edward Welby Pugin

Original Date: 1871

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: II