Building » Huddersfield – St Joseph

Huddersfield – St Joseph

Somerset Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

A church and school building in domestic seventeenth-century style, originally built for Anglican use. The church interior shows the influence of the English Arts and Crafts movement, not least in the elaborate roof construction.

Canon Stephen Dolan opened a school-chapel in Commercial Street Huddersfield in 1894. The parish of St Joseph was created in 1913. The original church was in King’s Mill Lane. In 1953 the Diocese of Leeds purchased the former St Michael’s Anglican church in Somerset Road, which was re-consecrated in 1954.

The Somerset Road site had been given to the Anglicans by Sir J. W. Ramsden for the building of a mission church. In June 1913 the foundation stone was laid of a new combined church and school building to replace the corrugated iron mission church. The architect was Oswald White of John William Street, Huddersfield. This building was sold in 1953 to raise funds for the building of a new Anglican church to serve a new housing estate at Fernside East.


A combined church and school building in the style of the English seventeenth century. The building is faced with local sandstone and was originally roofed with Westmorland slate, now Welsh slate. Of two principal storeys, with the church on the upper level and what were originally classrooms below. These have now been adapted to provide parish accommodation. The main body of building is rectangular, with a steeply-pitched roof and symmetrical transeptal projections at the south (liturgical west) end and similar but smaller projections at the north end, all with pitched roofs. The latter have been augmented by flat-roofed extensions which are presumably not original.

The slope of the ground means that the main entrance in the south (liturgical west) front is at street level. This elevation is of two storeys with the main door in a deeply-recessed archway below a three-light mullion and transom window with a straight head. Set back to either side are the transepts with four-light mullioned windows. On the west (liturgical north) side the twin functions of the building can be clearly seen; the church space on the upper floor has four cross-casement windows, the floor below as four three-light mullion and transom windows.

The main architectural feature of the interior is the elaborate timber roof with its braced principal trusses. Otherwise the interior has plain plastered walls, the side windows have decorative margins but are otherwise clear glazed. The sanctuary windows have modern coloured glass. At the west end is a small gallery space over the entrance lobby. There is a simple Lady Chapel on the south side of the altar. The building is seated with benches which apparently came from St James’s church, Halifax.

Heritage Details

Architect: Oswald White

Original Date: 1915

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed