Building » Pocklington – St Mary and St Joseph

Pocklington – St Mary and St Joseph

Union Street, Pocklington, East Yorkshire

A mid-Victorian Gothic building by a well-respected Yorkshire Catholic architect, much overlaid by extensive, albeit tactful, modern additions. 

The recusant Dolman family had a ‘mass house’ at Pocklington, and a Catholic community existed from at least 1790. A chapel was built in 1807 and the present presbytery is said to incorporate evidence of this chapel. The present church was built in 1862-3 from designs by M. E. Hadfield and considerably enlarged in 2002-3 (architect George Stastny).


The church faces northwest but all references in this description follow conventional  liturgical orientation.

The church is built of yellow brick with bands of red brick and stone dressings. Concrete tile roof. The original church comprised a nave with polygonal sanctuary. To this has been added a south aisle with polygonal eastern baptistery, a gabled hall set back to the southwest and a narthex to the west. Gothic style, the recent work faithfully copying the original work. The apsed sanctuary faces Union Street with three two-light windows with plate tracery. Presbytery built up against the north side. One window to the baptistery, also with plate tracery. Plain lancet windows to the south aisle, arranged in pairs. Lancets also to the extension at the southwest corner with a porch entrance into the church. The upper part of the original west wall remains, with two circular windows with stepped surrounds and a lancet in between, placed slightly higher and with similar surround. Projecting in front of this elevation at lower level is a lean-to and gabled narthex with a closely set pair of two-light windows with plate tracery. Secondary entrance at the southwest corner.

The interior of the church appears quite narrow and tall. Plastered and painted walls. The south aisle does not have an arcade but a plain post and beam support to the nave south wall. West gallery with canted centre on slender iron columns. Partly boarded and partly open Gothic arcade to the gallery front. Exposed roof trusses, closely set, with a web of diagonal struts. No division between nave and sanctuary, but the latter carpeted and raised on an L-shaped podium. Nineteenth century open-backed pews, the front pierced with quatrefoils. Sanctuary furnishings of circa 2003. Octagonal stone font on a cylindrical base, probably original to the church. Typical and quite good Victorian stained glass in the three sanctuary windows and the baptistery window. Crucifixion scene in the upper west window. Another good window in the narthex, with figures of saints and Gothic canopies.

Amended by AHP 15.01.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: M. E. Hadfield

Original Date: 1862

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed