Wesley Place, Silsden, West Yorkshire
Built as a Methodist chapel, this is a fairly typical product of Nonconformist chapel design of the 1870s, when the Classical style was increasingly discarded in favour of the Gothic, retaining a centralised plan whilst adopting more of the appearance of Church of England churches. The interior was adapted for Catholic use in 1970. The building has good townscape value.
Catholic Mass at Silsden has been celebrated since 1916. In 1918 the congregation purchased the former Oddfellows Hall in Albert Square, a Georgian Gothick-style two-storey building. Silsden became a parish in 1920 and the present church, a former Wesleyan chapel, was acquired in 1957. Post-Vatican II reordering was designed by J. H. Langtry-Langton, 1970, who at the same time designed the kitchen extension.
See list description, below. Of the exterior it might also be mentioned that to either side of the west front, in the angle between the nave and transepts, are extruded square bays with chamfered corners and plain parapets, providing staircase access to the internal galleries. Attached to the east end of the church are two unequal eastward-facing gabled projections containing ancillary accommodation and a flat-roofed kitchen projection (1970). The sanctuary is set within a short hipped-roof projection against the main east gable and has a chimneystack at its northeast corner.
The description of the interior omits to mention the sturdy timber galleries across the shallow transepts. These have chamfered columns and the gallery fronts have recessed panels, the surrounds with scoops taken out, which if linked would form a circle, and sunk circles within, with nibs forming a star shape. The centralised plan and lofty roof gives an impressively spacious effect to the interior. The list description reference to the intersecting roof timbers forming a St Andrew’s (or Saltire) cross is somewhat misleading as it is unlikely that the effect was intended. Box pews with a similar sunk panel detail as the gallery fronts. Internal timber and glazed west porch with a hipped roof with cresting along the ridge. The sanctuary fittings appear to date from the 1970 reordering, apart from the large crucifix on the east wall and statues to either side. Plaster Stations of the Cross, relief panels with arched tops. Pretty arrangement of coloured glass in the windows.
Wesleyan Methodist Church, now occupied by Roman Catholics. c1870. Hammer-dressed stone, ashlar dressings, Welsh and Westmorland green slate roof. Cruciform plan. Prominent west end with wide gable in which is set 5-light arched window with geometrical tracery and doorway with triangular hood over in which is set quatrefoil. Buttresses with offsets to either side, those to right taller and set back from 2 faces of octagonal turret with open belfry and spire over. North and South transepts have tall plain lancets. Coped gables with kneelers and finials. Roof has 4 bands of fish-scale slates. Interior: Elaborate arch-braced roof springs from clustered colonettes set in the angle of the transepts. Braces cross in centre forming a St. Andrew’s cross figure. Cast-iron hoops set in open spandrels. Pointed arched recess forms shallow sanctuary. Included for group value.
Amended by AHP 22.01.2021
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1869
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Grade II