Church Of St Thomas A' Becket / Old Church Of St Thomas A Becket

7 Oct 2001
Church Of St Thomas A' Becket, Heptonstall, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, HX7 7LW
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Old Church Of St Thomas A Becket, Heptonstall, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, HX7 7LW
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


9/76 Church of St. Thomas Becket (formerly listed as 1.11.66 Old Church air St Thomas a Becket) G.V. II*

Church, Ruin lacking roof. Founded 1260, fabric of this date survives in tower, raised mid C15 when bells were inserted c.1440. C14 nave and south aisle, north aisle replaced C15 by another nave and north aisle having the unusual feature of 2 chancels and 2 chantry chapels. In 1617 a gable with domestic style window was inserted to light one of 2 lofts. South porch rebuilt with 2 new buttresses 1927. Large well coursed finely dressed stone. West tower, double nave, chancels and aisles, south porch. Perpendicular plinth with chamfered weathered course runs round the whole church. Embattled tower has east stair turret.

Sheer wall with angle buttresses. West face has 2-over-3 light pointed arched window with cusped heads and quatrefoil to apex. Hoodmould has beak head and human mask stops. North and south faces have smaller 2-light traceried window with clear break in stonework over. This added stage has slightly flatter arched 2-light windows to each face with traceried heads to belfry. False machicolation to embattled parapet with chamfered moulded castellation of similar section to plinth. North and east face has wide circle for clock of 1809 now in new church (q.v.). Stair turret breaks forward and is clasped by south aisle which has 2-light window with quatrefoil. Similar window to north aisle is set in deeper chamfered surround. Diagonal buttresses to aisle of 4 bays articulated by offset buttresses. 2-light windows with traceried heads set in square deeply chamfered surround. Porch set in 1st bay has diagonal buttresses, richly moulded pointed arch doorway, coped gable. Some of roof slates are reused gravestones. Diagonal buttress at junction with 2-bay chancel which had lower roof than nave with sanctus bell cote set at junction of 2 roofs. Pointed arched priests door, 2-light windows. East end has 2 gables (with lean-to roofs to aisles) which have identical 3-light windows with traceried heads. Original east window has elegant plain 2-centred arched window retaining only 2 tall mullions and transom. Added chancel window (the northern most) has flatter arched window mullioned and transomed with 5 arched lights to lower part. Hoodmould has devils' face stops and shield to apex. Buttress with carved crocket to offsets. To right, 3-light arched window to north aisle has cusped lights with cavetto mullions with 4 cusped lights over and quatrefoil to apex, possibly early C16. North return wall has windows in double chamfered surrounds with straight lintels of 2 and 3 lights. One survives with arched lights with sunken spandrels similar to east window, one other earlier with 2 cusped lights carved on lintel. Buttress at division of nave and chancel has many offsets.Set in 4th bay of nave is gable with 3 over 5-light mullioned and transomed window with hoodmould with decorative label stops. Coped gable, kneelers and ball finials. North door in 1st bay of nave has semi-circular arched doorway with broad chamfered surround.

Interior: 4-bay naves with octagonal piers. Those to south aisle and nave rise from square bases with chamfered corners decorated with carved faces, shields and hearts. Moulded capitals decorated with alternate squares and circles in high relief. North arcade differs with octagonal bases and moulded capitals.

Chancel arches of differing angles. One capital engraved with chi-rho.

Northernmost chancel arch has cable moulded capital. Lower 2-bay chancels have similar columns. Corbel with carved grotesque. Piscina to original chancel.

Tower arch rises from moulded capitals, chamfered surround with broach stop of similar design to northernmost chancel arch. 2 rooflines may indicate the tower arch was altered when tower was raised and original north aisle was altered.

Pointed arch doorway to south inner wall of tower with 3 others at various stages of tower. Porch has trefoiled pointed transverse arches to roof.

Scheduled Ancient Monument. N. Pevsner, Yorkshire West Riding (London 1979), p.262.

Listing NGR: SD9867528058


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1981 IOE Records taken by Richard L Sweetnam; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Richard L Sweetnam. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Sweetnam, Richard L

Rights Holder: Sweetnam, Richard L


Stone, Medieval Church, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Place Of Worship