Todmorden Unitarian Church

The Todmorden Unitarian Church on Honey Hole Road, is a Neo-Gothic church designed by John Gibson.

It was a successor to the earlier Todmorden Unitarian Chapel and was built for the Fielden family in memory of their father, John Fielden, who was a Cookite and had joined the Todmorden Unitarians in 1818.

The corner-stone was laid on 23rd December 1865 by Samuel Fielden. The building cost £35,000.

The Church opened on 7th April 1869. The opening sermon was given by William Gaskell, a Manchester Unitarian and husband of the writer Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell.

The church is not aligned east-west. The east window faces south-west.

The ground-plan is rectangular and measures 128 ft by 46 ft. The spire is 192 ft high. The nave is long and aisled, with 7 bays, and with arcades standing on circular piers of polished Devonshire marble. The chancel is richly elaborated and furnished with choir-stalls, a communion table, and brass light fittings. The font and pulpit display stone carving and timber-work of outstanding quality and richness. Some stained glass windows in the chancel are by Capronnier.

The organ was built by William Hill and was powered by an underground waterwheel until 1939 when it was converted to air-power. It was in regular use until 1987. Details can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register.

The church was prominently positioned so as to be a landmark visible from Dobroyd Castle.

Ministers at the Church have included


Meetings were held in the lodge until 1992.

Since 1994, the church has been in the care of the Historic Chapels Trust.

There is a large, separate wooded graveyard, which was once extensively landscaped.

The church is listed, and considerable restoration has been carried out – thanks to the Historic Chapels Trust, English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other sponsors.

The nearby Lodge is also listed.

The Church is not normally open to the public. It has been included on the list of sites which are open to the public on Heritage Open Days

See Joshua Fielden, Josiah Lord, Unitarian Church, Todmorden: Memorials, Todmorden Unitarian Church Burial Society, Todmorden Unitarian Church Vicarage, Unitarian Church, Todmorden: Bells and Unitarian Church, Todmorden: Graveyard

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 12:30 / 14th May 2021 / 6228

Page Ref: KK_25

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