West Riding of Yorkshire

Todmorden Parish Church, West Riding of Yorkshire

This is a church with a convoluted and complex history. It seems to have started around 1400 and grown to be a reasonable sized stone structure by around 1476. The tower of the church dates from that period, although is heavily restored. Work was undertaken during the Tudor period and then again early in the Stuart period. Much of this was removed by the Puritans and then reinserted after the Restoration. So it is very difficult to pick out eras of construction from the jumble of building styles.

In 1800 the church still had no chancel, but there is one now, so between 1800 and 1832 there was further work undertaken. In 1832 Christ Church opened in the town and St. Mary’s became redundant. Ironically, in 1992, Christ Church closed and St. Mary’s was once again revitalised as Parish Church. At that time St. Mary’s was stripped down to its shell and reconstructed using materials from both churches and so today you are left with an odd amalgam and a mixture of architectural quirks which is as confusing as the tug of war in the town between Yorkshire and Lancashire. Todmorden stands literally on the county boundary and depending on which side of the River you stand you are in one county or the other.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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