Nestled in a curve of the River Holme, St. Paul’s is the local church for the village of Armitage Bridge and is a grade II listed building.
Consecrated in 1848, the bulk of the £6,350 cost was provided by Brooke family who established the mill which still bears their name and dominates the village. The mill is now home to North Light Gallery and to a variety of businesses, including the North Lights Film Studio — chances are you’ll have watched at least one of their productions.
The first recorded baptism at the church was Sarah Wood (born 23/Sep/1847), daughter of gardener Thomas Wood and his wife Catherine, who was baptised on 7 May 1848. The baptism was performed by the Reverend Henry Windsor. On the same day, Rev. Windsor also performed the first burial service — 5-year-old Hannah Dawson Bramwell, daughter of tailor William Dawson Bramwell and his wife Sarah.
The first marriage occurred on 13 November 1848 and was between Mary Ann Brook (daughter of warper George) and weaver John Heppenstall (son of weaver William).
Sadly the church was badly damaged by an arsonist in February 1987 but thankfully was rebuilt due to the determination of the congregation. The church rededicated in 1990 and later underwent further restoration.
I’ve mentioned the death of 11-year-old James Beaver in a previous blog post, but I’ve now had chance to visit his grave.
Just to recap, James was employed during the construction of the Meltham Branch Line and was involved in an accident at the southern end of the Butternab Tunnel on Thursday 16 January 1868. Apparently he tampered with one of the waggons loaded with debris and it began to move. James fell under it and one of the wheels rolled over his arm, crushing it.
The Chronicle initially reported on the incident saying that although the boy’s arm had been amputated at the shoulder, he was recovering well at Huddersfield Infirmary.1 Sadly, however, he died on Sunday 26 January.
His family couldn’t afford a headstone, so he was buried in an unmarked plot in the graveyard on 30 January 1868.2
I’m extremely grateful to the Reverend Stephen Gott and to church administrator Bruce Greenwood for their assistance in pinpointing where James was laid to rest. His plot is roughly in the middle of this photograph and situated near the south western corner of the graveyard:
The war memorial for Armitage Bridge is situated close to the church and lists the following names:
1914-1918 — W. Armitage, H. Armitage, E. Avery, J.W. Adamson, N. Bradley, H. Booth, F. Bray, L. Bray, H. Brown, A. Berry, H. Beaumont, E. Beaumont, H. Bradshaw, F.T. Crowe, W.J. Crossley, F. Cartwright, D. Cartwright, A. Copley, A. Crosland, E. Dakin, A. Dodson, N. France, F. France, W. Haigh, J.S. Haigh, P. Hallas, H. Heap, C. Hamer, H. Hargreaves, C. Jenkinson, J.H. Jagger, E.R. Knapton, J. Kerfoot, J.W. Kaye, J. Kirk, C.L. Langrick, A. Lindley, H. Lister, H. Maud, W. Mallinson, R. Morrison, H. Oldham, G.W. Pounder, H. Pollard, E. Robinson, J. Stocks, W. Shells, C.T. Sykes, R. Sykes, L. Shaw, E. Shaw, W. Shaw, F. Shaw, W. Sunderland, A. Stinton, J. Sallis, H. Sanderson, L. Shore, A. Stanley, A.C. Tong, J.S. Taylor, N. Taylor, P. Thornton, L. Walker, S. Wilkinson, L. Wilcock, J. Wimpenny, S. Wimpenny, G. Walshaw, and N. Waring.
1939-1945 — R. Dyson, H. Fox, J. Hewitt, A. Lockwood, J. Lockwood, J. Sykes, E. Taylor, and F.R.Woodcock.
If you are interested in researching those who lost their lives in the First World War, Margaret Stansfield spent 30 years meticulously researching this and her work was recently published posthumously: Huddersfield’s Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014).
Sgt. John Sykes was killed when the Wellington bomber (serial W5667) he was in crashed at Grant’s Farm, Old Leake Commonside, Lincolnshire, during a training flight.