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Parish Church of Christ Church, Harrogate

Description: Parish Church of Christ Church

Grade: II
Date Listed: 18 July 1949
English Heritage Building ID: 329843

OS Grid Reference: SE3119355415
OS Grid Coordinates: 431193, 455415
Latitude/Longitude: 53.9938, -1.5257

Location: Coach Road, Harrogate HG1 4SP

Locality: Harrogate
Local Authority: Harrogate Borough Council
County: North Yorkshire
Country: England
Postcode: HG1 4SP

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Listing Text


DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: Parish church of 1831 by Oates & Pickersgill, with transepts and chancel added in 1861 by Lockwood & Mawson.

MATERIALS: Hammer-dressed sandstone, slate roof.

PLAN: Cruciform plan with west tower and porches, north organ chamber, south vestry and crypt.

EXTERIOR: The nave and west tower are in the simple Gothic of the early C19. The 5-bay nave has a plain parapet, pilaster buttresses with gabled caps and square corner pinnacles, with tall pointed windows. On the north side is a shorter window in the first bay above a link to the parish centre. The tower is 4 stages, with angle buttresses rising to gabled caps, and embattled parapet. Windows have broad chamfers. There is a large pointed west window below a shorter window in the 2nd stage, round clock in the short 3rd stage, and pointed belfry opening with louvres. The tower is flanked by gabled porches that house the stairs. They have pointed west doorways with double doors, above which are cusped circles, and pointed north and south stair windows. Transepts and chancel are in a more studied Early-English style. Transept north and south windows are paired lancets with ringed shafts, on the south side above a pointed doorway with 2 orders of shafts. The chancel east window is 3 stepped lancets with similar detail to the transepts, below 2 blind trefoils, and in the north wall are paired lancets. The north organ chamber has a lancet window in its gabled east wall. The later south vestry obscures a south chancel window. The vestry is under a pitched roof at right angles to the chancel, with a projecting gable in its east wall.

INTERIOR: The nave roof is closely spaced queen-post trusses with diagonal struts, on brackets and a foliage cornice. Behind the trusses is a plastered ceiling incorporating cast-iron grilles. In the nave west wall are triangular-headed doorways from the gallery stairs and blind Tudor arch above the gallery. At the east end are transept arches with continuous moulding, and crossing arches on corbelled shafts. The head and foliage corbels are gilded. The crossing has a wooden rib vault. Chancel and transepts have arched-brace roofs. Walls are plastered, and walls and roofs are painted. The floor is paved with flagstones, and has raised floorboards below pews. Porches retain stairs with twisted iron balusters and wooden hand rail.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The only surviving fixture of 1831 is the 3-sided raked gallery. It is carried on cast-iron quatrefoil posts with bell capitals, and its panelled front incorporates an open quatrefoil frieze. Other fixtures are later. The font in the south transept is dated 1875, and has a quatrefoil freestone bowl with inscription, on marble shafts. The High-Victorian alabaster pulpit is square with bowed front and has arcading on marble shafts, carried on 5 marble pillars with waterleaf capitals. Early C20 benches have moulded ends with arm rests and roundels. Chancel fittings are also of the early C20, including wooden screens to organ chamber and vestry, and communion rail. Choir stalls by Thompson of Kilburn have ends with poppy heads, and open fronts. The reredos by Ninian Comper is a hinged triptych with quattrocento-style painting in gilded panels, incorporating a central gilded Ascension. Nave windows have pictorial glass in ovals and the east window is by Powell & Co.

HISTORY: Parish church of 1831 by John Oates (1793-1831) of Halifax in partnership with James Pickersgill (c1807-69) of York. John Oates had a busy practice in the 1820s, during which he built several Gothic churches. His best-known secular works were Huddersfield Infirmary and Halifax Assembly and Concert Rooms. Plans of 1831 do not show the west porches, and suggest that originally there was no projecting chancel. Transepts and the present chancel were added in 1861 by Henry Lockwood (1811-78) & William Mawson (1828-1889), architects of Bradford, in a more archaeological Early-English style; they are best known for their work at Saltaire, Yorkshire. In 1988 a parish centre was added on the north side of the church, with link from the north entrance to the nave.

Pevsner, N., The Buildings of England: Yorkshire, West Riding (1967), 248.
Lambeth Palace Library, Incorporated Church Building Society Archives.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: Christ Church, Church Square, Harrogate, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The west end of the church retains the simple Gothic style characteristic of the early C19 and, with the addition of the more archaeologically correct transepts and chancel, demonstrates changing architectural fashion in the C19.
* It is one of a minority of early-C19 churches that has retained its original 3-sided gallery.
* There is a range of early C20 fittings of consistent quality, of which the Anglo-Catholic reredos by Comper is especially notable.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.