high harrogate Christ Church  SE 312554

Return to Harrogate Deanery

History

The original Parish Church of High Harrogate.  In 1749 a chapel of ease was built.  It was altered in the 1790's and again in 1806 and 1812.  It had a bell in a turret.  A nearby site was acquired and a new church was built in 1831 by John Oates and Company of Huddersfield. It was extended in 1862 by Lockwood and Mawson. Almost identical churches exist at Lindley (Huddersfield) and Idle (Bradford). The West tower had its pinnacles removed in 1937.

When the old chapel was demolished the fittings were sold to the Congregationalists for 100 - this included (without them realising) the bell which had cost 70 in 1812.  Legal advice was sought but the Congregationalists won and the bell still hangs in West Park URC (q.v.).  This bell was reputed to contain more silver than any other church bell in Yorkshire.

Bells

Three bells.  The smallest and largest are hung for ringing and the second bell is hung dead. The Mears bells retain their six canons and the Taylor bell was cast without.  The smallest bell is probably cracked and is disused.  In 1914 an estimate was received for 360 for a peal of eight bells incorporating the three already there.  In 1919, as a war memorial, a Mr Webster offered to start a fund and to pay for one or two bells.   In the early 1960's Ronald Dove again raised the question of bells but once again nothing materialised.

Bell Founder Date Cwt-Qtr-Lb Diameter Note
1 Thomas II Mears 1831 c5cwt 26.25" E flat
2 Thomas II Mears 1831 c12cwt 40.25" G
3 John Taylor of Loughborough 1874 22cwt 51" E flat

Inscriptions

1.    IB:    T. MEARS OF LONDON FECIT  1831.

2.    IB:    T. MEARS OF LONDON FECIT  1831.

3.    IB:    J : TAYLOR & Co..  BELLFOUNDERS  LOUGHBOROUGH  1874

Poppleton

HARROGATE (Christ Church). Three bells.

1 & 2.              T MEARS OF LONDON FECIT  1831

3.                  TAYLOR & CO BELL FOUNDERS LOUGHBOROUGH  1874

Frame and Fittings

The treble (pictured above) is hung for full circle ringing from a wooden headstock with plain bearings.  Only half the wheel remains and the stay is broken.  The slider is a short wooden stub pivoted at the outside edge of the frame and projecting just a short way into the pit. The timber frame is low-sided but stands on legs, with various pieces of bracing, at the north side of the tower.

The second bell is hung dead from a wooden deadstock spanning two wooden beams high up at the west side of the tower.  It has an external clock hammer by which the hours are sounded.

The tenor hangs in a substantial wooden frame with a wooden headstock, hoop gudgeons and plain bearings with traditional stay and slider.   The full wheel has lost most of its shrouding. Clearly the frame and fittings are contemporary with the bell and of the same manufacture.  Swung until recently it is now sounded by an Ellacombe hammer.

Clock

A two train movement by Thwaites and Reed of Clerkenwell, London 1831.  Now fitted with auto-wind.  It was given by Wm Sheepshanks Esqr. of High Harrogate (a Chapel Warden).

Sources

ARA visited February 2003.

Yorkshire The West Riding - Nikolas Pevsner and Enid Ratcliffe [2nd edition]

A History of Christ Church, High Harrogate - Kenneth John Brock