Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion : Foldout

Parish Church
Saint Mary the Virgin, Elland


General History of the Church

In the 12th century, the district became too large for the single parish church at Halifax, and two additional chapels of ease were established at Elland and Heptonstall.

This church served the eastern side of the parish, whilst Heptonstall Church served the western. The priests were paid by the Vicar of Halifax.

The original church was built in 1180 when masons – who had finished work on Kirkstall Abbey – built a chapel of ease at Elland, because Henry de Eland, son of Leising, disliked his people going to Halifax to worship.

It was consecrated around 1250. This is the second oldest church in Calderdale, after Halifax Parish Church. The earliest documentary evidence is from 1205.

The Pancake Bell was rung on Shrove Tuesday.

Around 1830, 3 chandeliers were stolen from the church. It was replaced by a single, larger one.

The stocks stood just outside the church gates, but were removed to the lockup.

In 1850, Rev William Atkinson began restoration work which raising the floor on which the bell-ringers stood, thereby bringing the whole of the west window into view. He died before the work was completed, and Rev Francis Musson continued with the work and with the restoration of the east window.

In 1853, a new pulpit and reading desk were installed.

In 1856, alterations were made to the chancel and the east window was restored.

In July 1865, W. H. Crossland carried out restoration work. This included

The work cost £1,500 and added seating for an extra 60 people. The church was reopened on 16th July 1866 by the Bishop of Ripon.

The records for the Church are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service office in Wakefield (Collection WDP79): Baptisms [1559-1943], Banns [1764-1975], Marriages [1559-1967] and Burials [1559-1939].

The Church is not normally open to the public.

Things to look for

Churchwardens at the Church

Churchwardens here have included

See John Aked, Elland Church & King Society, Elland Castle, Parish of Elland, Elland Parsonage, Elland Sunday School, Tomazia Holroyd, Huddersfield Road, Elland, James W. Mitchell, Northend Nicholl, Pancake Bell, St Mary the Virgin, Elland: Memorials and St Mary the Virgin, Elland: Graveyard

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© Malcolm Bull 2017 /
Revised 14:13 on 8th May 2017 / mmp431 / 11