MORLEY, West Yorkshire – St Paul, Town End. 


A new nave, designed by George Fellowes Prynne, was consecrated 1893.  It is the typical “barn” with the usual barrel roof. The arches, furniture, flooring and overall layout are standard.  A tower and stone spire were planned but never built.

The Builder ran several short articles describing this church.  The second suggests that the whole of the original church was demolished first, but observation (see photograph below) suggests that this was the intention, but not what actually transpired.


The present church at Morley, which has been built some twelve years, being found to be much too small for this quickly-increasing town, it has been decided to build a new church, using up as far as possible the material of the old building. Designs have been prepared by Mr. Geo. H. Fellowes Prynne, of Westminster, and the contract for the nave and transepts has been undertaken by Messrs. Sugden Bros., contractors, of Morley.  The total cost of the church, with chancel, vestry and baptistry complete, will be about £8,800. (The Builder 29 July 1893)

On Saturday, September 16, the foundation-stone of the new church of St. Paul’s, Morley, was laid by the Duchess of Devonshire, to whom a silver trowel was presented by the teachers and children of the Sunday School.  The new church is being build upon the site of a small and poorly-built building erected in 1877.  The old building has been removed, and is to be partially rebuilt as part of the north transept and vestries in the new church.  The new church consists of a nave 95 ft. long, 28 ft. broad and 40 ft. high, and is divided into five bays.  The two easternmost arches, of arcade on either side, open into north and south transepts, the latter being double gabled, and form the nave of a side chapel.  An apsidal baptistry is placed at the west end, with north and south porches.  A lofty arch, carries up into the roof, divides the nave from a chancel 44 ft. in length and of the same height and width as the nave.  The altar is raised nine steps from the nave floor level, and sanctuary, fitted with requisite accessories and ample space, is allowed for a large choir organ chamber and vestries, and heating arrangements are placed on the north side of chancel.  The church, when completed, will accommodate nearly 900 adults.  The cost of the nave, i.e., the portion now in hand, will be about £5,500, and the cost of chancel, vestries, and chapel will be about £3,000.  The building is being carried out from the designs and under the immediate supervision of Mr. George H. Fellowes Prynne, of Westminster, and the contract has been undertaken by Messrs. Sugden Bros., of Morley.  (The Builder 23 Sept 1893)

The new nave of St. Paul’s Church, Morley, was consecrated  on the 25th ult. By the Bishop of Wakefield.  The edifice occupies the site of the old church, which was consecrated in 1877 by the Bishop of Ripon.  The church had only sittings for 275 persons.  The building committee sought the advice of Mr. G. H. Fellowes Prynne, architect, of Westminster, who submitted a report to the effect that the old building could not be enlarged in any way to meet the requirements of the new district.  Mr. Prynne prepared plans of a new nave, with side aisles and transepts, to afford accommodation for 800 persons.  The complete scheme, however, includes the erection of a chancel, a tower with spire, and a baptistery.  The cost of the whole scheme is estimated at £10,000, and the cost of than portion which has just been completed is estimated at £6,300.  The new church a is stone building of the Early English Transitional period.  The nave, which is entered under a massive archway, is lofty and broad…itself giving accommodation for 446 adults in front of the chancel and altar.  The roof is of ribbed barrel-vault frame.  Stone pillars support the arches of the nave, the main spandrels over the arcade being surmounted by clearstory [sic] quatrefoil windows.  The north and south aisles abut against the three western bays of the nave, the northern aisle being reconstructed from the north aisle of the old church.  The porch leading to this is the old porch rebuilt.  A double transept is thrown out on either side, terminating in a chancel aisle.  The north transept consists of a portion of the old nave, rebuilt in a new position, and terminates in choir-vestry and organ-chamber.  A western exit is supplied to each transept.  A clergy and choir-vestry, with a heating-chamber under, is placed at the eastern side of the door, both entrances having separate entrances for a porch and to the church.  The materials of the old church have been reused to the utmost possible extent.  The seats in the nave and transepts consist of chairs.  The hot-water system of heating the church has been adopted, the apparatus being supplied by Mr. de Ridder, of Liverpool.  The tower has been designed to be placed at the south-west end of the south aisle, and it may be built, in future, without injury to, or interference with, the new church.  The whole of the work in connexion with the erection of the nave has been carried out by Messrs. J. & J. Sugden.  Mr. J. Wornell has been clerk of works, and Mr. R. H. Hale quantity surveyor.  (The Builder 2 Feb 1895)

All that was completed was the nave.

Externally, the reuse of much of the stone from the old church has ensured continuity between the original chancel and sanctuary, and the new nave.

The supplement to the Academy Architecture and Architectural Review of 1895 included an illustration of the exterior of Morley church, as envisaged complete.  As with many of Fellowes Prynne’s designs, the building was never completed.

The illustration of the exterior is from the 1895 Supplement of the Academy Architecture and Architectural Review.