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Report - St Peter's Church, Stanley, Wakefield. February 2012


off the wall
Regular User
Had a first look at this in the summer of last year, but it was after an all night trip to High Royds so was too knackered really and since it was mid afternoon, there were too many people wandering about close by.... so we went to the pub across the road instead :)
Really nice church, but its a shame that its deteriorated so rapidly over the months, partly due to the vast amount of pigeons there.
Wish I had made the effort to go back last year, but Im still pleased I had a look around. Visited with a non member friend.

Some info taken from the History of St Peter's website: -

At the end of the war with France and after the Battle of Waterloo, the country of Austria was made to pay a large amount of money to this country as war indemnity. Out of this a sum of one million pounds was devoted to providing churches in areas which needed them. Three were provided for the Wakefield area at Thornes, Alverthorpe and Stanley. The Church at Stanley was the first to be built. The foundation stone was laid on l3th September, 1822 by Francis Maude of Hatfield Hall who was a barrister in Wakefield. The Church was opened nearly two years later on 6th September, 1824.
On February 18th, 1911 a terrible fire occurred. The building was completely gutted and only the outer walls remained. The fire was noticed at about three o'clock and the fire brigade was sent for. Unfortunately the local fire-fighting facilities were very poor and it was some time before a suitable engine was sent for from Wakefield. By this time the Church was beyond hope and as the steam fire engine arrived the roof collapsed and an impressive burst of flame leapt upwards. Fortunately brave church workers had been very busy trying to rescue as much as possible from the interior of the church -vestments, documents, church plate, especially the brass lectern, costing almost £100, which the congregation had presented to the Church as a memorial to Rev. Richard Burrell. It appears that the fire was caused by the pitch pine roof being ignited by heat from the boiler which was situated at the east end of the church in the vaults. [This heating system had replaced the open fireplaces which had been built with the church]. An iron pipe carried smoke from the boiler up through the timbered roof.


The church authorities at Stanley wasted no time and a fund was opened for the rebuilding of the church. The shell of the gutted church was used in the construction of the new building. The interior stonework was constructed of Ancaster stone, the exterior of Halifax stone. The arches and pillars were particularly lofty and had clerestory windows above. A large chancel was constructed at the East End to house the choir and high altar. The church was re-opened on July 5th, 1913.



















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