Saturday, 17 October 2020

Todmorden Unitarian Church

 Todmorden Unitarian Church is located at Honey Hole Road, Todmorden, West Yorkshire. The church was built in the memory of John Fielden a local mill owner, social reformer and member of parliament for Oldham between 1832-1847. Fielden was also a prominent member of the local unitarian movement. Building work began in 1865, paid for by his 3 sons Joshua, John and Samuel on land the Fielden family donated, the budget was not limited by them with the final bill over £35000 ( over £3.5 million at 2020 rates). The work was completed in 1869 with the church opening in April with a sermon preached by William Gaskell to a congregation of over 800 people.

The church continued to grow until the early pert of the 20th Century when like most other religions in the UK, congregations started to decline. As numbers decreased it became increasingly harder to fund the upkeep of the building and by 1987 the decision was taken to close the main church building and move services to the nearby lodge at the entrance to the church grounds. These services continued until 1992 when the church and grounds were closed completely.

After the complete closure the church decayed and was subject to large amounts of vandalism. In 1994 the Historic Chapels Trust took over the church and over the next few years spent over £1million pounds on repairs. The church is licensed for weddings and is used locally as a meeting place.

The church was granted Grade I listed status on the 22nd November 1966, with the lodge at the entrance gaining Grade II listed status on the 22nd February 1984.

The pictures below were taken in July 2020.

Todmorden Unitarian Church (2019)

They are also featured in an album of pictures I took around the church in 2013 and 2017 which can be seen in the album below.

Todmorden Unitarian Church.

The pictures below are taken from the July 2020 set.

Todmorden Unitarian Church

The church pictured from the eastern part of the grounds.

Unitarian Church Spire and Golden Lion Pub, Todmorden

The 196ft high spire pictured from the Rochdale Canal rising above the Golden Lion Pub.

Todmorden Unitarian Church Lodge

The lodge at the entrance to the church grounds.

Todmorden Unitarian Church Roof

The impressive church roof at the southern side of the church.

All the pictures taken in my various visits can also be seen in my video on YouTube. Please take a moment to subscribe to my YouTube channel.


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