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A638/Wormald St, Liversedge - Church/Burial Ground

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Barbara Report 31 Mar 2013 10:28

I wonder if anyone can help me. I know the library of the area probably can but, having made quite a step forward this weekend with my family history, I can't wait for them to open after the Easter break and want to be moving on if I can.

I have discovered (yesterday) the past existence (and it is still shown on a photo taken in approx 1963) a chapel and burial ground at the junction of the A638 and Wormald St, in Liversedge, W Yorkshire. On an ordnance survey map of 1905 this site in labelled "Congregational Chapel and Burial Ground" and, on visiting it yesterday, there are numerous MIs that now form a pathway through this lawned area with seating.

What I need to discover is the actual name of the chapel that occupied this site so that I can track down the records to the same. Searches on the internet detail a number of churches/chapels in the area but do not name them and it is not clear which this would be.

Can anyone with knowledge of this area help please. I would be immensely grateful as I may then be able to move on with my research over the weekend.

Many thanks
PS - I know I should be patient but I am sure you all know how it feels when you get the bit between your teeth and are excited to move on.

PPS - Taking mum in law to church now but will be back on GR approx 1pm.


Reggie Report 31 Mar 2013 10:48

It is possible that the name of it was simply as you have found.

I grew up in the vicinity of a 'Congregational Church', which was so named. It was not dedicated to a Saint, or any other entity


KathleenBell Report 31 Mar 2013 10:57

I have no idea if this is talking about the same building but it's the only thing I can find on Google about a chapel in Liversedge:-'s_Wesleyan_Methodist_Church,_Liversedge

As Reggie says it could just have been called the "Congregational Chapel".

Kath. x


Barbara Report 31 Mar 2013 13:36

Many thanks for your help - I was not aware of the "Off the Record" pages Kath and am off to have a look what else I can find there.

On the 1905 map I have of the area there are 3 chapels shown on that stretch of the (now) A638: - there is the one I refer to above, marked"Congregational Chapel and Burial Ground" and a little further down the road, 2 almost opposite each other as the road opens out to The Green. One is marked "Methodist Chapel (Free United)" and the other just "Methodist Chapel" so I think the St John's would more than likely be one of these.

I am off to look further and see if I can discover anything further re the "Congregational Chapel and Burial Ground". My great great grandfather (and it is his father to whom my research referred) was a lay preacher with the Congregational church and that is why I am anxious to find a name for this and where the records are.

Thanks once again


Reggie Report 31 Mar 2013 13:38


Barbara Report 31 Mar 2013 14:10

Hi and thanks for the leads
Kath, your link to the "Off the Record" has taken me to listings of W Yorkshire places of worship and I shall work through some possibles, looking at the history and the dates I have (the building is still standing in 1963) but no longer there now, and see if I can piece anything together.

Many thanks


Barbara Report 1 Apr 2013 00:04

Just thought I would update - thank you for all your help. Have now identified the chapel in question as Westgate Congregational Chapel (1787 - 1957). It seems it was demolished in 1974. It was also known as the New Chapel or the Lower Chapel.

Many thanks


KathleenBell Report 1 Apr 2013 00:40

Thanks for the update. Pleased you found what you were looking for and can now hopefully find records at the county records office.

Kath. x


Barbara Report 8 Apr 2013 11:18

Have now tracked down records for Westgate Congregational Chapel (courtesy of Huddersfield and District Family History Society) but, although there are a few TOWNENDS, none are the ones I was looking for. Ah well . . .


mgnv Report 8 Apr 2013 20:53

Well, some of this post is redundant due to new posts

After an exhaustive study of the subject - well 10 min - it seems that congregational church are governed by the congregation, somewhat like the presbyterians, and not at all like the episcopalian bishop governed C of E model.
In the 1970s the congregationalists and the presbyerians in England joined together to form the United Reform Church.
Naturally, a sizeable minority of Congregations didn't go along with the idea, so didn't join in.

There is a United Reform Church on Norristhrpe Lane 1km to S
and another on High St, Heckmanwike 1km to E.

Here's the Heckmanwike web site:

I would suggest contacting them with your questions.

They've also got some historical articles on site:
"It was also during Mr Hales's pastorate that or first
Sunday School (in conjunction with Westgate Chapel)
was formed, viz., in the year 1810, but judging from the
items of expenditure religious teaching did not take up
much time, as we find that a good deal of the money was
expended on alphabets, primers, slates, pencils, writing
books, and ink, and that not only children but grown up
men and women were instructed in elementary subjects.
In 1812 there were 250 persons "receiving instruction,"
..." [page 20]

Interesting, that - I never realized how involved in ordinary education Sunday schools were.

Go to and enter the OS coorinates 421050,423650.
It's hard to read the 1" maps [1:10560], but there is a chapel in the area on the oldest (1854/5) map, but it could be an older chapel, since demolished - the landmark of Wormald St doesn't exist back then, and I can't make out the word each side of "Chapel".
By 1890, there's a Congregational Chapel in the corner of the Burial Ground.
On 1956-8, it's called Westgate Congregational Church.
The building last appears on the 1983 map, but not the 1983-5 map.
In 1988-95, there's a "Chapel" designation on the map, but no building in the corner of the burial grounds.


Barbara Report 9 Apr 2013 16:12

Mgnv, many thanks for all the info - I am off to read through the Upper Chapel historical sketch now. This is for the Upper Chapel but, you never know, there may be some mention of the Lower Chapel too.

Whilst in Flush, I called at the local Heckmondwike Library but they have a very small and rather limited local history section and I believe I would need to visit Huddersfield Library or even Wakefield Record Office now. They did, however, have copies of the maps to which you refer - many thanks for all the super info.

I have my family living at 47 Flush, Liversedge, (my 3 x gtgrandfather), William TOWNEND and other members of the family in surrounding streets (no longer there) in the 1841 through to the 1871 census (after which he dies). His son was a (Sunday) School Master and Lay Preacher and I am keen to find out at which church/chapel and also to try and get further back if I can.

Once again, many thanks