St Peter's Parish Church Under Construction
In the latter half of the eighteenth century, it was noticed that Gildersome's growing population needed its own place of worship. Traveling to Batley parish church for every function was a journey of eight miles over rutted, pitted and sometimes muddy roads, most often made on foot. In 1774 it was decided that a Chapel of ease be built on the site of today's St Peter's. "A chapel of ease is a church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently" (Wikipedia). On the 15th of February, 1873, the entire church building was destroyed by fire, a gas stove was thought to be the cause.
In 1874, work began on a new church, quite a bit larger and more ornate, it performed services for nearly one hundred years. In the 1960s and 70s, operational costs became too great and the parish placed the property up for sale but structural problems forced its demolition in the 1980s. Today, a third and modern St Peter's occupies the same space as its predecessors.
There will be more to come on St Peter's presently.