Holtye Common – St Peter

Though originally a chapelry in Hartfield parish, Holtye Common has been in the parish of Hammerwood (itself a C19 creation) since 1880.  The first chapel was built in 1834-36 and was designed by W Moseley (ICBS).  Like most of his churches it was a simple rectangle with lancets and an east triplet, which cost £650 (SRS 75 p61).  The only unusual feature was a south east belfry, rising from the ground.  It had one of Moseley’s spindly roofs with central pendants.

Nothing visible remains of this chapel, whch would have seemed lamentably old fashioned by the late C19.  In 1892 a faculty was granted (WSRO Ep/II/27/142) to replace it with one by L W Ridge (BAL Biog file).  Possibly some walling in the nave was retained, refaced with rough cut stone to match the new work.  Though small, there is a fully developed chancel, separated from the nave by an arch with leaf-corbels.  The nave windows have bar tracery and those in the chancel are trefoiled lancets with shafted rere-arches.  At the west end is a stone belfry, rather more substantially proportioned than many, with flying buttresses over a sizeable porch.  The nave has shafted west lancets that are also part of this composition.  The elaboration is repeated inside the porch as it is, unexpectedly, vaulted.  Ridge had high standards in carpentry and the fine nave roof has crownposts and side-braces on foliage corbels.

The chapel was made redundant in 2007 and the future of the building remains undecided (2018), but the churchyard, though somewhat overgrown, remains in use.


Font: Round bowl with shafts, probably dating from 1892.
1. (East window) R Hancock, 1917 (signed).  He is known to have produced designs as a freelancer for Heaton, Butler and Bayne (BE(E) p484), so they may have been the manufacturer.
2. (North chancel, first window) Jones and Willis, 1925 (signed).
Reredos: Stone with mosaics bearing the Ten Commandments etc, J Powell and Sons, designed by H W Lonsdale, 1892 (Hadley list).  This was decidedly old fashioned by this date.
Tiling: (Lower walls of the sanctuary) Probably also 1892.

My thanks to Nick Wiseman for the photographs