History of St James’ Church

The Church owes its existence to the influence of the Brook family who seem to have moved to the area from Manningham in the late 1770’s when William Brook arrived. His son, James Brook owned James Brook & Sons, one of the largest mills in the area.

In 1838 a dual purpose building was erected by James Brook, to serve both as a school and a church with private dwellings at each end for the minister and school master. This building was soon found to be too small and plans were approved for another church building. The new Church was consecrated in 1845. The former building was then used as a Sunday and Day school until its closure in 1962.

A parsonage was built in 1856, though the congregation had to wait until 1931 for electricity to be installed in the Church. The cemetery contains many gravestones with monumental inscriptions to various members of the Brook family who gave much to the area, including a new school, built in 1856 by Charles Brook and the People’s Pleasure Grounds provided by Charles Brook, junior.