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Felliscliffe Chapel of Ease

Link to 518
(click photos to enlarge)

Lying in the south-western fringes of Hampsthwaite parish and some two or more miles from the parish church of St.Thomas a'Becket, this chapel has served outlying worshipers since its construction in about 1893. In this photograph we see not only the chapel but part of the adjacent block of five almshouses erected at the same time and part of the same generous gift by members of the Hezmalhalch family.


Lying in the south-western fringes of Hampsthwaite parish and some two or more miles from the parish church of St.Thomas, this chapel has served outlying worshipers since its construction in about 1893. In this photograph we see not only the chapel but part of the adjacent block of five almshouses erected at the same time and part of the same generous gift by members of the Hezmalhalch family. An excellent account of the history of that family can be found on the internet at www.wigglesworth.me.uk/riley/pdf/hezmalhalch.pdf .

That account extends beyond the years we are concerned with here but this is what is said there about the brothers Thomas and James………….

It seems to have been about this time (1866) that the brothers retired together…From living ‘on the job’ (millwrights and iron moulders) in Sheepscar (Leeds) they had gradually moved out into more salubrious parts, first to Potternewton and then to Thorner, a village on the outskirts of Leeds where they were living at the time of the 1871 census. From 1864-79 they had been involved in numerous property transactions in and around Leeds, the houses at Beeston being one. In August 1878 they had moved to the village of Kettlesing in the Parish of Felliscliffe just outside Harrogate where they bought ‘several closes or parcels of ground with buildings amounting to 14 acres 24 perches’ and built an imposing Victorian residence, complete with turret and a billiard room.The ..brothers and their sister lived there with an adopted son….They had called their new home Hollybank. Less than three miles away, just outside Ripley, is Hollybank Wood.

Ten years later Thomas and James died within four days of each other. (Their surviving brother Joseph and sister Mary) then built a chapel, together with five adjoining almshouses in their memory. Following Joseph’s death in 1896, Mary dedicated the east window in the chapel, the only colour in a simple building, to the memory of all four of her brothers.

Built by Joseph and Miss Mary Hezmalhalch, the contractor being Mr Henry Abbot
Built by Joseph and Miss Mary Hezmalhalch, the contractor being Mr Henry Abbot

An excellent account of the history of the Hezmalhalch family can be found on the internet at http://www.wigglesworth.me.uk/riley/pdf/Hezmalhalch.pdf

That account extends beyond the years we are concerned with here but this is what is said there about the brothers Thomas and James. . .

“It seems to have been about this time (1866) that the brothers retired together. . . From living ‘on the job’ (millwrights and iron moulders) in Sheepscar (Leeds) they had gradually moved out into more salubrious parts, first to Potternewton and then to Thorner, a village on the outskirts of Leeds where they were living at the time of the 1871 census. From 1864-79 they had been involved in numerous property transactions in and around Leeds, the houses at Beeston being one. In August 1878 they had moved to the village of Kettlesing in the Parish of Felliscliffe just outside Harrogate where they bought ‘several closes or parcels of ground with buildings amounting to 14 acres 24 perches’ and built an imposing Victorian residence, complete with turret and a billiard room.The ..brothers and their sister lived there with an adopted son. . . They had called their new home Hollybank. Less than three miles away, just outside Ripley, is Hollybank Wood.

Ten years later Thomas and James died within four days of each other. (Their surviving brother Joseph and sister Mary) then built a chapel, together with five adjoining almshouses in their memory. Following Joseph’s death in 1896, Mary dedicated the east window in the chapel, the only colour in a simple building, to the memory of all four of her brothers.

Link to http://www.hampsthwaite.org.uk/get.html?_Action=GetImage&_Key=SummaryImage&_Id=519&_Wizard=0&_DontCache=1319705084&_Extension=.jpg
In loving memory of my brothers
John, Thomas, James and Joseph Hezmalhalch
Dedicated by Mary Hezmalhalch A.D. 1900

Mary continued living at Hollybank until her death in 1909 at the age of eighty-six. All four had left considerable fortunes, Thomas almost £32,000, James £14,000, Joseph £18,000 and Mary £34,706 17s 3d. Their grandfather. . . would have been proud of them.”

The account goes on to record numerous benefactions made by the family including Mary’s contribution of £500 to the cost (£1500) of the restoration of St. Thomas’ church at the beginning of the 20th century and several thousand pounds for the upkeep of the church and almshouses and for the local school. Two trusts continue to operate to this day, one for the chapel and the other for the almshouses.

A tablet set in the wall of the almshouses records their origins as does another in the chapel tower. . .

 - click for full size image
 - click for full size image
George Wainwright playing the organ, built in 1911 at a cost of £132 - click for full size image
George Wainwright playing the organ, built in 1911 at a cost of £132

Here are some views of the chapel interior. . .

 - click for full size image
 - click for full size image
 - click for full size image
 - click for full size image
 - click for full size image
http://www.hampsthwaite.org.uk/get.html?_Action=GetImage&_Key=Data4450&_Id=519&_Wizard=0&_DontCache=1319705746&TinyMCE=1&_Extension=.jpg - click for full size image

and a view of the north side of the chapel and the adjacent graveyard...
and a view of the north side of the chapel and the adjacent graveyard...
Felliscliffe Chapel of Ease
(click photos to enlarge)
Link to 518