by Ken Sutcliffe


The remains of the original church at Rodwell End in 1950. Photo by kind permission of Roger Birch

This is the oldest of the Baptist Churches, being able to trace its origins to the year 1717, when it was founded at Rodwell End. Up on the hillside to the left of the road from Todmorden to Halifax, it was used until 1783 after which it was rebuilt as a Methodist Church. It is believed that it is now incorporated into farm buildings and used as a barn or for storage.
In the years after 1783, the members at Rodwell End joined with other non-conformists/dissenters, but built a new chapel at Millwood in 1808. Although consisting of only two rooms, this building was a hive of activity every day of the week. These were golden years for attendance at chapels, which also hosted flourishing Sunday Schools and social activities.

In 1877, the Church moved from Millwood to Roomfield, closer to the centre of Todmorden, and the new building was much larger and more imposing with room for 750 worshippers. The Sunday School had 450 members in the years leading up to the Great War but after the war shared the decline in attendance which affected all Churches.

photo by kind permission of Frank Woolrych


Taken in 2005

Ministries were shared with other chapels and the building itself was demolished following the discovery of dry rot in 1953, the schoolroom building following for the same reason in 1959. Services and other activities continued to be held along with the Methodists in the Central Methodist Church, but the members were able to open the new, much smaller Roomfield chapel in 1962.

There is no burial ground. The church was licensed for marriages and the marriage registers for 1899-1959  are held at the

West Yorkshire Archives(Calderdale)

Taken about 1880

Photo by kind permission of Roger Birch




The following deeds relating to Roomfield Chapel are held in the West Riding Registry of Deeds. The reference number is shown alongside the details. For further information on the registry, see

The information was kindly researched and supplied by Alan Longbottom to whom we are very grateful.



Todmorden Particular Baptists Connexion   1888 019 546 311  

Memorial of Indenture Registered at Wakefield 6th July 1888 dated 25th June 1888


  • John Greenwood of Burnley in the county of Lancaster corn merchant
  • Charles Roberts of Burnley merchant

of the 1st part.  

  • John Knowles of Red Lees near Burnley esquire Barrister at Law

of the 2nd part


  • Abraham Tilling of Todmorden draper
  • William Clayton of Todmorden joiner
  • Ellis Newell of Todmorden sizer
  • Thomas Sutcliffe of Todmorden grocer
  • John Tilling of Todmorden bookkeeper
  • John Greenwood of Brierfield nr Burnley weaver
  • William Sutcliffe of Rawtenstall county Lancaster joiner
  • James Barnes of Bacup in the said county spinner
  • John Fawcett of Halifax in the county of York manufacturer
  • James Maude of Hebden Bridge wood turner
  • William Henry Clay of Hebden Bridge commission agent
  • William Ingham of Hebden Bridge weaver
  • Thomas Foulds of Walsden county Lancaster mill furnisher
  • William Sutcliffe formerly of Bacup now in Australia sewing machine agent
  • John Ashworth Lord of Barrow in Furness county Lancaster agent

all of the 3rd part Being trustees of the Particular Baptist Connexion Todmorden aforesaid.


All that plot of freehold land situate in Langfield in the Parish of Halifax containing by admeasurement 1,493 square yards or thereabouts, being part and parcel of lands and hereditaments by th Will of John Knowles deceased authorised to be leased for building purposes and which piece of land is part of a close of land there called Roomfield, part of Roomfield Estate, and which piece of land is bounded on or towards the north by the River Calder, measuring on that side 17 feet 6 inches, on or towards the south by the Turnpike Road leading from Todmorden to Halifax, measuring on that side 80 feet, on or towards the east by land late belonging to Mr. Ramsbottom, measuring on that side 311 feet, and on or towards the west by an intended street measuring on that side 308 feet 6 inches, and which piece of land is more particularly delineated by the plan drawn in the margin of an Indenture of Lease dated the 7 th June 1877 and made between:


  • John Greenwood and Hiram Uttley

of the 1st part

  • Thomas Knowles


of the 2nd part
  • Abraham Tilling,
  • William Clayton,
  • James Chambers,
  • Ellis Newell,
  • Thomas Sutcliffe,
  • John Tilling,
  • John Greenwood,
  • William Sutcliffe,
  • James Barnes,
  • John Fawcett,
  • James Maude,
  • William Henry Clay,
  • William Ingham,
  • Thomas Foulds,
  • William Sutcliffe,
  • John Ashworth Lord


all of the 3rd part


Being in such Plan circumscribed with a Red border, and all that the yearly rent of 49 pounds, 15 shillings and 4 pence reserved by such Indenture.


Witnesses - D.T. Cruickshank, Captain Essex Regiment and Jonathan Pilkington of Burnley clerk to Messrs Artindale and Artindale solicitors of Burnley.