Helme is a small village in Meltham township, five miles southwest of Huddersfield. It was one of the earliest churches to be announced in the London Gazette, and unlike the others in the West Riding is described as an ecclesiastical district rather than a chapelry. Spelt Elm on the 6-inch Ordnance Survey map published in 1854, it was spelt Helme when the church was built, though Helme Lane is referred to as Elm Lane in the boundary description. The name appears to be unconnected with any trees that may have once grown here.
The Church is an attractive Victorian Gothic church with many original features, such as the Lord’s Prayer, Creed and Ten Commandments painted on the chancel walls, and the Beatitudes inscribed over the arches in the nave. The spire too is interesting, being the only wooden shingle spire in Yorkshire. It has no stained glass, thus enabling, so it is said, God’s handiwork in nature to be seen (and handy if the sermon is a bit dull).
The boundary is defined in the London Gazette of 13th August 1858. Boundary stones are mentioned twice in the description, and they do not follow the later standard pattern, being unnumbered, and consisting only of the letters H D B (for Helme District Boundary). The first mentioned still exists, at the southern end of a public footpath leading from Helme Lane to Sunny Heys Road, just west of and roughly parallel to Broadlands Road (grid ref approx SE 0992 1110). It is very small.
The second mention refers to stones (plural): one is not a free-standing stone but carved on the corner of Bent Ley former silk mill, on the main Huddersfield to Meltham road. Another boundary stone stands here, marking that between the South Crosland and Meltham Townships. Another, so far not checked, is presumably on the north-east corner of the same building.
Sources: https://huddersfield.exposed/wiki/Christ_Church,_Helme; London Gazette, 13 August 1858, issue 22173, pp 3781-2.
RWH / May 2021