The Knights Templar Chapel was destroyed in the reformation. In 1872 a chapel was opened in the loft over the Coach House & stables in Scott Lane at Castlegarth, then known as Pelham House. It had been purchased in 1871 by a prominent Catholic Mr John Bradley, who was the owner of a coach building business in Leeds. Mr. Bradley felt there should be provision for the Wetherby parishioners who had previously been served by the community of Oblates of Mary Immaculate at Sicklinghall, which had been founded in 1854. A Catholic church, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, had been built on the estate of the Middleton Family of Stockeld Park.
In September 1880 plans were drawn up to replace the ‘upper room’ with a permanent church to be built on farmland in Westgate provided for this purpose by Mr Joseph Hirst, a member of the congregation. St Joseph’s Church was officially opened in 1882 and the Chapel closed.
The Catholic faith was persecuted in England until 1766 when the Pope recognised the English Monarchy as lawful, and this led eventually to the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 and decades later to the Restoration of the English Catholic hierarchy.
Dioceses (replacing districts) were re-established by Pope Pius IX in 1850. This group of Catholic communities were bravely establishing themselves quiet early on after the 1829 Act.
Thank you to Michael Hare for providing this information