West Riding of Yorkshire

St. John, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire

St. John the Evangelist is the oldest surviving church in Leeds. Although the Parish Church of St. Peter predated it by many centuries, that church was entirely rebuilt during the Victorian period.

St John’s was built between 1632 and 1634 at a time when few new churches were being constructed as England was shuttling backwards and forwards between religious ideologies. The reason for its construction can be traced to one man, John Harrison, a wealthy wool merchant who paid for the entire construction. Many of the internal fixtures and fittings still survive from this original church.

In the mid-19th Century moves were afoot to demolish St. John’s and rebuild a new church elsewhere. Two architects, Norman Shaw and the ever-present Sir George Gilbert Scott, protested and the church was saved. Shaw was employed to modernise which he did with superb regard for the original structure.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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