West Riding of Yorkshire

Leeds Minster Church, West Riding of Yorkshire

There was an ancient site of worship here dating to approximately the 7th Century when Leeds was first founded. By the 10th Century a large stone church was constructed serving both Anglo-Saxon and Viking worshippers. The church grew over the medieval period and became the Parish Church for the rapidly expanding town of Leeds. St John’s Church then opened in the north of the town in 1634 and Holy Trinity in 1727. St Peter’s Parish Church, though, went into decline and by the 19th Century it was dirty, cluttered and considered unsafe. By this time Leeds was a vast, grimy industrial powerhouse.

The new vicar, Dr W F Hook, arrived in 1838 and realised that St. Peter’s was not up to its role as Parish Church, he decided it was time to remove the old and rebuild and employed architect Robert Chantrell to “build a grand building that would hold as many people as possible”. In September 1841 this new ‘grand building’ was opened with a capacity of 1600 people.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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