2nd of 4 visits on Sunday with 2 other people, was a tricky little access but worth it in the end.
Bit of an empty shell now but still worth it.
Mount St Mary's is one of the architectural treasures of the city of Leeds. It is a grade two listed building dating from 1853. The laying of the foundation stone was an act of faith in itself as the founders of the church, the missionary order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate had little idea as to where the money was to be found to complete the building. The church stands high on the crest of Richmond Hill and can be seen from many parts of the city. The slope below the church had been known for hundreds of years as 'the Bank'.
For many, Mount St Mary's is the Famine Church, the original chapel was established at a time when Ireland was only beginning to recover from the Great Hunger brought on by the failure of the potato crop in successive years from 1845 to 1851. Hundreds of families, many of them suffering from the effects of starvation and 'famine fever, found some in what became Mount St Mary's parish.
The story of how the church came to be established in the first place, on the initiative of men from the neighbouring St Saviour's Anglican church who were received into the Roman Catholic Church is more than just a footnote in English Church history. These were the people who persuaded the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to establish a chapel in Richmond Street, the Bank.
It is impossible to calculate the contribution that Mount St Mary's made in creating a community out of the mass of desperate refugees who found themselves living on the Bank or in other parts of the parish. It was not just the ministrations of the clergy that went to forge this new community. It was the work carried out in caring for the sick and the poor, the setting up of the schools and the orphanage. Most of the latter work being carried out by the Sisters of the Holy Family. One must not forget either, the sodalities and societies within the parish that did so much to bind the community together. Despite the widespread poverty and deprivation that persisted so long, it became a community with a strong identity and contributed so much to the development of the city of Leeds. (copied from another post)
Short Video from last month, lots to see here
After trying this place a while back and sacking it off as it was a dodgy access, a short while later I saw some pictures of the place and was amazed as to how big it was, fast forward a couple months and on a sunny week day me and Fat Panda headed over and after some head scratching and some climbing we made our way in and the place is huge!
Not many pics but threw a short video together
Choose either link for the video
Thanks for looking
Funny one this really. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve known about it for years but thought IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d go and check it out, its situated fairly near my house and there is a public footpath going through a yard which leads to the building. The place is Ã¢â‚¬Å“open to allÃ¢â‚¬Â but first a key must be obtained from a local shop and they decide whether to let you in or not.
The church is kind of derelict but its looked after by The Churches Conservation Trust. I chanced it and found a way in, so its kind of part permission visit, part not. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like to think of it like a proper tourist explore with "turnstiles", opening hours and a gift shop, because its not, its disused and looked after but its not got a reception, entry fee or staff moping around.
Its dusty, dark and cold inside and certainly doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the Ã¢â‚¬Å“organisedÃ¢â‚¬Â feel of a site you can Ã¢â‚¬Å“visitÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The church would have served parts of Aylesbury which no longer exist, and Quarrendon Village which is now a well known local Housing Estate.
St Marys is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. John Wesley preached his very first sermon in the church soon after he was ordained deacon in September of 1725.
The church originally dates from the 12th and 13th centuries, and could well stand on the site of an earlier church.
Some Alterations were made in the 14th and 15th centuries and a full restoration in 1868 by George Gilbert Scott.Ã¯Â¿Â½* By the 20th January 1972 the church was declared redundant and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust on 24 October 1973.
There was some work done on it in the last few years and money spent, including a one day licence so that a local family could have a wedding inside, but apart from that, its just there for local interest.
Guestbook went back to 1983