Jump to content
Moz88

UK Mount Saint Mary's Church

Recommended Posts

This was not an easy one but worth the bruises, cuts and grazes in my opinion!

 

The following information was gleaned from the web and (mostly) from other reports:
 

This is Mount Saint Mary's Convent Church (or “the Famine”) church of Leeds; in an area known as “the Bank” on the crest of Richmond Hill. The church reportedly sits upon a network of mines, split into three levels, that date back to the 1600’s. Built in a Gothic revival style, the building was designed by Joseph Hansom with its interior designed by Edward Pugin (son of Augustus Pugin, who is responsible for the interior of the Palace of Westminster), at a cost of £8000. The church was opened in 1852 although the building was not fully complete until 1866. The building was designated Grade II* status on the 5th August 1976.

In 1829 the Catholic Emancipation Act was passed and by 1850 the Catholic hierarchy was restored to England. The country was divided into various dioceses and the construction of various churches and cathedrals ensued – with Mount Saint Mary’s as one of them. The founders of the church begun construction without any explicit guarantee for funding in order to serve the burgeoning Irish population who had emigrated to Leeds to escape the ruinous potato famine in Ireland. The church was dedicated in a ceremony presided over by Bishop Briggs, on the 29th July 1857; the ceremony was attended by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman, and the founder of the Oblates, Eugène de Mazenod, who was made a saint in 1995.

The area in which the church was built had recently transformed from arable to industrial usage and had attracted a large proportion of the incoming destitute Irish Catholic population. They had emigrated there in order to pick up work in the construction of canals and railways, as well as the plethora of local mills. The area itself was denoted by poverty and housing conditions were considerably appalling; being an industrial area the quality of the environment was notably grim. The city council itself was interested in the new demographic predominantly for their utility as cheap labour and as such did very little to meet the needs of their spiritual or physical wellbeing. After the Irish potato famine, the Irish Catholic population of Leeds had risen from a purported 50 in 1780 to 10,000 in 1850.

The church was established at the persuasion of a group of men of St Saviour’s church in Leeds, who had left the Anglican church in order to become Roman Catholics. Funding was raised by the local Irish Catholic population, as well as a mysterious benefactor who donated a significant sum of money despite remaining anonymous. A school was founded in 1853 to serve the Irish Catholic girls, who were mostly working in the local flax mills, at a fee of 2d per week. By 1858 they had raised enough funds to establish their own covenant next door which remains open to this day. The church served as testament to the solidarity and resolve of the Irish Catholic refugee community whilst it remained in use.

Following the Second World War the majority of those living in the area were rehoused as part of a national relocation scheme aimed at improving the quality of housing in Britain. As a result, the congregation halved in size and by 1979 the parish’s population had fallen to 790. As the church was positioned at the top of a hill it was subject to heavy winds and was especially vulnerable to poor weather. Falling into a state of disrepair it was determined that the cost to bring the church back to a safe state would come to £1.5 million. For such a small congregation, this was considered too expensive and in June 1989 the Oblates of Mary Immaculate passed the church over to the Diocese of Leeds for deconsecration. The site was sold to the Sanctuary Housing Trust in 1996 and has remained abandoned in a state of dereliction ever since.
 

36469137760_819697eb53_c.jpg

 

36725915711_4330ee4449_c.jpg

 

36469141290_f07da9e4fe_c.jpg

 

36865500065_3a93d9cb43_c.jpg

 

36725917381_1d7505274d_c.jpg

 

36725918871_79fe7d1ce2_c.jpg

 

36694853112_c6ccea23e0_c.jpg

 

36725911821_e9013fd93e_c.jpg

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice first report of a great place. I especially like the look up on the fourth photo.

Welcome to Oblivion State. Be invited to write an intro into the new members area "Just take a moment & say Hi". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By AlexAvenue
      Found our way into a small cave in the Yorkshire dales.
       
    • By AlexAvenue
      Along the road in the Yorkshire dales we came across many small caves.
      We ventured into some of them, and saw some cool things.
      Next year we plan on returning and Exploring the larger caves.
       
       



    • By Landie_Man
      As part of another backlog of our West Country Trip, @Mookster, our American Explorer Friend @cgrizzy and myself traveled to this rather derpy site.  It's one of the list but little of interest remains inside; though its quite large, with long concrete voids with some pretty good Graffiti in places.  
      Not much was going on inside; except some kids with a makeshift skate park in the middle who seemed slightly suprised to spot us.   There is some really cool shots of nature reclaiming in here; lots growing everywhere and areas have collapsed.
       
      The Dries in Wenford were built in the early part of the 20th century (likely post-1907) to serve the local china clay pit at Stannon on Bodmin Moor.  
      China Clay in liquid form was carried in a pipeline from the pit to the settling tanks behind the dries. 
       
      The dries operated until the final closure in 2002 (aside from a brief closure during WWII). The works were originally built by the Stannon China Clay Company, but were acquired by English China Clays in 1919. The choice of site was heavily influenced by the presence of an existing railway line leading from Wenford Bridge which was originally constructed to carry granite from the nearby De Lank quarries. The dry was built adjacent to the railway line and a large private siding was built to connect to the network.
       
      #1

       
      #2

       
      #3

       
      #4

       
      #5

       
      #6

       
      #7

       
      #8

       
      #9

       
      #10

       
      #11

       
      More At:
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157701301733375
    • By BrotherHoodUrbex
      History
      Maes Mynan care home was a two floor 33 bedroom care home on a site of 2.6 acres.
      The care home was for the elderly and it had its own day service and its own respite service for a short stay and emergency placements.
      The site was bought in 2013 by the healthcare company and has been left untouched since.
      The building itself we could not find much history about or anything about when the care home opened.
       
      Our Visit
      We decided to visit this place when we went out on a day trip to Engedi chapel (report will be up soon).
      On the way back we still had a lot of daylight left so we thought we would stop in and have a look at this site after seeing a report.
      The surrounding area was very overgrown and there was a long pathway leading up to the build.
      The site itself was in pretty good condition, well worth the visit if you have any free time.
      Be mindful if you do visit as just at the back of the site, there is a house that we assumed is occupied.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • By jane doe
      The main Hartwood Hospital building block with central towers with side wings was designed and built from 1890 by the local architect J L Murray from Biggar as the Lanark District Asylum covering the Lanarkshire area. The hospital closed in 1999

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

×