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Mount St Mary's Church, interior

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Mount St Mary
Description:
November 1936. View down the nave of Mount St Mary's Church looking at the altar. The foundation stone was laid in 1853 and the nave and side aisles completed in 1857. It was built to serve the Irish immigrant community who had settled in this area after escaping the famine in Ireland. The church was closed in 1989.

User Comments:

Name:
Katie Bailey

Comment:
My grandfather paid 12/6p towards the cost of building this church,he lived in Dolphin St on the bank with my grandma and 13 children,his name was Thomas Riley. I attended the school attached to this church from 1953-1961, it also had a convent and an orphanage run by the Nun's. My grandchildren attend the school now.

Email:
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Name:
colleen

Comment:
My mother was an inmate of Mount St Marys orphanage from 1939-1952.The orphanage was run by Catholic Nuns and so she would have spent a lot of time in this church.

Email:
faircolleen@aol.com

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Name:
jack mitchell

Comment:
My mother(Jane Mansfield)went to this convent school from approx 1914 to approx 1923. Her mother(my grandmother) was Irish.Sadly i don't know her name as she died when my mother was only 15 years old. In fact both her parents had died by this time.She lived on the Bank, Then later in the Leylands, She met and married my dad (Samuel Mitchell)In 1930, Then had four sons & a daughter.(Ronald Joseph)(Terrance Desmond) (Samuel)(Myself Jack)(Jean Maria).Ronald was the second Leeds man to be killed in Korea (Sep 1950). My mum had several half sisters born to her mums first marriage,Surname of Lee.Two of them were called,Esther,and Elizabeth Lee.If anybody has any knowledge of them i would be over the moon.But i'm not holding my breath.Comment sent Aug 2006.

Email:
astrojack7mars@msn.com

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Name:
jack mitchell

Comment:
My parent's then, along with there 2 children,Ronnie, and Desmond,went to live in their new council home (59 Scott Hall Road).This was about 1934-35.Our Sam was born 14 Feb 1935.I was born 15 Aug 1937.We all went to Sheepscar School.Jean was born 1'st Jan 1946,and went to Meanwood Road School.

Email:
astrojack7mars@msn.com

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Name:
Tim Driscoll

Comment:
The picture almost captures the massive proportions of the church. I was baptised at Mount St Mary's in the late 50s and was taught at the junior school. Later married here to another "Mary's" girl, Denise Lyons. In 1989 The Church closed and has now, disgracefully, fallen into a state of disrepair. We believe that our son, Nathan, was the last child to be baptised in the summer of that year.

Email:
tim.driscoll@btopenworld.com

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Name:
Mary Wilkinson(nee Roberton)

Comment:
I attended St Mary's from 1948 then to the college I remember the May processions and was cushion bearer probaly in 1953. Katie Bailey mentions some relatives called Riley wonder if they could be related to Geraldine Riley who was at the College same tyears as I was.

Email:
maryrobeeton@aol.com

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Name:
frances wicks/kirlew

Comment:
My late mother, margaret mchugh, grew up on the bank also, along with her 5 siblings. She told us there was a nodding angel in this church - if you put a penny in it would nod it`s head up and down slowly. One day after school she went into the church with her friends, and said she would `make the angel nod for nowt.` She pushed it`s head downwards, the head fell off, and rolled away. All the kids - including my mother - ran home frightened to death. Next morning in the school hall sister said,"Come out the girl who broke the angel`s head." That was my mother - she was caned in front of the whole school for it. Seems funny now but she must have been a nervous wreck going to school that morning eh ? Strangely, no-one else remembers the nodding angel. Ps - JACK email me re your grandmother.

Email:
fwicks@btinternet.com

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Name:
eileen.haley@ntlworld.com

Comment:
I lived at The Drive, Saxton Gardens, opposite the church and attended Mt st Mary's College from 1958 to 1965, and was married at Mount St Mary's in February 1968. I remember the Lyons family - mentioned in a previous comment - they also lived in The Drive. (My maiden name was Grace). I have lived in Darwen, Lancs since 1968 and was saddened when I heard the church had closed. I still visit Leeds as I have family there and it is always feels like I am going home, even after all these years.

Email:
eileen.haley@ntlworld.com

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Name:
Pam Brown

Comment:
I was baptised at Mount St. Mary's in 1954. My family lived on the bank from the 1850's and contributed to the building of the church; they were the Freeman's and the Gilmore's. My Mum, Irene Midgley, went to the school and told horrific tales of how cruel the nuns were to the orphans. I remember the old church when the masses were still in latin. The gothic interior, always lit by candles, was quite stunning. It is an absoulute disgrace that the interior has been stripped of its treasures. All those poor Irish Catholics must be spinning in their graves.

Email:
brownpam54@aol.com

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Name:
catherine noland

Comment:
I'm a relative of Pam (see above.) If you look at www.derelictplaces.co.uk you can see interior shots of the now derelict church. Extremely beautiful and extremely sad at the same time.

Date:
08-Feb-2009

Email:
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Name:
Tim Driscoll

Comment:
Ref the nodding angel, I remember it, it used to be at the front of the Church to the side alter on the right. This Church had several alters, not just the one in the middle of the picture.

Date:
05-Feb-2010

Email:
tim.driscoll@btopenworld.com

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Name:
Don Smith

Comment:
I worked in this church and orphanage in the 1940s re painting statues and other religious symbols with Alf Cleaving our artist he taught me how to aplly gold and silver leaf I remember sanding and varnishing thoes pews. The nuns were very good to us all the time we were there with sandwiches and hot tea.

Date:
20-Nov-2012

Email:
anne-donsmith@shaw.ca

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Name:
anne dent

Comment:
iwas baptised maid my first holy communion and was confirmed in the church in the 1950's i also went to the school from 1954 to 1965 i remember the noding angel

Date:
15-Dec-2012

Email:
ianannesnaith@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
catherine kendall nee dent

Comment:
I was at mount st marys school from 1959-1969,I also remember the nodding angel that was on display at christmas,I lived in fewstone ave by the coal yeard. we moved to seacroft 1965.

Date:
15-Dec-2012

Email:
whirlygig@yahoo.com

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Name:
Michael Gibbons

Comment:
This site and picture have brought back so many memories. I was at the school at the same time as Anne Dent who I remember. How sad that we should neglect such a beautiful building.

Date:
21-Jan-2013

Email:
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Name:
Laura Plumb

Comment:
I went to the school in the 60's along with my sister caroline , jillian and brother john all deceased I do rember the lyons family well. I now live in New Zealand and am moving o Australia I a couple of weeks.Do Any of you remember the dreaded sister Philomena. My mum was a teacher at the school. I recall getting my first holy communion and also my confirmation in the church. It was always cold in that church. do you recall the dreaded miss lynch who was the secretary at the junior school. The tomasso family the murphys lots of others we lived in the lane

Date:
10-Nov-2013

Email:
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Name:
Anne Bannister (nee hepworth)

Comment:
I went to Mount St Mary's from 1958 - 1968 along with my 2 older sisters brenda and sheila. I remember the dreaded Sister Pilomena in the juniors and Sister Saline who was lovely. I often visit leeds as I still have family there. It is so sad to see and hear about the church. We seemed to be always in the church for confession, benediction or mass and doing station of the cross. Fond memories

Date:
13-Jul-2014

Email:
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Name:
Katie Bailey ( Wiggins)

Comment:
Since entering my last comment, I have set up a group called Memories of Mt St Mary's church and School on Facebook, I intend to copy details of such on here if it is permitted ( photo's and comments from members) with their permission of course. I attended Mt St Marys Roman Catholic school and church in the 50's & 60's. Please feel free to post in this group.

Date:
09-Mar-2015

Email:
katieb.4@live.co.uk

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Name:
Jo Levine ( nee Josie McHale)

Comment:
Attended the College 1958 - 1966 ( I was a slow learner!). Horrified to see the pictures of thr ruin which was a magnificent church where I spent some lovely private moments( especially at the statue of" St Philomena , Virgin Martyr and Wonder-Worker" attached to a massive anchor ( didn't really work any wonders for this did she? ) Wasn't madly keen about the Friday afternoon Benedictions( we all wanted to get home to get ready for the Friday dances) but why the powers that be in the Curia couldn't redesign this as Leeds Cathedral( rather than the less impressive St. Anne's ) is one of those 'what ifs.). Would have happily chipped in for a restoration project. I recognise some of the names here - anyone remember 'Sab' or 'Big Jo ? Lived in Toronto for years and now live in Lincolnshie - both of my sisters Geraldine & Christine & cousins Jean &Angela McHale went to the College.....Happy Days.

Date:
07-May-2015

Email:
johnlevine@btinternet.com

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Name:
Jack Leeming

Comment:
My late father JOHN JOSEPH LEEMING was an altar boy in 1917 and was the first child to receive a pair of boots under a church scheme called 'Boots for the Bairns'. He also rode a bike down the steps when older for a 3d bet. He rode the first set, hit the second in the middle and then hit the railings at the bottom by the road waking up in hospital the following day. He was lucky not to kill himself - but he won his 3d. I took him there about 1982 aged 78 for a final look around. As we walked down the nave a very old, frail, tiny nun walked by us, looked at him over her glasses and said 'Is it John Leeming'! We were taken aback and my dad recognised her too - after 65 years - wow. I'm presently trying to find the burial place of his mother BRIDGET LEEMING but so far without success. So sad to see the state of the church now. Shame.

Date:
22-Sep-2015

Email:
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Name:
Jack daly

Comment:
During W.W.2 My brother and I went from the Gipton Estate to "Mary's school" as there was not a Catholic school on the estate. I left in 1950 and among my memories is that the Girls Orphan age which had its entrance opposite the church side entrance is that after Benediction on a Friday afternoon just as everybody was looking forward to going home for the weekend they were ushered that few yards back into the Orphanage. They had the added stigma of wearing green sweaters to distinguish them from the other kids. Though I though the Nuns were kind to homeless tramps etc. who called to the convent on Church Road they seemed to rule the poor girls with a rod of iron. Another thing I recall is the on a Monday morning the Parish priest, a very large red faced Irishman, used to come round each class asking who had been , or not to Sunday Mass. I'm sure he knew in advance as he seemed to ask the same lads each week. one large family the McCanns always seemed to get it wrong giving conflicting times as which Mass they had been to. this priest would give them such a slap across the face it nearly knocked them off of their feet I was never asked as "Anyone from out of the Parish stand up" which we quickly did. The Bank area was nearly all cleared but there were enough half demolished buildings there to keep us kids happy through each lunch time. Could go on for ever...... Happy and also sad days for me.

Date:
29-Oct-2015

Email:
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Name:
M Butterfield

Comment:
Myself and my sister was placed in this orphanage between45/47 because my dad was in the forces,I am know 78yrs old and I will never forget that time as long as I live the nuns were evil and by today's standard they would be be hung out to dry for abuse plus other things to horrible to mention.My father was horrified when he came home and got us out pretty quick.I wish they were still around today

Date:
30-Nov-2015

Email:
Mabutt27@sky.com

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Name:
jane duffy

Comment:
Laura plum was your mum the French teacher at st.maries,st.Maries was joined on to st.Marys collage but I can't find any thing about the school,st.Marines joined up with st.Marys I think 1978 i left st.Maries in 1977,anyone one else went to st.Marines.x

Date:
12-Jan-2016

Email:
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Name:
Silky

Comment:
I attended St Mary's College 68-74. Happy memories of lots of the girls and teachers (some not so happy). Still feel bad about lying to Big Jo about my Chemistry homework. Does anyone remember that a pupil was stabbed and left for dead in the derelict buildings further on from the school sometime around 68/69?

Date:
16-Jan-2016

Email:
pauline.potter@icloud.com

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Name:
MargMul

Comment:
I went to St Mary's College at the same time as Pauline and Laura. So sad to see how such an historically and architecturally important building as St Mary's Church has been allowed to fall into such a derelict state. What an interesting visitor attraction this whole area could be for the city. Such a missed opportunity for Leeds, and so sad that the city planners appear to lack the vision to preserve and celebrate this important part of the city's social history and built heritage. The people who struggled to get this magnificent church built, against the odds, deserve better.

Date:
17-Feb-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Margaret Mary Ryan

Comment:
I attended MSM College from 1953-58. Headmistress was Sister Sebastian. We had lunch on the top floor of the orphanage building. We attended Mass in that beautiful Church every first Friday, and our choir sang on a BBC recording. Sister Philomena was from Tipperary so she gave me more homework. I am still in touch with 3 friends from MSM. Would love to know what happened to Murphy McCreery (who loved classical music) and Cecilia Bonner.

Date:
27-Mar-2016

Email:
maggieniriain@hotmail.com

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Name:
Christopher Timony

Comment:
I attended the infants and junior schools from approx 1953 to about 1959.I remember Sister Celine in the infants school, and the notorious Sister Philomena in the juniors.I also remember Mrs.Molloy was my last teacher there.The only class mates I can recall are Kenny Gale and Bernard Higgins.Father Glasheen was one of the priests. My brothers and sisters also attended Mt.St.Mary's (Maureen, David, Tina and Micky) Maureen also attended the College.

Date:
30-May-2016

Email:
c.a.timony@btinternet.com

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Name:
terry crowther

Comment:
I went to marys at first in the 1940s and then I went to the senior boys in the 1950s and left aged 15 in 1958. the head was mr keogh and other teachers were mr lavin, mghee, moore and mcdonagh.classmates were kevin hughes, philip mazza, peter cunningham, john gaughan. john kilkenny, peter leeming, tommy gale and loads more that I can remember. I thought I regognised the name timony as one of the lads who travelled from the gipton est by bus each day but may be wrong. father glasheen was the parish priest with a father o,loughlan.in my junior school days a well remember sister bertrand (who we called bertie banana behind her back) who is responsible for my huge cheeks as I was forever in trouble and she used to pull them as punishment. tery crowther

Date:
06-Jun-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Paul Gallagher

Comment:
I first attended MSM in the Infants school age 5 in 1958 and left in 1964. to move to secondary at St Michael's College Leeds. I recall the teaching staff in Infants/Juniors Sr Saline Sr Philomena Sr Ulili? Mr Peter Clarkson RIP. Some memorable days there and I served as altar boy in the church many times. Made my 1st holy communion and confirmation there too. It is indeed sad to see the current dilapidated state of church . The school buildings now demolished too. I have revisited MSM with a friend and school mate Michael Winston ( his brother Christopher ) lived on Saxton Gardens. We had a sombre look around in June 2015 Brings back lots of memories. I moved on for university to Manchester and now reside in Altrincham,Cheshire. Still return to Leeds (to watch football). MSM has a legacy. Steps at Richmond Hill now in weeds. The new MSM senior school looks grand but the church I do feel sadness for and of course nostalga. Still in touch with many MSM former pupils - boys. Some girls I remember Katherine Farley - and Catheirne Hales , Patricia Chetham and Josephine Coleman.

Date:
07-Jul-2016

Email:
pmg_100@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Catherine (Ratcliffe) Loftus

Comment:
I attended MSM in the late 50s early 60s, my memories are good ones really. My Teachers were, Miss Morgan, Mrs Cavadeno ( who died a few years ago I attended her burial in Killingbeck Cemetery)Miss Calvin. They seemed to have boundless patience, had kind nature's. Well they had to have patience, trying to teach me. My school reports usually made references and comments like "Catherine could do much better, if she paid attention" I was what you would call a late developer, gaining qualifications in my 30s and 40s. Another young Teacher, can't recall her name, she wore very modern clothes, had very short hair, and dyed her hair a different colour every week. Its very sad to think of Mount St Marys Church that beautiful building left vacant/ redundant, Fri Benediction, I must have been an odd one, the service always gave me a feeling of belonging, and still does. I remember Head Teacher Sister Josephine, at the top of the steps leading to the School, waiting for the late comers, sometimes it would be me and my Friends. We lived near Wetherby Rd, not exactly on the door step, we travelled by bus to Town then walked to MSM. If we were late it would be a poke on the shoulder, and maybe detention if late on a regular basis. Looking back, I think Sister Josephine was very ambitious for "her girls" as she called MSM pupils.

Date:
01-Nov-2016

Email:
kateloftus7@yahoo.com

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Name:
JULIE GILROY

Comment:
We lived in the chelmsfords when I was young and I attended the infants from 4yrs old and primary to 9yrs old when we moved to the Gipton I went to st nicks for 2 yrs passed my 11+ then back to st marys college. I loved siter ceiline she made me may queen and we had a champion netball team, my favourite memory is Easter we all got an easter egg after the service, I am sure 2 of my brothers and I did our holy communion there, not sure about the others. our grandparents/parents had some kind of affiliation with the bank and church as far as I recall. Great Architecture.

Date:
04-Nov-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
JULIE GILROY

Comment:
We lived in the chelmsfords when I was young and I attended the infants from 4yrs old and primary to 9yrs old when we moved to the Gipton I went to st nicks for 2 yrs passed my 11+ then back to st marys college. I loved siter ceiline she made me may queen and we had a champion netball team, my favourite memory is Easter we all got an easter egg after the service, I am sure 2 of my brothers and I did our holy communion there, not sure about the others. our grandparents/parents had some kind of affiliation with the bank and church as far as I recall. Great Architecture. I remember the tommasso's there were 20/22 kids in the family.

Date:
04-Nov-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Mary charnock

Comment:
Hi my nan was in mount St Marys home she woz about 2 years old she left at 16 my nan's name was Mary phelan she told me it was a horrible place there woz one nun called sister kitty that had a good Hart

Date:
17-Dec-2016

Email:
charnock700@gmail.com

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Name:
Ann McRae

Comment:
My childhood school friend won a scholarship to MSM. Her name was Pauline Glover and she lived on Archery Place off Blackman Lane. We kept in touch and then just lost contact. I think she married in the late 1960s early 1970. Does anyone remember her. Tx

Date:
12-May-2017

Email:
annarthey@gmail.com

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Name:
Bernard Duffy

Comment:
Ref Jo Levine,nee McHale,I remember going to a party at Josies house on Oakwood Lane,her parents being away.I was with my girlfriend,soon to be wife,Jane Dargan and her group of friends from the College.We named our youngest daughter Josephine because we couldn't agree on a name,so I suggested Josie's name,former schoolfriend,which we both liked. Happy days!

Date:
09-Dec-2017

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Bernard Duffy

Comment:
Ref Mary Wilkinson ,I was the cushion bearer for Christine Murphy,(May Queen,)probably 1954/5,because I made my First Holy Communion in my white satin/silk suit.Quite an ordeal for a seven year old in front of a packed church.Great memories of the school and nuns.Happy days.

Date:
09-Dec-2017

Email:
Not displayed

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