Leeds Library & Information Services
Wormald, Old Leeds Views, part 1, no.50, SRF 914.2819 WOR & Old Leeds Views, Part 2, no. 43, SRF 914.2819 WOR & Old Leeds No.4 (LQ 942.819 PL10) & LIJ St Michael's (1) (browsing neg no 327)
View of the old St. Michael's Church from the south, showing the graveyard in front. This was the second place of worship on the site, dating from 1838 to 1885. The original, built around 1626-7 on land believed to have been donated by Sir John Savile, first Alderman of Leeds, was a chapel of Leeds Parish Church, a small stone building was dedicated to St Giles. By 1836 the chapel accommodation was insufficient for the growing population and a new church containing 600 seats was proposed, to be built to the designs of architect, Robert Dennis Chantrell (1793-1872, who also designed Leeds Parish Church). The foundation stone was laid on 1st March 1837 and consecration by the Bishop of Ripon took place on 31st January 1838. It soon became evident that this church was also unable to cope with the rapidly expanding congregation and, within the space of fifty years, it closed on 2nd March 1885 in order for a new church to be built on the site. Despite much opposition, due to the necessity of disturbing a number of the graves, the building went ahead and the present St. Michael's Church was consecrated, opening on the 8th July 1886. A fragment of the original Shire Oak tree is kept in the Lady Chapel. St. Michael's Church, occupying the same site, is located in St. Michael's Road. Photograph by Wormald of Leeds and also in Mr Brown's photographs of old Leeds..
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