Salem Chapel, Leeds

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Salem Chapel is a former Congregational church, located on Hunslet Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.[1] It is situated opposite the former Tetley's Brewery.[2]

Salem Chapel, Leeds


Built in 1791 by the Rev Edward Parsons, Salem is the oldest surviving non-conformist chapel in Leeds city centre.[3]

Salem Chapel is a Grade II listed building and its distinctive curved façade was added in 1906.[4]

The historic chapel was the birthplace of Leeds United Football Club in 1919. Salem’s hall was the venue for a public meeting in which Leeds City F.C. was disbanded over financial misdemeanours, and Leeds United F.C. was formed.[2][5]

The chapel was closed as a place of worship in 2001.[6] The psychologist and writer Reverend Harry Guntrip preached the last sermon.[3]


In 2009, the building was purchased by Professor Adam Beaumont, founder of telecommunications company aql.[7][8] Beaumont funded the renovation and restoration of the chapel, which now houses aql’s head offices, as well as data centres, an exhibition space, a bar and a 370-seat glass-floored auditorium.[3][9]

On 17 November 2011, Salem Chapel was awarded a blue plaque by the Leeds Civic Trust in recognition of its architectural and religious significance.[2] The plaque was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Rev’d Alan Taylor.[10]

As of April 2018, Salem Chapel is also home to the Estonian Consulate for the North of England and the Isle of Man.[11][12]


Salem Chapel is often used to host the launch of Government initiatives. In February 2015, Salem Chapel hosted then-Prime Minister David Cameron and then-Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne for talks as part of the government's Northern Powerhouse proposal.[13] Osborne returned to Salem Chapel in February 2017 with Lord Jim O'Neill to launch the inaugural Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) report.[14] In January 2018, it was used to launch Transport for the North's Strategic Transport Plan to transform transportation in the North of England over the next 30 years.[15]

In addition to Cameron, Osborne and O'Neill, Salem Chapel's auditorium has hosted other notable figures for events and talks, including Britain's first astronaut Helen Sharman OBE and Bas Lansdorp, CEO and co-founder of Mars One, as part of 2018's Leeds International Festival;[16] Tiina Intelmann, Estonian Ambassador to the United Kingdom,[12] and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.[17]

The launch of Leeds: Cradle of Innovation, a book on the history of innovation in the city by urban geographer Rachael Unsworth and local historian Steve Burt, was held at Salem Chapel on 14 June 2018.[18]

It is among the venues used for Leeds Digital Festival and Leeds International Festival and has hosted the annual FinTech North since the event's inception.[19][20]

Salem's ministers[21][edit]

  • 1784–1833 – Rev Edward Parsons
  • 1833–1841 – Rev John Ely
  • 1841–1866 – Rev Wm. Hudswell
  • 1866–1875 – Rev Henry Tarrant
  • 1876–1890 – Rev George Hinds
  • 1891–1929 – Rev Bertram Smith; Rev Francis Wrigley
  • 1929–1933 – Rev Arthur Briggs
  • 1929–1938 – Rev Harry A. Turner
  • 1934–1946 – Rev Harry J.S. Guntrip
  • 1944–1946 – Rev Vernon Sproxton
  • 1946–1954 – Rev J. Norman Beard
  • 1949–1956 – Rev Reg. Williams
  • 1954–1968 – Rev Norman Charlton
  • 1966–1968 – Rev Jean Mortimer
  • 1969–? – Rev Graham J. Cook
  • 1976–1982 – Rev Adrienne Savage (sharing with Cottingley)

Also associated with Salem, the ministers of the South Leeds Team:

  • 1968–1973 – Rev Alice H. Platts
  • 1971–1976 – Rev Tony Addy
  • 1973–? – Rev Geoff. Rodham
  • 1977–? – Rev Simon Swailes
  • 1981–? – Rev Colin E. Richards


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Salem Chapel events space" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b c "Heritage honour for birthplace of Leeds United". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Salem Chapel events space" (PDF).
  4. ^ Historic England. "Salem United Reform Church  (Grade II) (1255568)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Salem Chapel, Leeds, Parsons, W. Hudswell, Smith, and 3 others". Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  6. ^ Tebbutt, Chris. "Hunslet remembered – Schools and religion". Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Where did it all start for Leeds United?". Time Out Leeds. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  8. ^ "aql: The History of Salem Chapel, aql Head Office and data centre – Data Centre Alliance". Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Profile: Adam Beaumont". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Leeds Civic Trust Blue Plaques" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Estonian Honorary Consuls in the United Kingdom – Embassy of Estonia London". Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b ERR (19 April 2018). "Estonia opens honorary consul office in Leeds". ERR. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  13. ^ "rebuildingsociety MD Daniel Rajkumar joined the Institute of Directors to hear the PM set out his long term economic plans for Yorkshire". 6 February 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Let's stop the brain-drain from the North and claim the ultimate prize, says George Osborne's new think-tank". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Adam Beaumont: How high-speed data has a key role to play in improving Yorkshire's transport infrastructure". Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Leeds International Festival reveals Helen Sharman OBE, June Sarpong, Viv Albertine and more!". Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  17. ^ News, Bdaily Business. "Telecoms operator aql brings gigabit broadband to West Yorkshire businesses". Bdaily Business News. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Ahead Partnership – New book highlights the global impact of Leeds innovators and pioneers – include Ahead Partnership!". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  19. ^ "2016 Leeds Digital Festival: Step back to the 90s". Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  20. ^ "FinTech North Does it Again: A Showcase for Northern Business and Talent – Fintech North". Fintech North. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  21. ^ Griffin, Frank (1984). Salem: A Short History.

Coordinates: 53°47′32.4″N 1°32′27.6″W / 53.792333°N 1.541000°W / 53.792333; -1.541000