St Bartholomew's Church, Armley
|St Bartholomew's Church, Armley|
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Heritage designation||Grade II* listed building|
|Architect(s)||Henry Walker and Joseph Althron|
|Architectural type||Perpendicular Gothic|
|Construction cost||£20,000 (£1,610,000 in 2015)|
|Parish||Armley with New Wortley|
|Priest in charge||Fr Michael Wood|
The first chapel at Armley was built in 1630 but not consecrated by Richard Sterne, Archbishop of York, until 1674. In 1737 it was extended to the north, the roof was raised and a small balcony was added at the west end.
In 1825 the chapel was much enlarged through the benevolence of Benjamin Gott, a local industrial businessman with woollen mills in Leeds.
A new church was built starting in 1872 to designs by the architects Henry Walker and Joseph Althron of Leeds. It was consecrated in 1877 but the tower was not dedicated until 1904. The church is constructed of Horsforth sandstone. The old chapel was demolished in 1909.
List of vicars
- Frederick George Hume Smith
- David Hartley
- James Buchanan Seaton 1905–1909 (later Bishop of Wakefield)
- Ralph Creed Meredith 1914–1917 (later Vicar of Windsor, 1940–1958, and Chaplain to George VI and Elizabeth II, 1946–1952)
- Herbert Lovell Clarke 1923–1933 (previously vicar of All Saints' Church, Nottingham)
- William Johnston (later Bishop of Dunwich)
- Norman Ernest (Norry) McCurry 1963–1973
- Owen Conway - late 1970s
- Nicholas Plant
- Timothy Lipscomb
- Ian Wright
- Charles Clapham, of Trinity College Cambridge, perpetual curate from 1822 til his death in 1848. See also references to him as incumbent of Armley in 1828, and 1842.
The reredos erected in 1877 has alabaster carvings of the Magi, crucifixion and Old Testament figures.
There is a sculpture by Joseph Gott at the west end of the north aisle to Benjamin Gott of Armley House who died in 1839. In the south aisle there is 'Faith comforting the Mourner', commemorating the two sons of Benjamin and Elizabeth Gott who died in Paris and Athens.
The church is perhaps best known for its organ. It was built by the German builder Edmund Schulze. It was originally installed in Meanwood Towers in 1869. In 1877 it was inaugurated in St. Peter's Church, Harrogate. Following a dispute with the vicar, the organ installed in St. Bartholomew’s in 1879. It was rebuilt in 1905 by James Jepson Binns and other restoration work took place in 1956 by Hill, Norman and Beard, 1974 by John T. Jackson and Son and 2004 by Harrison & Harrison.
The organ has been awarded a Grade II* listing by the British Institute of Organ Studies for organs which are good representatives of the work of their builder, in substantially original condition.
A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.
- 1862–1868: John Varley Roberts (afterwards organist of Halifax Parish Church)
- 1878–1921: Thomas Cawthra
- 1921–1924: Thomas E Pearson (afterwards organist of Halifax Parish Church)
- 1924–1937: Herbert Bardgett (afterwards chorusmaster of Nottingham Harmonic Society)
- 1937–1938: John B Dalby (afterwards organist of St Machar's Cathedral Aberdeen)
- 1938–1939: Donald H Martin
- 1939–1940: Eric Whiteside
- 1940–1953: W Iles Pulford
- 1953–1955: Alan A Tranah
- 1955–1962: John J F Watkins
- 1962–1966: John Snow
- 1966–1973: Anthony Norcliffe (later organist of St Chad's Church, Far Headingley and currently Mill Hill Chapel)
- 1973–1986: Arnold Mahon
- 1986–present: Graham Barber
- UK Consumer Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Gregory Clark (2016), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)", MeasuringWorth.com.
- "Obituary: Prebendary Norry McCurry - People - News - The Independent". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
- The Gentleman's Magazine (London, England), Volume 184, p.326
- Pigot and co.'s national commercial directory for 1828-9, comprising a directory of the merchants, bankers, professional gentleman [&c.] in the counties of Cheshire, Cumberland. Reference to Rev Charles Clapham
- The Freemasons' quarterly review 1842, reference to Rev Charles Clapham
- The organ: a guide to its construction, history, usage and music. David Baker, Osprey Publishing, 2003
- Dictionary of Organs and Organists. Frederick W. Thornsby