Located in the heart of Leeds, Holy Trinity Church is a testament to the 18th century Baroque architecture which nowadays is hard to find in the city. The Grade I listed building is a cherished Leeds landmark that’s teeming with an abundance of history, but not everyone knows the full extent of the church’s interesting past. From devastating natural disasters to failed architects, Holy Trinity Church has its fair share of stories to tell.
The church is just a four-minute walk from Leeds railway station, and the buses 140 and 446 pass by the iconic Leeds landmark every five to ten minutes. Located on Boar Lane, Holy Trinity Church is surrounded by some of the city’s most culturally-significant spots including the Royal Armouries Museum and Leeds Art Gallery.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Holy Trinity Church
1. Damages to the Church
Holy Trinity Church has experienced a fair amount of damages and subsequent refurbishments over the years. One of the worst damages that the building has succumbed to was a devastating hurricane that hit the city in 1839. The church’s once wooden spire was completely destroyed by the strong winds and was ultimately replaced by a new three stage stone steeple that still overlooks the city of Leeds today.
2. Building at a Price
Before Holy Trinity Church was eventually designed by the architect William Etty, it was in fact William Halfpenny who was initially commissioned to draw up the plans for the construction of the building in 1723. Halfpenny was paid a whopping sum of £1 (a pretty good deal for those times) to make the designs for the building, however, his plans were never actually used.
3. Local Merchants Unite
In 1722, Lady Elizabeth Hasting of Ledston was thought to have led the charge to fund the construction of the church and find contractors to help build it. However, it was actually the leading merchants of the area that funded most of the construction costs and hit the ground running on the project. A nod to the merchants’ hard work can be found on the brackets of the church’s downpipes that are stamped with the figure of a sheep.
4. Humble Beginnings
The Holy Trinity Church that we know and love today was actually first constructed as a chapel of ease to the parish church of St Peter at Leeds. It was only in 1885 that the church became a parish in its own right. At the time, the chapel’s promotion to parish played a substantial part in the city’s economic development thanks to the steady increase in visitors wanting to see the landmark for themselves.
5. A Hub for the Arts
Known primarily as a place of worship, the church has served Leeds’ churchgoers for hundreds of years. However, in addition to hosting mass, the church has also been an important venue for musical and artistic life to thrive in the city. Live music concerts, art exhibits and even circus performances have taken place at this iconic building ever since it first opened in the early 1700s.
What can you do at Holy Trinity Church?
Throughout the week, Holy Trinity Church runs several sermons, bible workshops and after-work worship. The church also hosts multiple charity events every month including choir sessions where donations go to causes that need them the most. Holy Trinity Church is also known to welcome various art exhibitions every now and then. In 2022, the church hosted the famous Gaia installation – a spherical structure with detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface.
In addition to religious proceedings and artistic events, Holy Trinity Church has also provided the perfect backdrop for Candlelight’s stunning series of tribute concerts. Although there are currently no Candlelight concerts taking place at the church, there are multiple stunning venues in Leeds that are hosting these magical musical experiences.