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Two Arts & Crafts Churches in Leeds

Thursday 2nd March 2017


Brangwyn mosaic at St Aidan’s

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This guided visit to St Aidan’s church in Harehills will allow us to view the glittering mosaic cycle on the life of St Aidan designed by Frank Brangwyn and completed in 1916. Rust’s vitreous mosaic was chosen, in preference to paint, to guard against the ravages of highly polluted Leeds air. Today it retains a freshness of colour and shows the exceptional decorative qualities that are a characteristic of Brangwyn’s practice.

He was an early exponent of the international art nouveau, while his lifelong adherence to the ideas of Morris and the arts and crafts movement would eventually lead to the marginalization of his work in the face of a vigorous and youthful avant-garde, led by artists such as Bomberg and Nevinson. The architectural historian, Pevsner, was delighted to discover, what he regarded as an important work of early twentieth century British art, in the church, nonetheless this remarkable mosaic is still probably less well known than it should be.

The LAF purchased a design for the scheme at auction in 2016.

After a break for lunch we move on to the little known but exquisite St Hilda's Church, Cross Green Lane, built 1876 - 82 by J.T. Micklethwaite. It was originally conceived as a daughter church to St Saviour's and planned along the same High Church principles. Its austere exterior belies the wealth of fine furnishings inside, including a magnificent rood screen, reredos, pulpit, stained glass and a soaring polychrome font canopy. Our guided tour will be led by the Leeds historian Stephen Savage.

£10, includes two guided tours but not transport or lunch.

Meet at St Aidan's church, Roundhay Road LS8 5QD.