Picture of detail of mosaic at church of St Aidan at Harehills, Leeds.
Yesterday I revisited the church of St Martin at Potternewton, Leeds and then went to have a look at St Aidan’s church in Harehills. I lived in Harehills for around 1 year when I was a student in Leeds many years back, so I know the area pretty well. Although I had walked around the outside of the church of St Aidan I had never been beyond the locked door. I knew St Aidans was large form the exterior but it was quite a bit bigger inside than I had thought. Everything about St Aidan’s is on an almost Soviet era scale but especially the font and the pillars.
The one thing most people know about St Aidan’s is the mosaics by Frank Brangwyn, these were completed in 1916. Originally Brangwyn was commissioned to decorate the church with a painting, but he worried about the smoky atmosphere in the area damaging the work so he started anew and produced a mosaic instead. The mosaic in the apse shows scenes from the life of St Aidan and it like the church itself is on a grand scale. In the above picture can be seen a length of a mosaic on the stairway leading up to the altar with some of the main mosaic above and beyond this.
Treasure Revealed Leeds continues for the rest of this week at various religious sites across Leeds.