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St John the Evangelist – interior

St John the Evangelist in Leeds is unusual in that it was a Jacobean new-build (1632-34) and, although it has been tweaked a bit, remains very much of a piece.

It really is an assault on the senses – a forest of fabulously carved wood complemented by beautiful plasterwork ceilings and angels that look suspiciously like Charles I. My initial impressions were “wow” followed by the thought that it is a completely useless and unusable space, which may be one of the reasons why it became redundant.

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Suspiciously like Charles I

Apparently the Victorians attempted to demolish it and replace it with something more suitable, but were outmaneuvered by an early heritage lobby, which left them with the white elephant that we see today – a very impressive white elephant, but a white elephant, nevertheless. Which is shame, because what was built as an extraordinarily generous act of piety has ended up looking like a self-indulgent folly.

Anyway, it’s very photogenic – my pics are viewable on St John the Evangelist, Leeds  (they are tagged for public consumption, so you don’t need a Flickr account to view them)


For more information, see St John’s Church, West Yorkshire St John’s Church, West Yorkshire