Building » Leeds – St Urban

Leeds – St Urban

Grove Road, Leeds 6

Modest 1960s church in a stripped Modern Gothic style, prominent in the Headingley Conservation Area.

In  1902  a  chapel of  ease  was  built  in  Brookfield  Road  to  serve  Catholics  in  the Headingley and Leanwood areas. It was served by priests from the Cathedral and its dedication to St Urban (rare if not unique in an English context) reflects the fact that the Cathedral, then in the course of rebuilding, had recently taken delivery of some relics of the 3rd  century pope and martyr. In 1951 St Urban’s became a parish in its own right. The present church was built from designs by E. E. Morgan and opened by Bishop Dwyer on 1 July 1963.  At that point the Brookfield Road chapel became the parish hall.The church was reordered and redecorated in 1988, year of its consecration. At the time of writing (May 2008) the church is undergoing a further major renovation and enlargement.

Church built in severely stripped Modern Gothic style, plum coloured brick with steeply pitched, copper-clad roof. Nave, aisles, transepts/side chapels, sanctuary. North porch/additional facilities under  construction at time of visit (May 2008). Gabled west front with triple entrance and stepped flat-topped triple windows over, the latter separated by flat pilasters of astylar character. Projecting double height bays on either side, also with stepped triple windows.   Flank north elevation with plain brick walls and parapets to the aisle, triple windows to the clerestory, the bays marked by flat astylar pilasters. Shorter (three bays), lower sanctuary with canted east end.

The west doors lead into a newly-created narthex area, screened off from the church. Wide, light nave of five bays, plastered and painted pale pink, ceiled under the collar. Square piers and openings onto side aisles; gilded Stations of the Cross between these and the clerestory windows. Clear glass to all the windows, apart from one figurative stained  glass  window  at  the  west  end.  Flat  chancel  arch  with  bevelled  corners, echoing the form of the nave roof. The sanctuary is raised on four steps with a further step to the site of the former high altar, where against the east wall there is a reredos with  attached crucifix, tabernacle on pedestal below.  Cornice and  ribbing  on the ceiling of the canted east end. Altars to Our Lady and St Joseph (?) in the north and south transept chapels, with carved wooden figures set in plaster shell niches.  New stone suite of altar, ambo and presidential chair in the sanctuary, simple, with incised gold  lettering/symbols. Plain  modern benches and  highly  polished  floor  to  nave, boarded floor to sanctuary, presumably awaiting carpeting.

Heritage Details

Architect: E.E. Morgan

Original Date: 1963

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed