Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomecommentStepping into Armley’s History: St Bartholomew's

Stepping into Armley’s History: St Bartholomew’s

In the second of our series looking at the history playing out beneath our feet in Armley Town Street, Susan Johnson looks at the history at St Bartholomew’s Church…

The beautiful perpendicular Gothic church of St Bartholomew’s is probably more famous for the magnificent Schulze Organ installed in the north transept. 

Our paving stone tells us the church was built in 1877 to replace the former Armley Chapel, which had become inadequate for the growing population.

JF Schulze, a famous German organ builder, was invited to display his wares at The Great Exhibition in London. Our organ was commissioned by Thomas Stuart Kennedy to be installed in Meanwood Towers in 1867 for his wife.

He was connected to Armley by becoming a partner in the engineering firm of Fairborn Lawson.

After a spell at St Peter’s Church in Harrogate it came up for sale again and was bought by wealthy Armley textile giant Henry William Eyres.

It was installed in St Bartholomew’s in 1879, with it’s magnificent case and superb acoustics it attracted organ lovers from far and wide. Over the years money has been raised by enthusiasts to keep it in the best possible condition.

Our church has quite a few famous people buried in its grounds. One family in particular will lead us nicely to our third paving stone, the Tetley family, famed throughout Yorkshire for their beer.

For more of Susan Johnson looking at the history beneath your feet on Armley Town Street, follow this link.


  1. Very interesting. Should be Fairbairn Lawson … my husband was an apprentice metallurgist there.


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