History Guided Tour St Leonards

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St Leonards Exterior

The church is built of stone with a little chalk. It is surrounded by a low stone wall which has replaced the earlier Victorian iron railings but there is still no churchyard. The narrow tower is in three tiers with a pyramidal roof  containing only one bell, which is a ships bell with a distinctive tone


The most recent restoration was carried out in 1976/77. Full details are given on a large painted notice on the North Wall

St Leonaeds Pews

The pine pews and altar rails were replaced by those made of oak which came from the former Hostel of the Resurrection Leeds and are placed here by the kindness of the Farthers of the Community of the Resurrection Mirfield

Altar Rail

The matching oak rails were installed, as a memorial to Elizabeth Coleman, church organist for over twenty five years. The pulpit was removed and a lectern, built by a local joiner and inscribed in memory of Mary Brompton, now serves this function. The oak door, dedicated to the memory of Judy Morrell was added in 1983.

St eonards Agnus Dei

In 1965 restoration took place and an Agnus Dei, which is a figure of a lamb bearing a cross, of about 1120-25 was found over the south door and reset inside the church

St Leonards Font

The present building consists of a nave, chancel and tower. The plain circular font dates from Saxon times.and has been in variouse positions in the church, in the eighteenth century it was known to be in the chancel then in the 1911 restoration it was moved to the west end where it stands today

Let into the North wall is a stone bearing a circular cross. This was discovered in 1910 and is most likely the original consecration cross of the church

St Leonards Circular  Cross St Leonards Recesses

There are two trefoil headed recesses on the North wall , the second with a carving of a Maltese Cross

St Leonards Niche

On the east wall there are the remains of a niche and canopy These may have supported a statue of the Saint before the 1530's. Next to it is a projecting stone box which could have been used for the offerings of early pilgrims, or as a tabernacle

St Leonards Altar

Speeton has an "English" altar with candle sconces made by Herbert Moon the village blacksmith. The tapestry banner is of white damask and aquamarine velvet

. Plaques on the south wall commemorate the restorations of 1911 and 1965. On the outside of this wall can be seen the scratch dial or mass clock, barely visible at first glance.

The road to the church car park, post and rail fencing and several trees were provided in the early 1970's by members of the Coleman family, whose farm stands adjacent to the church.

How long the unbroken history of the church stretches back in time it is impossible to say but there is no doubt that it has provided a place of worship for many generations of Speeton people