Sunday, 6 August 2017

All Saints Church, Harewood

5 August 2017

All Saints' Church is a 15th-century redundant church in the park of Harewood House, the seat of the Earls of Harewood, near the village of Harewood, West Yorkshire, England.

Harewood House is a country house in Harewood near Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Designed by architects John Carr and Robert Adam, it was built between 1759 and 1771 for wealthy plantation owner Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood

The first symbol you see as you walk in the church is the Ark. It is seen as the symbol of the church because it saves believers from the destruction of the world. The roof of the nave is similar to an upturned ship and "nave" is the faith word for ship. (information brochure) 


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This original church was completely re-built in the 15th century by the descendants of Sir William de Aldeburgh (the builder of Harewood Castle), and altered again in the late 18th century, both by John Carr, the architect of Harewood House, and by Edwin Lascelles’ surveyor John Belwood. These changes were not universally admired: “About the year 1793, a series of most barbarous alterations were carried into effect, which, to say the least of them, reflect discredit upon those who were concerned in them”, thunders John Jones in his ‘History of Harewood’ of 1859. Stained glass windows were removed and sold, carved oak seats replaced by pews, the oak open roof replaced by deal rafters. Shortly after John Jones’ rant, the Victorian architect Sir Gilbert Scott altered some of the alterations so what you see today is something of a hybrid.(LINK)

Framed Key Historical information


 This pulpit dates from the 19th century 

East window O'Conner from 1854 depicts the life of Christ.

 The outstanding feature of Harewood Church is its magnificent collection of alabaster tombs, often said to be the finest in England outside a cathedral. They are the most vivid evidence we have of Harewood’s ancient history, showing six lords and ladies from the families who owned the Harewood and Gawthorpe estates during the 15th and early 16th century: Redmaynes, Rythers and Gascoignes. The oldest is of Chief Justice Gascoigne, who died in 1419, and the last is of Edward Redmayne, who died in 1510, and his wife Elizabeth (LINK)

The Alabaster Tombs

Six pairs of some of the greatest surviving examples  of alabaster carving in England, which date from 1419 to 1510.  Three are from the Gascoignes of Gawthorpe and three were Lords of Harewood- two Redman and one Ryther. Several of the coats of arms from these families can be found in the ruins of Harewood Castle.  (information brochure) 

Edward & Elizabeth Redman (1529)

Sir Richard Redman (d. 1426)

Sir William Gascoigne (d. 1465)

The Piscina

This is in what is known as the Gascoigne chapel, was used for washing the Communion vessels. Found behind one of the monuments during the late 1970s restoration after being hidden from view for centuries.


This "tub-shaped" Norman font survives from the Norman church that was here before All Saints Church was built.

Elizabeth (d. 1434) & Richard Redman

Sir William & Lady Elizabeth Gascoine

Grave stones in the floor
 The graveyard  wraps round all the sides of the church, overgrown with wild flowers and a cut path through the gravestones.

Walled all the way round too and sheltered by mature trees, it was a little haven for the wildlife, bees, Butterflies and Dragonflies were making use of the sunshine and the wildflowers.

  In the porch leading out to the grave yard there was carvings in the wall, some were quite high up.
It's hard to say how old they are, but the shape of the lettering and the wear I would say quite old.

Harewood House.

Note; parking if you are just going to the church, you have about an hour.

Would like to go again.

Good information in the church, so thank you for some of the wording in this post.


All Saints  Church

Medieval alabaster tombs at All Saints


Interesting reading;

Simon Smith explains the history behind the construction of the spectacular Harewood House near Leeds.

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