To fully appreciate the contents of the church we recommend you visit us. The information on this page gives a little insight into the heritage associated with our fascinating village church.
St Leonard’s Church - is built of square sandstone blocks and has a stone tiled roof covering the Nave and Chancel. The tower stands at the west end and is the oldest part of the building.
The roof - was replaced in 1956 following a gale and damage from an earlier fire in 1947. The height of the new roof was raised, and the Nave widened. There are marks in the roof space on the internal tower wall which show the outline where the gable of the earlier smaller roof joined the tower.
The Nave - is interesting in that it has 6 bays and a Chancel all in one. There are no pillars or columns holding up the roof of the Nave. This makes it a large uninterrupted space from the rear west wall to the Chancel arch. It is built in the Gothic Revival style. Over the door to the kitchen there was once a gallery, it was erected in 1816 and removed at a later date. This may have been the location for the original organ. Before the organ, musicians would play music for services from the gallery.
The Chancel - is separated from the Nave by a large central rounded chancel arch with 2 smaller flanking arches in the same style. There is a vestry area to the left of the Chancel. At the centre of the east wall of the Chancel stands the Altar.
The Altar – was given in 1955 by Mr GH Payne made by Gillam and Son of Sheffield.
The external doors – on the south side were made by Robert (Mousey) Thompson in 1967. They both have his trademark carved mouse on the inner side. The south-east door was the gift of the Earl of Wharncliffe, the main doors were given in memory of James and Annie Lane.
The Bishops Chair – is on perpetual loan from the Wharncliffe Estates. Carved on it are the initial RC and the date 1687. RC is believed to be Richard Copley, a local carpenter.
The Font – was a gift of the Hon. Caroline Talbot in 1845. In the porch is a stone planter which is thought to be the remains of an earlier font which was re-discovered in 1955. A brass plate on the wall near to the font reads: Deo et ecclesie in usum Sacella Sci Leonardi de Wortley hune fontem dedit Carolina J.S. Talbot anno dni Millmo dccxIv (to God and to the Church for the use in the Chapel of St Leonard of Wortley Caroline JS Talbot gave this Font 1845 AD).
The Organ – is the second organ known to have been in the church. The first one from the 17th century was sold in 1829 having already replaced by the present one around 1820. Our present organ was fitted with an electric blower in 1939. The original bellows hand pumping lever is still attached to the side of the organ. It has 2 manuals, Swell and Great, a full pedalboard, 22 stops and 4 couplers. It is thought to be the work of Sheffield organ builders TC Wilcock.
The Hatchments – are the diamond shaped boards above the door on the west wall. These date from the 1800’s and were made for members of the Wharncliffe family. The centre hatchment shows the arms of Edward, first Earl of Wharncliffe (died 1899) and his wife Susan Charlotte Lascelles (died 1927). The left hatchment shows the arms of James, first Baron Wharncliffe (died 1845). The right hatchment are the arms of James Archibald Montague Stuart Wortley Mackenzie (died 1818) and of his wife Margaret Cunningham (died 1808).
Benefactors Board – on the north wall records charitable benefactions to the Lordship of Wortley. It was originally in the Vicar’s Vestry.
The Pulpit – was made from reclaimed timbers from the tower when work was carried out to install the bells in 1893. It was the gift of Eleanor Greenwood, wife of Sydney Greenwood, Curate of Wortley.
The East Window – installed in 1901 is made up of 3 panels. The centre panel represents Our Lord as the Good Shepherd. The panel on the right shows St Cuthbert, the panel on the left is The Venerable Bede of Jarrow. The dedication on the window reads: - “To the Glory of God and in affectionate memory of Edward, 1st Earl and 3rd Baron of Wharncliffe B.1827 D1899. This window has been erected by his Nephew Francis, 2nd Earl”.
The South Aisle Windows – the 3 windows in the Nave are memorials to the family of George Brewin. He was the Curate between 1945 and 1977. Only the centre window is original. The windows left and right of centre were restored around 1992 and contain sections of the original windows. The window in the south-east corner was the original east window, it was moved to its present location when the new east window was installed and dedicated in 1901. The original east window inscription cannot be easily read now, but it says: “To the Honour and Glory of God and to the beloved memory of Mary Caroline Countess of Erne, Mother of Caroline Elizabeth Lady Wharncliffe and long resident of Wharncliffe Lodge”.
The west windows are memorials to the Corbett family.
The north east window – in what is now the vestry was installed at the same time as the new east window in 1901.
The small high north side windows - are not memorial windows. There was a window behind the organ which was removed when the organ was installed. Its location can still be identified from outside.
The Kitchen – was originally the Choir Vestry.
The Underground Vault – now permanently sealed, was built 1753. This is mentioned in the Wharncliffe Estate Papers in Sheffield Central Library as costing £47 2s 2½ d. It is under the Chancel floor and a stone slab with metal loops can be seen near the Altar step, this is the entrance. It was built by Mr Edward Wortley; he and his daughter are buried in the vault.
The tower – is the earliest part of the present building. Built around 1750 it originally had a spire. There are 4 rooms in the tower. The ground floor kitchen which was originally the choir vestry. Above the kitchen is the ringing room which houses the bottom ends of the ropes for the 8 bells. It is from here the bell ringers ring the bells. Above the ringing room is the clock room. This houses the 1893 clock by Potts of Leeds. Potts of Leeds were a major clock manufacturing company and many examples of their work can be found on public buildings. Above the clock room is the belfry. The belfry houses the 8 bells hung for change ringing. Cast by John Warner & Sons they were installed in 1893. The combined weight of the bells is over 3 tons.
There was originally only one bell in the tower, cast by W&T Houlden in 1751. The tower was altered to accommodate the new ring of 8 bells in 1893 and the original bell removed.
The tower roof has embattled parapet walls, a flagpole and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Robinson, Fred (1973). The History of Wortley Parish Church
Rev. Barnet. The Story of St Leonard’s Church Wortley
Heritage Inspired www.heritageinspired.org.uk