Derelict Gothic church to be converted into 175 apartments

A derelict 19th century Catholic church in the east end of Leeds city centre will be converted into 175 luxury residential apartments.

Leeds property investment firm Aspen Woolf, who are handling the pre-sale inquiries for the apartments, have confirmed this week that Mount St Marry’s will be converted into 175 luxury residencies.

Renovation and construction on the church has now begun, and the new high-end apartments will be ‘move in ready’ for 2026.

Originally built in 1851, Mount St Mary’s Church has been derelict for well over 30 years. Built as part of the Gothic Revival in UK, the church has a rich cultural history in Leeds. It was originally designed by York-architect Joseph Hansom, however, it is more famously known to have been extended by Edward Pugin, whose father Augustus Pugin designed Big Ben and the interiors of The House of Parliament.

Also reverently named as The Church of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the building famously served as a key orphanage in the city and housed over 3000 children between 1863 and 1953. It was originally built in the 1850’s for Irish migrants who had come to escape the potato famine and settled in the Richmond Hill area of Leeds. It is secluded behind, and bordering to, the Catholic High School of the same name, Mount St Mary’s on Ellerby lane, which is also historically affiliated the same catholic convent and orphanage in Richmond Hill.

The church was later named a Grade II* Listed heritage building by the Victorian Society, but it has been unused since 1989 when it was sadly closed and later sold to a housing trust. It remains derelict and damaged.

New construction on Mount St Mary’s is underway, with residents expected to move in in 2026.

The new luxury apartment complex has been confirmed to be aptly called The Mount, which will retain all of the most important elements of the original building, with the addition of a sympathetic yet striking extension to the church and the creation of a neighbouring building.

The renovation is being handled by Leeds architects Den Architecture. The majority of the church’s interior will be finally renovated, including the restoration of the church’s currently smashed historic altar, and transformation of the broken windows, climbing shrubbery, and rain-damaged roof. The altar will be renovated and turned into a communal workspace area for residents

Approximately half of the church will be demolished and replaced with a 5-storey residential development of modern luxury apartments.

The developer, Leeds-based S9 Construction Ltd, say a “spectacular feature window” will be added to the west gable of the church to create a lantern effect at night to offer a unique landmark residence. Landscaped gardens will also surround the building.

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