The church of St Oswald’s, Leathley is steeped in history yet embraces the 21st century’s technology culture.
Named for a King of Northumberland who in the 600s promoted the spirit of Christianity in the region it stands on a hill in the pleasant Washburn Valley between Otley and Harrogate where once the great painter JMW Turner roamed with his sketchbook.
Now in the United Benefice of Washburn and Mid-Wharfe it is one of six Anglican churches, being part of the C of E’s newest diocese West Yorkshire and the Dales.
The first church on the site was built soon after 1100AD and much of it remains. The tower, the west and east walls of the nave belong to this period. It was enlarged in 1472 by the building of the north and south aisles.
There are symbols of the Percy family carved into pillars, Kilburn Mouseman furniture and a plaque recording the death in 1893 of a member of the Fawkes family. He went down with HMS Victoria which sank during naval exercises off the coast of Tripoli.