The millionaire’s baby that became a city’s musical gem

St Bartholomew's Church, Wesley Road, Armley, LeedsSt Bartholomew's Church, Wesley Road, Armley, Leeds
St Bartholomew's Church, Wesley Road, Armley, Leeds
it was built by a world famous organ building family for a flamboyant millionaire who made it its own “house” – until his wife became too poorly to play it, and it was sold on.

The Armley Schulze organ – which has 3,663 pipes stretching almost as high as the roof of its home in St Bartholomew’s church – is one of a kind. And yet it remains somewhat of a hidden choral gem in a corner of Leeds.

Now amateur historian 
Mike Collins is on a mission 
to re-write the story of the 

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And vicar Ian Wright wants to introduce the organ’s soaring sounds and engineering magnificence to a new generation.

Mr Collins, whose wife Thelma is one of the organists at St Bart’s, is urging people across Leeds to share any photos and stories linked to the instrument, and to St Bartholomew’s itself.

“It is unique in the world,” Mr Collins said.

“It’s here and there is a pride in it in Armley. But you’ve got to be into organs as an amateur specialist to really appreciate it.”

The Armley Schulze, as it became known, was commissioned in 1866 by T.S. Kennedy for his house in Meanwood Towers.

It was brought to St Bartholomew’s in August 1879, and has undergone several restorations, the last in 2004.

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