Leeds nostalgia: Time travel for Trinity

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Here’s a view which will take readers of a certain age back. The archive shot of the building where Trinity Shopping Centre now stands but before its makeover.

It was taken on July 30, 1972, while the modern picture was taken just a few weeks ago. The blended shot (above) shows just how much the facade of the building has changed.

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Back in 1972, the shops had awnings, with each occupying just a small unit, unlike the sprawling outlets shoppers are used to today. This was also the building which was occupied by C & A until 2001 - the popular clothing retailer pulled out of the British Market but still has stores all over Europe.

The Trinity Shopping Centre, which opened on March 2013, is named after the Holy Trinity Church which stands alongside it. It was built between 1772 and 1727 and was the third church to be built in Leeds.

It cost £3,731 and was consecrated on August 10, 1727. The building originally boasted a wooden spire but this was destroyed during a freak hurricane which swept across the city on January 7, 1839. After the remains of the spire were removed, architect Robert Dennis Chantrell was called in to design a 180ft replacement, which was eventually built in 1841. The Chuch is a Grade I listed building but despite this, its fate has hung in the balance on several occasions over the years as church authorities considered abandoning it due to the cost of its upkeep.

It was in danger of demolition in the 1950s but was reprieved in 1958 when Church commissioners declared it to be ‘a building of the greatest architectural distinction and importance and of historical interest.’

In more recent times the church has taken on a new role as an art space and its association with the new shopping centre has also helped secure its future.

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