Celebrating the best of Leeds village’s distinct history

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme
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The very best of a distinctive settlement in Leeds was put on show during a celebration of its history.

Residents of Fulneck, in Pudsey, put on Transforming a Yorkshire Hillside on Saturday as part of the national Heritage Open Days weekend.

Up to 200 people turned out for the event, which celebrated the village’s Georgian and Moravian Church roots.

Event co-ordinator Myra Dickinson said: “It was a real community effort and a community, co-operative event.

“It has been particularly successful this year, and we are delighted about that.

“A lot of hard work goes into it, and preparation, but it was worth it. It really was a good day.”

Ruth Dacre dressed as a Moravian Sister and David Adsetts in costume as Benjamin Henry Latrobe outside the church in Fulneck. PIC: Simon Hulme

Ruth Dacre dressed as a Moravian Sister and David Adsetts in costume as Benjamin Henry Latrobe outside the church in Fulneck. PIC: Simon Hulme

An exhibition of artefacts from across the globe took place at Fulneck Moravian Museum, and plays were performed at Fulneck Moravian Church about the night that its first cornerstone was laid.

The village was built in the first half of the 18th century after Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf, a German social reformer and Moravian Church bishop, had visited near to the area and was struck by the beauty of Fulneck Valley.

“He decided that it would be a wonderful place to build a settlement,” said Mrs Dickinson.

The Moravian Church was founded in 1457 in Bohemia – the name derives from the refugees from Moravia who settled on lands of Count Zinzendorf in the 18th century.

Heritage Open Day at the Moravian Church, Fulneck, Pudsey, Leeds...Ruth Dacre dressed as a Moravian Sister and David Adsetts dressed as Benjamin La Trobe.9th September 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Heritage Open Day at the Moravian Church, Fulneck, Pudsey, Leeds...Ruth Dacre dressed as a Moravian Sister and David Adsetts dressed as Benjamin La Trobe.9th September 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Archivist Hilary Smith, who Mrs Dicksinson describes as a “walking encyclopedia”, is in the process of translating diaries of settlers from German into English.

Visitors to the heritage day also got the chance to learn about two architects who hailed from Fulneck, Charles Sebastian Nelson and Benjamin Henry Latrobe – the latter worked on the White House in the USA.

Simon Lindley, who last year retired as an organ player at Leeds Minster, also impressed by playing Fulneck church’s John Snetzler-designed instrument during the day.

Mrs Dickinson said that two books worth of comments from visitors have been left.

Around 130 youngsters from Fulneck School also got the chance to view the museum’s artefacts – including items from Africa, India and Tibet – on Friday ahead of the event.

Mrs Dickinson said: “In the exhibition there were children from three years old and they were totally engrossed.”

Visitors also enjoyed homemade cakes in the Boys Brigade building.

Every September around 40,000 volunteers organise about 5,000 events to celebrate history and culture around England.

FACTFILE

The Moravians came to Fulneck in 1743 when Count Zinzendorf was on his way to visit one of the religious societies formed by clergyman Benjamin Ingham.

Ingham would find followers in churches, houses, barns and fields, and he formed religious societies wherever he went.

A year earlier, Ingham had offered his societies to the stewardship of the Moravians and around 1,000 members agreed.

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