Derbyshire Places of Worship

We do not have an Image of this Place of Worship as it has been Demolished Place of Worship has been
Demolished.

Image by courtesy of
openclipart.org
Uppertown Chapel (Medieval, Demolished), Birchover
Uppertown Chapel (Medieval, Demolished),
Uppertown,
Birchover, Derbyshire.

Cemeteries

We don't know whether this Chapel had a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded before 1300, but we understand it was closed before 1717.

Several sources refer to the Uppertown area near to Birchover being a major settlement in Saxon and Norman times, with a Church (or Chapel), dating possibly from the late 12th or early 13th century. The remains of the Church have long since dispersed, but dressed stones, including some with Norman chevrons, suggestive of such a building, can be found from time to time in local houses and walls; and the present "Rowtor Chapel" built by Thomas Eyre in 1717, has fragments built into its walls. The Birchover Millennium Stone also has a copy of one such Romanesque carving, discovered in a wall.

Documentary evidence of the Chapel is sparse, however, and limited to single instance, quoted in several articles online - an entry in a Derbyshire Charter dated 1300, which refers to "a rent of one farthing in silver to be paid yearly on Michaelmas Day in ye Chapel at Birchover". [Sources: Discover Derbyshire and the Peak District and Derbyshire Heritage]

Gladwyn Turbutt, in his History of Derbyshire (1996 p.532) attributes the decline of the settlement to the bad weather of the late 13th, and early 14th centuries, and consequent poor yields of uphill soils, and a withdrawal of population to more favourable areas. Elsewhere it has been suggested that the available water supply gave out, and the inhabitants moved further down the hill, towards today's Birchover village. Either way, just a few cottages and farms now remain at Uppertown.

Other "deserted villages" mentioned by Turbutt are - in the upland region of the White Peak: Ballidon, Conksbury, Cold Eaton, Hulland, Lea Hall, Smerrill Grange, Roystone Grange, and "more than a dozen other locations"; on the shales and gritstone areas: Uppertown and Upper Padley; on the Coal Measures and Magnesian Limestone: Steetley (of which the Chapel of All Saints remains), Blingsby, and Boyah Grange; and on the Keuper Marl or Sandstone soils, to the west of Derby: Mackworth and Meynell Langley. "That a period of climatic instability played a large part in their desertion is becoming increasingly clear. The effect may be seen in the construction of peasant dwellings excavated at the deserted medieval village of Barton Blount, where houses of the earliest period were found to have no eaves-trenches or stone paths. Houses built in the early thirteenth century however were surrounded by eaves-trenches and drains, and there were boundary ditches surrounding the crofts. Stone paths and cobbled thresholds were also common from this period". From this, the necessity for drainage, he deduces a wet period was evident.

Denomination

Now or formerly Medieval Chapel.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Chapel was located at OS grid reference SK2399261752. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.
Last updated on 21 Jan 2015 at 11:40.

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This Report was created 26 Jul 2017 - 00:35:57 BST from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 4 Jun 2017 at 08:14.

URL of this page: http://churchdb.gukutils.org.uk/DBY1574.php
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