Derbyshire Places of Worship

St Michael the Archangel's Church (RC), Hathersage (38k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
St Michael the Archangel's Church (RC), Hathersage
St Michael the Archangel's Church (RC),
Main Road, S32 1BS,
Hathersage, Derbyshire.


We believe the Church does NOT have 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 in 1692, and we understand it is still open.

The first item of note in secular sources relating to this Chapel is the following notice in The London Gazette of 12th February 1850 (p.398) recording its registration for marriages:

NOTICE is hereby given, that a separate building, named the Roman Catholic Chapel, situated at Hathersage, in the parish of Hathersage, in the county of Derby, in the district of Bakewell Union, being a building certified according to law as a place of religious worship, was, on the 2nd day of February 1850, duly registered for solemnizing marriages therein, pursuant to the Act of 6th and 7th Wm. IV., cap. 85. Dated 5th February 1850.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/449/3/5/6) for "Catholic Chapel, Hathersage" describes a separate building, erected "about 190 years ago" used exclusively as a place of worship. There were 150 sittings, all of which were "totally free"; and the estimated congregation on March 30th was 120 in the morning, "very few" in the afternoon, and none in the evening. The return was completed by Benjamin Hulme, Catholic Priest, of "Hathersage N. Bakewell". He remarked that it was "one of the oldest chapels in England - once unroofed by a gang of Ruffians - urged by their no-popery zeal - something like what at present animates the soul of Lord John Russel".

Note: Lord Russell (1792-1878) is known to have been Home Secretary, and Leader of the House of Commons in 1835-6, but had yet to become Prime Minister, for the first time, in 1855. The Chapel was attacked and partly demolished, to leave only the walls standing during the time Bueno Anderton was parish priest (c1691-1723). Benjamin Hulme was priest from 1847-1851.

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] The foundation of a Catholic community in Hathersage may be traced back to Thomas BARLEY or BARLOW of Stoke Hall, marrying Matilda, the daughter of John FITZHERBERT, who had been arrested along with the Martyrs at Padley [See Padley Chapel]. On their marriage, Thomas sold Stoke Hall, and moved to Nether Hirst, where their house became a regular meeting place for the recusants of the High Peak.

The Catholic James II, who came to the throne in 1685 gave permission for English Catholics to build public and private Chapels. Adam FURNISS, the head of a prominent ‘recusant’ family owning considerable land in Eyam and Hathersage provided the land on which the Chapel was to be built. The money for building was provided by subscription from the large recusant population - at that time 140, more than anywhere else in Derbyshire. The deed for the land was signed 24th July 1691; the building was completed in 11 months and it was opened 24th June 1692.

The first priest at the Chapel was Bueno ANDERTON. During his priesthood it has been recorded that the Chapel was attacked and partly demolished by a ‘protestant mob’.

It took almost 100 years, and The Relief Act of 1791, before rebuilding could take place. Finance was provided by a bond executed for £6,000 by Thomas EYRE of Hassop “in trust for rebuilding the Chapel at Hathersage and the building of a house for a priest on Furniss lower meadow”. Rebuilding began in 1798 and the Chapel was reopened 24th July 1806. The first priest of the newly-opened Chapel was Edward EYRE.

In 1852 following the restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy (1850) the Diocese of Nottingham was founded and the Chapel was named St Michael the Archangel. In 1980 it became part of the new Diocese of Hallam.

Smith, Barbara M - A History of the Catholic Chapel at Hathersage, 1987. Published by Hope Valley Press. ISBN 0-9512614-0-1.[1]


Now or formerly Roman Catholic.

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


This Church is located at OS grid reference SK2296481601. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Hathersage, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.


A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 10 Dec 2018 at 09:27.

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This Report was created 7 Jul 2021 - 13:48:41 BST from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 3 Feb 2021 at 08:33.

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