Derbyshire Places of Worship

St Matthew's Church, Morley (1) (81k) St Matthew's Church, Morley (2) (77k) St Matthew's Church, Morley (3) (91k) St Matthew's Church, Morley (4) (112k) St Matthew's Church, Morley (5) (99k) St Matthew's Church, Morley (6) (107k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Janet Kirk
St Matthew's Church, Morley
St Matthew's Church (link to Church's website)
Church Lane,
Morley, Derbyshire.

Cemeteries

This Church has (or 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 in the 11th century, and we understand it is still open.

St Matthew's Church, Morley is off the beaten track, being situated behind trees, on a narrow road, circling the church. Next to the church is a large tithe barn, which according to the British Listed Buildings was converted into a house, but is now used for "storage and recreation". It is believed to date from the 16th century.

Kelly's Directory of 1895 suggests the church itself probably dates from Saxon or very Early Norman times. It consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles with arcades of two arches (the aisles being continued eastwards as chapels), south porch and an embattled western tower of Early Perpendicular date, with lofty spire, containing a clock, placed in 1887, and 3 bells, two of which were given to the church by "John Statum, squyer, some-time lorde of this towne", who died in 1454. The arcades, which belong to the reign of Stephen, or the beginning of that of Henry II, were formed by cutting through the original nave walls.

The north aisle was rebuilt in the 16th century and enlarged in order to receive the windows and stained glass from the refectory of Dale Abbey, dissolved in 1539; only three of the windows now retain any of this glass, the most interesting portion of which, in one of the north windows, represents the legend of Robert, the hermit of Knaresborough. Another window depicts the legend of the Holy Cross, and a third is a memorial to Harriet, wife of the Hon. W.M. Jervis, d.1875. The east window of the aisle has full-length figures of the Virgin and Saints, with subjects illustrating the Te Deum, the centre light containing figures of the twelve Apostles, and above this a representation of the assumption of St. Ursula. The porch and its doorway are also said to have been brought from Dale Abbey.

In the south aisle are the remains of an obituary window, with heraldic adornments to John Sacheverell, slain at Bosworth Field, 21 Aug 1485. A window in the south wall has figures of St Roger, Bishop of London (1229-41), and other early ecclesiastics, and one near it a figure of St Catherine. Various collections of encaustic tiles, from different parts of the church, were in 1850 placed at the east end of the north aisle, besides simple initials these exhibit a large number of heraldic examples, including the coats of Lancaster, Grey, Beauchamp, Zouch and others. There are three brasses in commemoration of John, son of Thomas Stathum, and a great benefactor to this church. The first is a simple plate to John (d.1453) and Cecily his wife (d.1444); the second is a representation of Stathum in armour, bare-headed and kneeling on his helmet, and his wife, clad in a loose robe, kneeling opposite; and the third is a requiem plate, to pray for certain members of the family of Godyth. A mutilated and inscribed slab, now in the tower, is supposed to be the gravestone of his father, Thomas Stathum.

To his son, also Thomas (d.1470), there is a brass on the north side of the chancel, with the figures of the knight in plate armour, his head, resting on his helmet, and his two wives, in flowing robes, one on either side. The son of this Sir Thomas, Henry Stathum (d.1480), reposes under a slab of Purbeck marble, inlaid with brasses, beneath a canopied arch opening from the south chapel into the chancel, which bears figures of himself in plate armour, with his head on a helmet and his feet resting on a lion, and of his three wives, one on the right and two on the left.

At the east end of the north aisle is the tomb of Katherine, daughter of Sir Henry Sacheverell, and wife of Thomas Babington of Dethick, d.1543. Other members of the Sacheverell family are well represented, and memorials include John (d.1485), Henry (d.1558), Jacynth (d.1656), Henry (d.1662), Jonathan (d.1662), William (d.1691), Robert (d.1714), and Jane (d.1746), plus members of the Babington and Sitwell families.

Other monuments include past rectors of the Wilmot, Sitwell, and Wilson families, covering the period 1741 to 1844. A monument has also been placed in the church to Sir Hugh Bateman bart. of Hartington Hall, d. 1824; and a brass to Samuel Fox, an eminent Anglo-Saxon scholar, and rector here for 26 years, d.1870.

The shaft of a churchyard cross still remains, but has been much shortened in order to receive a sundial plate, dated 1762. The graceful shaft of another cross, with its steps and nearly perfect head, stands a little to the west of the church. The churchyard also contains a Mausoleum, erected in 1897 (after this edition of Kelly!) for the Lord of the Manor, Sir Hugh Alleyne Sacheveral Bateman, by his wife Anna. It had fallen into disrepair, but was renovated around 1996. There is a family coat of arms on the gated doorway.

The church plate includes a covered chalice, given by Elizabeth, wife of Jonathan Sacheverell, dated 1663. The parish records "which are in a very fair condition", date from 1540 for baptisms, and 1544 for marriages and burials.

Denomination

Now or formerly Church of England.

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 Church is located at OS grid reference SK3966240933. 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 4 Sep 2013 at 16:13.

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This Report was created 16 May 2017 - 13:52:38 BST from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 27 Aug 2016 at 10:57.

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