Derbyshire Places of Worship

St Mary & St Barlok's Church, Norbury (1) (29k) St Mary & St Barlok's Church, Norbury (2) (42k) St Mary & St Barlok's Church, Norbury (3) (44k) St Mary & St Barlok's Church, Norbury (4) (36k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard/Peter & Janet Kirk
St Mary & St Barlok's Church, Norbury
St Mary & St Barlok's Church,
off Norbury Hollow,
Norbury, Derbyshire.


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 12th century, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1932 records the church dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, and "consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, north aisle, divided from the nave by an arcade of four arches on massive piers, two chantry chapels on the south side and an embattled tower, with pinnacles, between these chapels, the lower portion of which forms a south porch, and over the entrance is a clock, placed in 1889 by S.W. Clowes esq. ... the chancel, unusually large in proportion to the rest of the building, was built between 1349 and 1390 ... by Henry Kniveton, then rector: the chief glory of this church is its old stained and painted glass, but the original glass of the east window disappeared during the last century, and is now filled with glass gathered from all parts of the nave; on some quarries the initials N and A show them to have been put in by Nicholas and Alice Fitzherbert, circa 1450: other portions from the south-west chapel bear the initials of John Fitzherbert, circa 1500; the figures of the twelve apostles were removed from various windows in the north aisle, and those of saints from the south-west chapel; in the tracery lights are several emblazoned shields of the Fitzherberts ... the eight windows in the side walls still, for the most part, retain their original glass, circa 1350, covered with Decorated scroll work and admirably-conceived interlaced patterns with shields of arms, representing the most celebrated of the contemporary nobility and gentry of the Lancastrian party at the beginning of the 14th century; the west window has also seven shields and some other devices: there is a finely carved chancel screen, altar table and reredos of oak, some good carved oak benches, several piscinæ and three sedilia without canopies".

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 parish of Norbury, containing the hamlet of Roston lies close to the Staffordshire border and by the River Dove, 5 miles west of Ashbourne. In the Domesday Survey of 1086 ‘Norbury and Roston’ was part of the large estate of Henry de Ferrers, and had 17 villagers and 7 smallholders; a priest and a church; a mill, meadow and woodland pasture. The Fitzherberts later held the Norbury estate for several generations, with the Maskrey family living at the Hall as their tenants for many years. Later the Clowes family occupied the property and became the principal landowners.

The church, the manor house (built mainly in the 1660s), and the remains of the medieval manor house are grouped together in a pleasant setting. The church contains some interesting monuments, mainly to the Fitzherbert family, whose names were attached to Norbury for so long. The church was restored in 1841, and again in 1899, by the Clowes family.

The parish registers date from 1686 and are now deposited at the County Record Office in Matlock.

Norbury has connections with George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans). Her father Robert Evans was born at Roston in 1773 and sang in Norbury church choir. He is said to have made the wooden altar which is now in the north aisle. His parents are buried in the churchyard.

The medieval stained glass in Norbury church has been subject to a restoration programme during 2004, which is now complete. Recent research suggests the glass dates from c1305/6, and it is believed to be some of the oldest in England.

A guide to the glass is available in the church, price £5.

Based on an article by Winifred Waterall in ‘Branch News’, the Journal of the Derbyshire Family History Society in December 1990, when she was editor. Articles by Winifred are reproduced with kind permission.
Information on the stained glass provided by Aud Golding, Secretary of the Friends of Norbury Church.[1]

[Image 3] These impressive tombs are most probably the memorials to the Fitzherbert family mentioned in many sources. They were major land owners in Norbury for many years.

Another interesting monument in Norbury Church is the Double Piscina.[2]

[Image 4] A double piscina set in the church wall to the side of the altar.
(I believe it was more usual to have only a single one and the double ones are quite a rarity?)
The Dictionary definition is: ‘A stone basin with a drain for carrying away the water used for Mass or for ceremonial ablutions’. Also called ”sacrarium”.[2]


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.


This Church is located at OS grid reference SK1254042392. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


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

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

2. Information provided by Peter & Janet Kirk.

Information last updated on 10 Dec 2018 at 12:50.

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This Report was created 26 Jul 2021 - 02:05:06 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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