Derbyshire Places of Worship

St Leonard's Church, Shirland (43k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Heather Faulkes
St Leonard's Church, Shirland
St Leonard's Church (link to Church's website)
Chesterfield Road (A61),
Shirland, 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 before 1226, and we understand it is still open.

The parish of "Shirland with Higham" includes the townships of Shirland and Hallam, and a very small portion of Stretton township, the populous village of Stonebroom and the hamlet of Hallfield Gate. The church is in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of three bays, aisles, south porch, and a fine embattled western tower with eight pinnacles, and containing a clock with chimes, erected at a cost of over £100, and 5 bells... in the north chancel wall is a fine monumental recess, partly of alabaster, adorned with twenty-one mutilated escutcheons, the whole being within an ogee arch with cinquefoil cuspings, beneath which there once lay the effigy of a knight in armour; this monument certainly belonged to the Greys, and the figure is conjectured to have represented Sir Henry de Gray, 5th Baron Grey de Wilton, ob.1396. On the opposite wall is a slab of alabaster, on which are carved three kneeling figures, supposed by Dr. Pegge to commemorate Reginald Grey, justice of Chester, 1st Baron Grey de Wilton. ob.1308, his wife Maud (FitzHugh) and their children. Under the east window of the north aisle is a table tomb of alabaster, the top of which is incised with two full-length figures and has a marginal inscription, in black letters, of John Revell of Shirland, ob.1537, and Margaret his wife; below the figures of the parents are those of three boys and five girls; the sides of the tomb are panelled and adorned with shields of arms; there was a chantry founded by this family at the end of the north aisle. Some fragments of old glass remain in the clerestory windows, and the presence of incised slabs built into the belfry walls indicates the existence of an earlier church here.

Indeed, the first church in Shirland is said to have been built by Sir John de Grey, Lord of the manor. The earliest reference to it is a record dated 22 September 1226, when Walter Deincourt agreed to release the presentation of the church. Until then, he had maintained the church was a chapel dependent of his church at Morton. However, A tradition current at the end of the eighteenth century was that the earliest church in the manor was situated in 'Church Field' between Shirland and Higham. The building was miraculously carried away in the night and deposited on its present site.

The present church was rebuilt after 1490 when the Earl of Shrewsbury acquired the estate and the advowson of the church from the Greys. By the end of the fifteenth century, the Revels, of nearby Ogston Hall, were accepted as the local squires because of the absence of the Earls of Shrewsbury (who by that time were the Lords of manor).

The churchyard is noted by Kelly to have been enlarged in 1892, and probably again since then, since it occupies a very large area behind the church. The river Amber flows through the parish. [Sources: St Leonard's Church, Shirland, and Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire (1895)]

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 SK3996958452. 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 9 Feb 2013 at 09:27.

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This Report was created 25 Jul 2017 - 04:44:03 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.

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