Derbyshire Places of Worship

St Thomas's Church, Somercotes (1) (47k) St Thomas's Church, Somercotes (2) (51k) St Thomas's Church, Somercotes (3) (56k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Peter & Janet Kirk
St Thomas's Church, Somercotes
St Thomas's Church,
Nottingham Road,
Somercotes, 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 1854, and we understand it is still open.

The parish of Somercotes was formed in 1898 from portions of the parishes of Alfreton and Riddings. The name 'Somercotes' derives from the time when the land was owned by Beauchief Abbey, and used for summer grazing.

Kelly's Directory of 1932 describes St Thomas's Church as erected in 1852, and rebuilt (with the exception of the old chancel) in 1902, and is "an edifice of brick and stone, consisting of chancel and nave". The original building was erected in 1849 as a Wesleyan chapel, but following the division in the Methodist Church, the building was sold to the Riddings Churchwardens for £400, which was raised by donations. A chancel, built of stone, was then added, and a stained east window inserted at the expense of Thomas Haden Oakes esq. J.P. in memory of Mrs Beastall. Further additions were made in 1878, and the whole, as Kelly says, was rebuilt in 1902. [Source: Johnson, Reginald - A History of Alfreton (1868)]

In the church is a lead tablet unveiled in 1920 and in the churchyard a marble cross, erected in 1927, both dedicated to the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918. The parish records prior to 1898 are incorporated in those of Riddings and Alfreton.

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] St Thomas Church, Nottingham Road, Somercotes was consecrated in 1854, initially as a chapel of ease of Riddings Church. Prior to this, the residents would have used the Churches at Alfreton or Ironville for worship and baptisms, marriages and burials. Somercotes as we know it today, did not become a settlement until the early 1800's. The now busy main road to Nottingham which cuts through the village replaced the old turnpike road, which ran further north and closer to Alfreton, across Birchwood Lane to Pye Bridge and into Nottinghamshire. One of the Toll Houses was near “The Black Horse” Public House, Lower Somercotes, the oldest part of the village. Until the mid 19th century, the newer part, on top of the hill, was known as “Upper Somercotes” to distinguish it.[1]

[Image 2] This view of the church faces onto Nottingham Road. The War Memorial is directly in front of the church wall. Alas, the majority of Headstones have been removed from the churchyard and have been placed in a ‘paving’ fashion in a corner at the back of the Church.[2]

[Image 3] Tragically, fire destroyed St Thomas's Church roof in 1980 (since restored). The wooden cross which once adorned the roof, though badly burnt in the fire, was salvageable and is displayed as shown here against the church wall.[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 SK4238253801. 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 Janet Kirk/Rosemary Lockie.

2. Information provided by Janet Kirk.

Information last updated on 20 Oct 2013 at 12:50.

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This Report was created 2 Sep 2020 - 04:36:35 BST from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 6 Feb 2019 at 15:49.

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