Derbyshire Places of Worship

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St John the Baptist's Church, Staveley
St John the Baptist's Church,
Church Street,
Staveley, 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.

There is a photograph of St John the Baptist's Church on woodytyke's Flikr photostream. The description includes the information that it was built by Hacon, a Saxon, in the early 11th century, and extended in the Norman period by the Musard family, who used Saxon grave slabs for part of the window sills.

Kelly's Directory of 1895 provides a lengthy description - St John's is "an edifice of stone consisting of chancel, south chantry, nave, aisles, south porch and a western tower, containing a clock and 8 bells... the most ancient remains in this church are some fragments of incised slabs worked up in the window sills of two windows in the south aisle and possibly coeval with the church existing at the time of the Domesday Survey". The font is also a fine and early specimen of work, unique in some of its details and dating from the 12th century.

The basement of the tower, with its irregular buttresses, and the south doorway, appear to belong to the Early English period. The arcade of the south aisle, consisting of five pointed arches, is Decorated. Two low arches on an octagonal pier divide the chancel from the chantry, and above these arches is a clerestory, lighted by six small windows. The church was much altered during the prevalence of the debased Perpendicular style, the upper part of the tower, with its battlements and pinnacles, bearing the date 1681. In the south aisle is a mutilated piscina, and built into the outer wall of the north aisle is a richly-carved recess with a crocketed ogee arch and pinnacles; in the upper half is a painting, now much faded, of the "Resurrection". On the eastern gable of the nave is a bell-cote containing a sanctus bell. Some fragments of ancient glass linger in the east window of the chantry.

On the north side of the chancel is an altar tomb, bearing on the upper slab the full-length figure in brass of a knight in plate armour, covered by a tabard, displaying the arms of Frecheville. The head and shoulders of the figure are missing, but above are scrolls with invocatory prayers, an emblem of the Trinity and escutcheons of arms. On the margin is a mutilated inscription to Sir Peter Frecheville knighted at the battle of Pinkie or Musselburgh, 10 Sept. 1547, and Matilda his wife; she died in 1482. Around the sides are shields of arms: here also is a monument with figures of a man in armour and his wife, kneeling at desks facing each other, eight boys in long gowns also kneeling behind the one and seven girls behind the other. Above is a figure of the Virgin and child, and underneath all inscription to "Peyrs Frechwell, ob. 25 March 1503, and Maude his wyf".

Under one of the arches of the chancel arcade is an alabaster slab, bearing the effigy of an armoured knight, bareheaded and with clasped hands, representing John Frecheville, son of the foregoing Sir Peter, ob. 1509. The remains of similar slabs, much defaced, were removed at the restoration to the chantry, or "Frecheville quire", now containing the later monuments of that family, including a large marble sarcophagus to John, 1st and only Baron Frecheville, and the last of his race, who died in 1682, and a memorial to his daughter Christian, 1st wife of Lord St. John, of Basing, afterwards Marquess of Winchester and Duke of Bolton; she died in 1653. Behind the monument of Lord Frecheville is a fine stained window in the Renaissance style, dated 1676, with his arms. Here also is a slab incised with the figure of an ecclesiastic, standing beneath a canopy and supporting with one hand a pastoral staff, intended to commemorate John Warton, a former rector.

Another incised slab, probably of the 12th century, bears a cross with a simply-formed circular head; the head of a third incised cross is almost entirely concealed by the base of a large canopied niche, designed for two figures of saints and placed in the south-east angle. The church was restored in 1865, when the north aisle was added and the roofs raised: there are 800 sittings. In the churchyard, near the south porch, stands a restored cross, the original portions consisting of the base and most of the shaft. The register dates from 1557 for all entries.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/448/4/1/2) cited an average morning congregation of "200 to 250", followed by "150 to 200" in the afternoon, and "about 90" Sunday Scholars for both assemblies. These figures were deemed "too low an average - perhaps better attendance in Summer certainly" by Rector J.D. Macfarlane. He also commented that the "Parish was upwards of 6600 acres - Agricultural population lying generally wide of the Parish Church - Mining population here is generally chiefly Methodist". Further that "A great part of the mining population is fluctuating. These strangers have no associations with the Parish Church, nor indeed with any place of worship".

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 SK4334974871. 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 2 Aug 2013 at 06:45.

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This Report was created 13 Oct 2017 - 22:12:46 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.

URL of this page: http://churchdb.gukutils.org.uk/DBY567.php
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