Derbyshire Places of Worship

All Saints Church, Youlgreave (1) (48k) All Saints Church, Youlgreave (2) (31k) All Saints Church, Youlgreave (3) (36k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Andrew McCann/Alf Beard
All Saints Church, Youlgreave
All Saints Church,
Church Street / Mawstone Lane, DE45 1WS,
Youlgreave, 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 1150, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1932 records Youlgrave (or Youlgreave) as "anciently 'Giolgrave', and a parish 4 miles from Rowsley station on the Ambergate and Manchester section of the London, Midland and Scottish railway, 5 miles from Bakewell, and 157 from London. The rivers Bradford and Lathkill flow through the parish, uniting at Alport. The water supply for the inhabitants is derived from springs rising in Blackley Wood.

The church of All Saints, "a building of mixed styles, from the Norman work of the 12th century down to the debased alterations of the 15th, consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch, and a massive and lofty embattled tower, with pinnacles, containing 8 bells, recast, with additions, from the former peal of 5, and hung at Easter, 1870, at the cost of Mr. and Mrs. Thornhill, of Stanton Hall". The circular piers supporting the arcades of both aisles belong to the Early Norman church, probably erected between the years 1130 and 1150. The arches on the south side are Norman, but on the north Decorated. The font, dating from c.1150-1200, consists of a basin of porous red sandstone, with a small projecting stoup cut from the same block, having the appearance of being held in the jaws of a dragon, sculptured in relief on the side of the basin, which is supported on a circular base, with four surrounding circular shafts on moulded bases.

The most ancient monument in the church is the stone effigy of a cross-legged knight, holding a heart in his clasped hands and girt with a cross-hilted sword. It is supposed to represent Sir John Rossington, of Rossington, near Doncaster. More exquisite, as a monument, is a small altar tomb of alabaster, 3½ feet only in length, on which is the figure of a man in armour, with his head resting on a helmet and wearing round his neck a Yorkist collar of suns and roses. This effigy represents Thomas Cokayne, who died in 1488. In the north aisle is a mural monument "with twenty-one small figures carved in relief" and a marginal inscription to Robert Gilbert of Youlgreave, and Joan his wife (1492), and recording the erection by him of a screen round the east end of the south aisle, where is now a small brass, with effigy, to Frideswide Gilbert (1620). In the north aisle also is a monument "once richly coloured", with kneeling figures, of Roger Rowe, of Alport, and his wife (1613), and in the tower an inscribed stone to Raphael Bradbury, of Youlgreave (1685).

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/449/1/23/40) for "All Saints - Ancient Parish Church" was for an estimated congregation on March 30th of 84 in the morning, and 120 in the afternoon, with 120 Sunday Scholars at both a morning and afternoon class. It was completed by Robert M. Milne, Vicar, of "Youlgreave, Bakewell, Derbyshire".

The registers date from 1558 for all entries, and "are for the most part in excellent preservation". The living (in 1932) was a vicarage, in the gift of the Duke of Devonshire, and had been held since 1907 by the Rev. Lockhart Wilson Greenshields B.A. of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

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 Youlgreave in medieval times and until the 19th century included the townships of Middleton, Smerrill, Birchover, Gratton and Stanton, the villages of Alport and Conksbury, and the chapelries of Winster and Elton. As the size of their populations grew, chapels were built, and chaplains appointed for their inhabitants, but it remained the custom for children to be brought to the “mother” church for baptism, and all marriages and burials of its inhabitants had to take place there.

There is no mention of a church at Youlgreave in the Domesday book; however it is recorded that about the year 1150 Robert Collie, a descendant of the Saxon Lord of the Manor mentioned in Domesday, gave the church at Youlgreave with the chapels of Elton, Winster, Stanton, Middleton and Gratton to the Abbey of St Mary at Leicester. Then in 1552, after the Dissolution, the advowson was granted by Edward VI to Sir William Cavendish. At that time also the chapelry of Winster went to the Warner family, and possibly soon after Winster gained the priviledge of its churchyard being used for burials, with the same being true also for Elton, at a later date. After the Reformation, however the chapels of Gratton, Middleton and Stanton disappeared, and again its inhabitants were compelled to travel to Youlgreave for worship.

After 1838, a new church was built at Stanton and along with the villages of Elton, Winster, and Birchover, it gained full parochial status. However since 1976, though still separate parishes, Middleton, Stanton and Birchover have all been served by the same vicar and the “old medieval links between the congregations have been reforged”.

[The above is a summary of “The Church and the Parish” taken from Youlgreave Parish Church - a Guide, a booklet available in the church][1]


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 SK2120364366. 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.

Information last updated on 9 Jan 2015 at 14:12.

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This Report was created 14 Jul 2021 - 21:59:51 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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