Derbyshire Places of Worship

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St Giles's Church (Private), Calke
St Giles's Church (Private),
Calke Abbey Estate, LE65 1RR,
Calke, 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 11th century, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1932 describes the church at Calke as "said to be dedicated to St Giles [and] appropriated to the canons of the priory at an early date". It stands on high ground to the north of the site of the former priory buildings. It consists of chancel, nave and an embattled tower containing an ancient bell of the 14th century. The old church was probably of Norman origin, traces of the work of this period being found when the church was restored. The building was a simple parallelogram, the chancel being divided from the nave by a wooden screen of rude open work. The font, an Early English work of the 13th century, consists of a large bowl on four clustered shafts.

In the chancel is a marble monument with bust to Sir John Harpur, 4th bart. d.1741, and Catherine (Crewe) his wife. A mural tablet to Sir Vauncey Harpur Crewe, 10th and last baronet, was erected on the south wall in 1928 by his family. Outside the eastern wall are slabs with inscriptions to the Rev. Thomas Bate, rector of Swarkestone (1727), and the Rev. William Smith, curate (1754), and nearby is a raised tomb to the Rev. Mr. Harpur M.A. rector of Stanton (1744). The church was rebuilt in 1826 by Sir George Crewe bart. The parish records date from 1699. Calke was said to be a chaplaincy, in the gift of Mrs. Mosley, and held since 1922 by the Rev. Frederick Davis M.A. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was also vicar of Ticknall, where he resided.

A priory of canons regular of St Augustine, dedicated to St Giles, was founded here soon after the Conquest, and was afterwards incorporated with that of Repton. At the Dissolution it came to and remained with the Crown until 1547, when it was granted by Edward VI. to the Earl of Warwick. Thereafter it became the property of Henry Harpur esq., who was created a baronet in 1626. There is no record of any parochial relief being distributed or any highway rate made in this parish.

Calke Abbey was built on the site of the old Priory and erected early in the eighteenth century by Sir John Harpur bart. - "a noble mansion, standing in the centre of a deer park of 500 acres", and in 1932, the seat of Lt.-Col. Godfrey Mosley T.D., J.P. and Mrs. Mosley. Mrs Mosley was then (in `1932) lady of the manor, and sole landowner. She was the eldest daughter of Sir Vauncey Harpur Crewe. The House was handed over to the National Trust in 1985 by her nephew Henry Jenney, who later adopted the name of Harpur Crewe.


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 SK3692522344. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 4 Jun 2017 at 08:14.

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This Report was created 29 Nov 2023 - 02:22:34 GMT from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:33.

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