Derbyshire Places of Worship

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St Lawrence's (or St Helen's) Church, North Wingfield
St Lawrence's (or St Helen's) Church,
St Lawrence Road (opposite Church Lane), S42 5HX,
North Wingfield, 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 before 1000, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1895 tells us that North Wingfield parish originally comprised six townships - North Wingfield with Williamthorpe, Clay Lane, Pilsley, Stretton, Tupton and Woodthorpe. The townships of Clay Lane, Stretton and Woodthorpe were formed into the parish of Clay Cross in 1852; and the township of Pilsley became a separate parish in 1874.

The church of St Lawrence (or St Helen) "is a building of stone, consisting of clerestoried chancel, nave of four bays, with clerestory, aisles, south porch and a lofty embattled western tower of Perpendicular date, 100 feet in height and containing 6 bells, the 3rd of ancient date and the rest dating from 1617 to 1811". An illuminated clock with chimes was placed in the tower in July 1893 as a memorial to the then late rector. Some remains of the earlier fabric of Late Norman date have survived - a window in the north aisle, with toothed mouldings, and singularly designed capitals, and an arch between the north aisle and the small transeptal chapel at its eastern end. The chancel has an unusual feature, of three clerestory windows on each side. The east window, a Decorated work of about 1320, was refilled with stained glass in 1879, by the Rev. G.W. Darby M.A. late rector, as a memorial to his wife, and in 1880 a memorial window was erected in the chancel to the Rev. James Barrow M.A. rector here, 1861-78. The pre-Reformation altar slab of black marble, framed in an oak table about 1850, is still in use. Some altar cloths, ornamented with ancient Greek lace, were presented in 1893. On the north side of the chancel is an arch, reopened in 1880 and communicating with the transeptal (chantry) chapel. The latter was founded "in pursuance of a licence from Henry VII." by John Babyngton, knt. and Ralph Savage, 4th February, 1488, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.

The Decorated tracery of the east window of the chapel has been renewed; on its walls, beneath Decorated canopies, are various interesting stone carvings in high relief, some portion of which may represent the "Annunciation". Here also are several stone effigies of the Deincourt family. On the floor of the chapel are the shattered remains of an early memorial slab with a figure in slight relief, taken from the arch on the outside wall of the chancel, and upon which the knightly effigy formerly there had been placed.

On the exterior south wall of the chancel, within an ogee arch, lies the mutilated figure of a knight, previously on the floor of the chapel, and the knightly effigy previously within this arch has been transferred to a canopied recess in the interior north wall of the chancel, carefully restored by the aid of fragments discovered in unmasking the wall. In the north aisle, at its south-east angle, are the stairs, still perfect, which anciently led to the rood loft. At the foot of these stairs is a square recess or almery, the upper side of which is formed of part of a carved semi-effigial memorial.

In the south aisle is a sculpture representing the martyrdom of St Lawrence, found in 1860 beneath a crocketed canopy. The south porch is built mainly of fragments used previously in other parts of the building. The font is octagonal, dating from 1662. The clerestory of the nave, its roof and the north aisle were restored in 1872, during which time various fragments of ancient slabs were found in the wall of the north aisle, of which the inner faces were covered with scriptural texts, in black letter, of the Elizabethan age, and a fresco of St George and the Dragon. A former semi-circular roof of plaster was removed, and the open-timbered 14th century roof renovated. The clerestory windows, "previously renewed in a debased style" were filled with simple tracery. Other incised slabs were also found, which had served as lintels for the clerestory windows.

In the churchyard are several interesting old monuments and a stone sun-dial, "of great antiquity". The churchyard was enlarged in 1887 by the addition of 2 acres. The parish records date from the year 1567; however much of the earlier part is said to be illegible.

There was a chantry house adjoining the north-east angle of the churchyard, which became an inn, known as the "Blue Bell". Apparently it retains some of its original features.


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 SK4045864459. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 3 Aug 2013 at 15:32.

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This Report was created 29 Nov 2023 - 02:41:59 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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