Derbyshire Places of Worship

We have 1 Image St Martin's Church, Osmaston, Ashbourne Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
St Martin's Church, Osmaston, Ashbourne
St Martin's Church,
Moor Lane, DE6 1LX,
Osmaston, Ashbourne, 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 1845, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1895 describes "Osmaston, next Ashborne, formerly Osmaston-in-the-Wood" as a parish and pictureque village, pleasantly situated on a height 2½ miles south east from Ashborn station on the North Staffordshire railway, 12½ from Uttoxeter, and 10½ south east from Derby.

The Church is described in Samuel Bagshaw's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Derbyshire of 1846 as "a beautiful edifice in the decorated style as it prevailed in the middle of the 14th century... built at the sole expense of Fras. Wright, Esq. at a cost of above £9,000, including school rooms". It occupies the site of the old church, and consists of nave, chancel, side aisles, west tower, south porch and vestry. "The materials used for the main portion of the wall is the mountain lime stone, from the quarries of Tissington, the dark grey being agreeably contrasted with the light tint of the free stone, brought from the quarries of Stanton, and used for the windows, doors, and ornamental portions of the building". The font, of Roche Abbey stone, is a large circular bowl, with a continuous lotus ornament on the upper part. "The tower contains a peal of 5 bells, and will be ornamented with a clock". The first stone of its predecessor, he claimed, was laid in 1400 but "in consequence of the unsettled state of the country was not finished till 1600". The village was then called Whiteston, afterwards Osmaston-in-the-Wood.

According to "About Osmaston Park", a history on the present-day Osmaston Park website, a stone in the 15th century Church was engraved AD CCCCCC. This is also referred to by Dr. J.C. Cox, in his Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire (Vol. 3) He refers to Dr. Pegg, in 1782, saying that in the north-east corner of the chancel was cut in stone "This church was built anno cccccc", adding "which I dare say is not true". Cox also comments on Bagshaw's remark about its origins in the 15th century being fanciful likewise - "we are sure the authors of both these statements would have been considerably puzzled to give any reasons for their confident assertions"!

Cox also refers to a drawing of the old chapel taken by Rev. R.R. Rawlins in 1834, as well as one some years earlier by Mr Meynell. A church guide leaflet, A Short History (of) St Martin's Church Osmaston, which I have in my possession, also mentions an engraving by Alonzo Edward Madeley of Derby. Incidentally, legend has it that the earliest building was made of wickerwork, which in some respects may be quite reasonable for the period, before being replaced with stone in the 15th century.

Cox, is however willing to concede that, although there is no mention of a church at the time of the Domesday Survey, it is reasonable to assume "where there was any large amount of monastic property" that Osmaston had a chapel as early as the 12th century.

This church was served by the Rector of Brailsford, and by the 19th century somewhat "dilapidated". The estate had been owned by the Fitzherberts of Tissington in the 17th century, but after passing through the hands of the Beresfords of Ashbourne and Fenny Bentley, it was acquired by Francis Wright, in a combination of inheritance and purchase. Francis was a wealthy industrialist, and the owner of the Butterley Company near Swanwick, and an estate at Lenton (near Nottingham). He decided to establish his "seat" at Osmaston, and as a consequence, built (or rebuilt) the village, and a Church, followed by Osmaston Hall. He died in 1873, and the estate was inherited by his son John, who changed his surname to "Osmaston".

Wright's Manor House has since been demolished, but his Church, and village remain. The Church (St Martin) was built to a design by Henry Stevens of Derby, and is now Grade II Listed - see the British Listed Buildings website for details. Of particular interest is the Vestry - "almost like a small octagonal Chapter House. Each capital has a different shield and crest with most interesting heraldry".

There may be more information available by by selecting one or more of the accompanying images on the right.


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 SK1995044008. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Osmaston, Ashbourne, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 28 Oct 2018 at 10:32.

Search for other Places of Worship in Derbyshire, or in another County in this Database

Please choose a County by selecting one of the Tabs below.
Note: you MUST choose a County - searching all four at once is not an option!

Search Tips:

You can specify either a Place, or OS Grid Reference to search for. When you specify a Place, only entries for that place will be returned, with Places of Worship listed in alphabetical order. If you specify a Grid Reference, Places of Worship in the immediate vicinity will be listed, in order of distance from the Grid Reference supplied. The default is to list 10, but you can specify How Many you want to see, up to a maximum of 100.

You can further refine your search by supplying other search terms.

Please note the above provides a search of selected fields in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database on this site ( only. For other counties, or for a full search of the Database, you might like to try the site's Google Custom Search, which includes full webpage content.

Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that whilst the above account may suggest that St Martin's Church remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

Do not copy any part of this page or website other than for personal use or as given in our Terms and Conditions of Use.

You may wish to take a look at our About the Places of Worship Database page for an overview of the information provided, and any limitations which may be present.

This Report was created 6 Dec 2023 - 18:52:14 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.

URL of this page:
Logo by courtesy of the Open Clip Art Library