Derbyshire Places of Worship

We have 1 Image Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, St Michael & All Angels, Birchover Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, St Michael & All Angels, Birchover
Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, St Michael & All Angels,
Rowtor Lane, DE4 2BL,
Birchover, 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 1717, and we understand it is still open.

Birchover is a township and small village formerly in the parish of Youlgreave, but in the parish of Stanton-in-Peak since 1876. Kelly's Directory of 1895 provides the following account of the church:

"The church at Row Tor, in this township (probably dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels), was built by Thomas Eyre esq. who died in 1717, leaving an endowment as below for a chaplain, who should read the Common Prayer in this chapel twice every day and administer the Sacrament every Sunday: about 1869 a chancel was added, the cost being defrayed by William Pole Thornhill esq. and the chapel was restored in 1877, at a cost of £150; it now consists of a chancel and nave, with a turret containing 1 bell; there are monuments to the Rev. John Gresley, minister of this chapel and rector of Aller, Somerset (1795) and to John Bradley gent. of Row Tor (1795); there are 100 sittings."

Kelly's Directory of 1932 has a slightly different version, referring to it as the Church of Jesus, and saying that it was originally Roman Catholic; it also adds that a stained east window was added in 1898, at a cost of over £60, the chancel floor relaid with marble at a cost of £25; and that the chalice (dating from the 17th century) then used in the church was thought to have come from the old original church at Uppertown, the foundations of which could still be traced.

This seems to suggest there was an earlier church, prior to that built by Thomas Eyre; however the British Listed Buildings website, recording it as having a combined dedication, makes no mention of an earlier church.

Neither does J.C. Cox, in his Notes on the churches of Derbyshire (Vol.2). He describes it as "The Chapel at Rowtor in the township of Birchover", and comments that it is rather curious that there should be no memorial to Thomas Eyre inside the chapel. He also mentions that amongst the Wolley papers there is a letter dated 1769 written on behalf of the Bishop, remonstrating with the Rev. Mr. Mason, of Winster, for baptising in the "private domestic chapel of Rowter in the parish of Youlgreave", because "the chapel had only been consecrated for the convenience and ease of the Rowtor family". He also refers to a drawing of the chapel of 1823, where the dedication is recorded as to All Saints!

But what does the the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/449/2/3/9) have to say about it? It is described as "Birchover Chapel - an ancient donative", in the Township of Birchover, parish of Youlgreave, and as consecrated "before 1800". The return was completed by J.F. Garrett, Officiating Minister, of "Elton Parsonage, nr. Matlock". It was said to have 80 free sittings, and 20 "other" sittings, but no figures were given for attendance, this being explained to the effect that although the Chapel was endowed for the performance of Divine Service once every month, "the present practice is to give the regular service every Sunday from Easter to Michaelmas - during the winter months when the Church is considered too damp & open(?) therein a weekly lecture in given in a cottage".

The road past the church, which also leads to Rowtor Rocks, terminates in a dead-end.

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 SK2357762103. 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 Birchover, 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 13 Jan 2015 at 11:35.

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This Report was created 29 Nov 2023 - 01:33:44 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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