Derbyshire Places of Worship

We have 1 Image St Leonard's Church, Shirland Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Heather Faulkes
St Leonard's Church, Shirland
St Leonard's Church,
Chesterfield Road (A61),
Shirland, 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 1226, and we understand it is still open.

The parish of "Shirland with Higham" includes the townships of Shirland and Hallam, and a very small portion of Stretton township, the populous village of Stonebroom and the hamlet of Hallfield Gate. The church is in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of three bays, aisles, south porch, and a fine embattled western tower with eight pinnacles, and containing a clock with chimes, erected at a cost of over £100, and 5 bells... in the north chancel wall is a fine monumental recess, partly of alabaster, adorned with twenty-one mutilated escutcheons, the whole being within an ogee arch with cinquefoil cuspings, beneath which there once lay the effigy of a knight in armour; this monument certainly belonged to the Greys, and the figure is conjectured to have represented Sir Henry de Gray, 5th Baron Grey de Wilton, ob.1396. On the opposite wall is a slab of alabaster, on which are carved three kneeling figures, supposed by Dr. Pegge to commemorate Reginald Grey, justice of Chester, 1st Baron Grey de Wilton. ob.1308, his wife Maud (FitzHugh) and their children. Under the east window of the north aisle is a table tomb of alabaster, the top of which is incised with two full-length figures and has a marginal inscription, in black letters, of John Revell of Shirland, ob.1537, and Margaret his wife; below the figures of the parents are those of three boys and five girls; the sides of the tomb are panelled and adorned with shields of arms; there was a chantry founded by this family at the end of the north aisle. Some fragments of old glass remain in the clerestory windows, and the presence of incised slabs built into the belfry walls indicates the existence of an earlier church here.

Indeed, the first church in Shirland is said to have been built by Sir John de Grey, Lord of the manor. The earliest reference to it is a record dated 22 September 1226, when Walter Deincourt agreed to release the presentation of the church. Until then, he had maintained the church was a chapel dependent of his church at Morton. However, A tradition current at the end of the eighteenth century was that the earliest church in the manor was situated in 'Church Field' between Shirland and Higham. The building was miraculously carried away in the night and deposited on its present site.

The present church was rebuilt after 1490 when the Earl of Shrewsbury acquired the estate and the advowson of the church from the Greys. By the end of the fifteenth century, the Revels, of nearby Ogston Hall, were accepted as the local squires because of the absence of the Earls of Shrewsbury (who by that time were the Lords of manor).

The churchyard is noted by Kelly to have been enlarged in 1892, and probably again since then, since it occupies a very large area behind the church. The river Amber flows through the parish. [Sources: St Leonard's Church, Shirland, and Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire (1895)]

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 SK3996958452. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 9 Feb 2013 at 09:27.

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 Leonard'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 29 Nov 2023 - 02:16:40 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