Derbyshire Places of Worship

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St John the Baptist's Church, Smalley
St John the Baptist's Church,
Main Road (A608),
Smalley, 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 1793, and we understand it is still open.

The ecclesiastical parish of Smalley was formed in 1877 from the parish of Morley. St John the Baptist was formerly a chapel of ease of St Matthew's Church. It is described on the return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/446/2/6/2) as "St John the Baptist Chapel - Room", consecrated "before 1800". The estimated congregation on March 30th was 60 to morning service, and 90 in the afternoon, but there is no other information about the building as the person filling in the form remarked that "The Minister declined to give me any information on the subject in this return [and I] have returned the above from information otherwise obtained".

Kelly's Directory of 1932 describes it as "a plain building of stone, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and a western turret containing one bell". A tower was erected in 1913 at the north-west corner of the church to contain 6 bells, five of which were given by the late Rev. Charles Kerry. The chancel was erected at the cost of Mrs Radford, who also presented a stained window, and the church has been restored and enlarged. There is a carved oak tablet in the church bearing the names of the parishioners who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918. There were then 270 sittings.

Half an acre of land, presented by R.S. Wilmot Sitwell esq., was added to the churchyard in 1878. The register of baptisms dates from 1854, marriages from 1838, and burials from 1814; records of earlier events will be found in the Morley registers.

The account of St John the Baptist's Church on the British Listed Buildings website dates the building from 1793. Notable in their lengthy account is mention of an enamelled brass plaque in the chancel, inscribed 'This church was erected to the honour and glory of God by Mary Brittle Radford, wife of John Radford Esq of Smalley AD 1863'; and (also in the chancel) several wall memorials, including two slate and white marble ones to the Radford family of c.1822 and 1834, and one of c.1768 to the Richardson family, in a similar style.


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 SK4063844133. 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 Smalley, 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 15 Sep 2013 at 16:11.

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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 John the Baptist's Church remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 18:52:47 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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