Derbyshire Places of Worship

We have 4 Images St James's Church, Swarkestone (1) St James's Church, Swarkestone (2) St James's Church, Swarkestone (3) St James's Church, Swarkestone (4) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard/Paul Slater
St James's Church, Swarkestone
St James's Church,
Church Lane, DE73 7GT,
Swarkestone, 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 the 12th century, and we understand it is still open.

St James's is one of the churches in the Trent and Derwent Parish Churches group. The other churches are Aston on Trent, Barrow on Trent, Elvaston, Shardlow, Twyford and Weston on Trent.

It was, until 1219, a daughter chapel of the Knights Hospitallers of St John, at Barrow.

Kelly's Directory of 1895 tells us that it was restored in 1876, the only parts remaining of the medieval church being the tower, in the Late Perpendicular style, and the Harper mortuary chapel. The latter is situated on the south side of the chancel, and contains two monuments. One is to Richard Harpur, Justice of the Common Pleas, d. 1577, and his wife Jane (Fynderne), with recumbent effigies, that of the judge being in official robes with a collar of SS.; surrounding the tomb is a fillet of brass, with engraved figures of boars and dogs. The other tomb also has recumbent effigies, one in armour, of Sir John Harpur kt. son of the judge, d. 1627, his head resting on his helmet, and the other to Isabella (Pierpont) his first wife. On the front of this tomb, and carved in relief, is a double prayer desk, with open books thereon, and the kneeling figures of seven sons on one side, and five daughters on the other; above each are their names and shields of arms. Against the south wall above the tomb is a curious tablet, with an inscription to both, surrounded with floriated work and objects in colour, and against the east wall of this chapel is a mural monument to Frances, eldest daughter of William, 6th Baron Willoughly of Parham and wife 1st of Sir John Harpur kt. who died in 1714, surviving three husbands. On the north side is a canopied tomb to the Rolleston family, the top of which is incised with figures of John Rolleston, ob. 1482, in plate armour, and his wife, ob. 1460. On the front are carved in relief the figures of seven sons and seven daughters.

A more modern addition to the church is the entrance gateway, with double wrought iron gates, tipped with gilded finials, under an ornamental archway - quite spectacular.

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 SK3719028591. 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 Swarkestone, 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 Jan 2013 at 15:48.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 17:28:30 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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