Derbyshire Places of Worship

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St Thomas's Church, Willesley
St Thomas's Church,
Willesley Park,
Willesley, 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 14th century, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire in 1895 describes St Thomas's Church as "beautifully situated close to the Hall", and a building of stone, dating generally from the first half of the 14th century, consisting of chancel, nave and an embattled western tower with pinnacles, built in 1845, containing 2 small bells without date. There are some interesting monuments to the Hastings and Abney families, including, on the floor of the chancel, two alabaster slabs, with figures and inscriptions much worn, to John Abney and Maria his wife (1505), and to George Abney and Ellen his wife (1571).

On the floor of the nave is another alabaster slab with inscription to Sir John Wylkins, priest, and there is also a fine altar tomb of black and white marble to Sir Charles Hastings bart. d.1823. In the chancel windows are some fragments of old glass and modern heraldic glass of the Hastings family. The church was reseated in the year 1883 at the sole expense of the Earl of Loundoun, and a handsome pulpit and prayer desk placed in it. The parish records date from 1677, and contain also a list of moneys collected by Brief from 1669 to 1707. The living had then been held since 1866 by the Rev. John Denton M.A. of St John's College Cambridge, hon. canon of Peterborough, and surrogate, also vicar of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where he was resident.

The Earl of Loundoun D.L, J.P. was lord of the manor, principal landowner, and owner of Willesley Hall, a red-brick mansion, "standing in a magnificently-wooded park of 190 acres, including a lake of 24 acres in extent".

Willesley was transferred to Leicestershire 1897, and to the diocese of Leicester in 1927.


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 SK3406114737. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 28 Nov 2013 at 13:38.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 6 Dec 2023 - 18:29:01 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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