Derbyshire Places of Worship

We have 5 Images St James the Apostle's Church, Bonsall (1) (91k) St James the Apostle's Church, Bonsall (2) (89k) St James the Apostle's Church, Bonsall (3) (91k) St James the Apostle's Church, Bonsall (4) (76k) St James the Apostle's Church, Bonsall (5) (76k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie/Janet Kirk
St James the Apostle's Church, Bonsall
St James the Apostle's Church,
Church Street,
Bonsall, 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 1291, and we understand it is still open.

Bulmer's Directory of Derbyshire of 1895 describes St James's Church as "an ancient embattled edifice situated on a shelving rock above the dale, overlooking the village". It comprises a lengthy chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and tower surmounted by an elegant octagonal spire, containing six bells. The fabric was thoroughly restored and enlarged in 1863, and the chancel restored, by the Rev. Isaac Bickerstaff, B.D. then rector. "As much of the old edifice as possible has been preserved, and no ancient feature has been destroyed that was capable of retention". The pillars of the aisles show two periods or erection; those of the south aisle are quatrefoil, and those of the north are octagonal. The arches are pointed. The ancient octagonal font stands under the tower archway, and the piscinae remain in the chancel and south aisle.

The pulpit was given by Robert Clay, Esq., the reading desk and communion table by the Rev. Samuel Prince, the clock by Mrs. Elizabeth Ashworth, and the lamps were recently presented by F. Hemstock, Esq. The chancel window is a fine work of art, erected by William and Francis Hemstock to the memory of Mary Woodiwiss. In the north aisle is a marble tablet to the memory of Henry Ferne (d.1703), who was Receiver General to the Customs in the reigns of William III, Anne, and George I. Two stone coffins and other memorials of early sepulture were found during the work of restoration. The living was in 1895 a rectory, valued at the Reformation at £10 8s. 1d., and in 1895, £180 net, in the gift of the Bishop of Southwell, and held by the Rev. J. Kitchingman. The register dates from 1628, and at the time of publication of Kelly's Directory of 1932 was said to be in good condition.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/447/6/11/17) for "St James, an Old Parish Church" recorded an average congregation of 75 in the morning, and 150 in the afternoon, with 180 and 150 Sunday Scholars respectively attending classes. The return was completed by E.S. Greville, Rector of Bonsall, "Nr. Matlock, Derbyshire". He explained that "this Paper was forwarded to me in London, because the Officiating Clergyman could not answer the questions - & for this reason I cannot fill up VII." (VII. refers to the section for an estimate of the congregation on March 30th) He also said he could not say when it was consecrated or licensed "being absent from Home". "E.S" is recorded in Bagshaw's Directory of 1846 as "Eden Septimus".


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 SK2799058130. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 7 Mar 2015 at 15:18.

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This Report was created 29 Nov 2023 - 03:15:59 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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