Derbyshire Places of Worship

We have 3 Images St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne (1) St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne (2) St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne (3) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne
St Oswald's Church,
Church Street,
Ashbourne, 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 about 1220, and we understand it is still open.

St Oswald's Church is widely acknowledged as one of the finest in Derbyshire. The earliest part of the present church dates from around 1200, though the building is believed to stand on the site of a pagan holy well, thought to be concealed beneath the crossing, and a church in Essebourne is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The spire is 212 feet, and has four tiers of dormer windows.

Its patron saint, St Oswald, was a seventh century king of Northumbria, killed at the Battle of Oswestry, fighting against the pagan King Penda of Mercia. It is thought that a Saxon place of worship (probably of wood) would have existed here before the Normans, and that Celtic missionaries from Iona brought Christianity to Ashbourne. King Oswald had spent several years exiled on the island, which may account for the dedication.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/447/3/3/6) for an estimated congregation on March 30th of 542 in the morning, 589 in the afternoon, and 326 in the evening was completed by "John Rd. Errington", Vicar of "Ashburne".

The parish records date from 1538, but the early portion to 1604 is in a fragmentary condition, being a copy of the original. Some early entries of special interest have been stolen, among which was a record of King Charles I. having attended divine service in August 1645. The Mappleton register was also kept here.

There is also an excellent history of St Oswald on the Ashbourne Town on the Internet website. [Other Sources: Church guide book, Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire (1932), and as St Oswald's Church is a Grade I Listed Building, the British Listed Buildings website]

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 SK1763046441. 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 Ashbourne, 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 10 Dec 2018 at 12:50.

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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 Oswald's Church remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 2 Dec 2023 - 04:43:14 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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