Derbyshire Places of Worship

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St Wystan's Church, Bretby
St Wystan's Church,
The Green, DE15 0RD,
Bretby, 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 17th century, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1932 describes St Wystan as a "small but handsome edifice of stone in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, entirely rebuilt in 1877-78, by the Countess of Chesterfield, and consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch and a low tower at the west end, containing 5 modern bells". The east window is a memorial to George Augustus Frederick, 6th Earl of Chesterfield, d.1866, and there are similar memorials to George Philip Cecil Arthur, 7th Earl of Chesterfield, d.1871, to his sister and heiress, Evelyn, 1st wife of Henry, 4th Earl of Carnarvon, d.1875, and one placed in 1896 by Lady Margaret Duckworth to her grandmother, Anne Elizabeth, Countess of Chesterfield (dau. of Cecil, 1st Baron Forester), d.1885. There is also a tablet to Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, d.1881, erected by Ann Elizabeth, Countess of Chesterfield.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/375/2/15/25) describes it as a Chapel of Ease [of Repton], in which there were 150 sittings. It was completed by John Tetley Smith, the Incumbent, who lived in Repton, Burton upon Trent. The return to the Religious Census for Repton was filled in by its Curate, T. Welsh.

Bretby Manor was purchased in 1585 by Thomas Stanhope, grandfather of Philip Stanhope (1584-1656), who was created Earl of Chesterfield by Charles I in 1628. According to White's Directory of 1857, "[the Earl of Chesterfield] is supposed to have erected a noble mansion at Bretby, of stone, with a curious chapel, in the midst of a large well wooded park, with gardens, fountains, labyrinths, groves, &c., all said to have been peculiarly curious and pleasant, suitable to the genius of the owner, who was the chief contriver of them". Evidently a chapel was in existence then, albeit private. It is not known when the foundations of the modern church were laid.

In 1932, the Park of about 700 acres, was the property of Derbyshire County Council. The Hall, which had 150 beds, was being utilized as an orthopaedic hospital for children under 16, and for adult patients suffering from surgical tuberculosis. The Lord of the Manor was then Herbert Wragg; he, and the Council being chief landowners.


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 SK2941523278. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 26 Aug 2013 at 15:11.

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This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 18:59:34 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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