REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
A preceptory is a monastery of the military orders of Knights Templars and Knights Hospitallers (also known as the Knights of St John of Jerusalem). At least one preceptory of the Knights of St Lazarus is also known to have existed in England. Preceptories were founded to raise revenues to fund the 12th and 13th century crusades to Jerusalem. In the 15th century the Hospitallers directed their revenue toward defending Rhodes from the Turks. In addition, the preceptories of the Templars functioned as recruiting and training barracks for the knights whilst those of the Hospitallers provided hospices which offered hospitality to pilgrims and travellers and distributed alms to the poor. Lazarine preceptories had leper hospitals attached. Like other monastic sites, the buildings of preceptories included provision for worship and communal living. Their most unusual feature was the round nave of their major churches which was copied from that of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Indeed their use of such circular churches was unique in medieval England. Other buildings might include hospital buildings, workshops or agricultural buildings. These were normally arranged around a central open space, and were often enclosed within a moat or bank and ditch. From available documentary sources it can be estimated that the Templars held 57 preceptories in England. At least 14 of these were later taken over by the Hospitallers, who held 76 sites. As a relatively rare monument class, all sites exhibiting good survival of archaeological remains will be identified as nationally important.
The site at Stydd Hall is a good example of a moated preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers and the upstanding remains include parts of a medieval domestic building incorporated into a later house and a 13th century chapel which survives well and exhibits well preserved architectural detail. Although the moated site has been disturbed in the past by rotovating, the destructive effects of this practice will have been limited to surface disturbance and the buried remains of buildings and other features of the preceptory will survive throughout. Moreover, well preserved organic and environmental remains, such as wood, leather, bone and plant material, will survive in the water-logged deposits of the moat and fishpond which have suffered only limited disturbance from modern drainage works.
The monument is the site of a preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers and includes the standing remains of the 13th century chapel of St Mary and St John the Baptist, the buried remains of other buildings of the preceptory which, together with the chapel, lie within a moated site, and a fishpond which lies adjacent to the north eastern corner of the moat. At the centre of the moated site is Stydd Hall which is a 17th century house altered in the mid-19th century and built on medieval foundations. In addition to these, it includes a substantial quantity of upstanding medieval masonry in its south wall and, together, these medieval elements represent the remains of one of the domestic buildings of the preceptory. The hall is not included in the scheduling, however, as it is currently occupied and more appropriately protected by its status as a Grade II* Listed Building. Further remains relating to the preceptory, such as enclosures and the buried foundations of such ancillary buildings as barns and workshops, will survive outside the moated site but have also not been included in the scheduling as their extent and state of preservation is not sufficiently understood.
The moated site includes a platform measuring c.80m square surrounded by a moat which is c.12m wide across the top and up to c.2m deep. The moat, which acted as a drain for the site and may also have been utilised as one or more fishponds during the Middle Ages, is fed by a stream which enters it at its north western corner and leaves it at its north eastern corner. Next to the north eastern corner it has been artificially widened in the medieval period to create a roughly rectangular fishpond measuring c.30m by 10m. This fishpond is now separated from the moat by a modern causeway but will originally have been linked by a sluice whose remains will survive beneath the causeway. To the south of Stydd Hall is the site of the preceptory chapel whose upstanding remains are a Grade I Listed Building and include part of the north wall which stands to roof height and was probably retained by later owners of Stydd Hall as a Romantic garden feature. The upstanding remains exhibit fluted columns on the inside of the chapel and carved heads and oak leaves on the outside. There are three surviving pointed-arch windows with the remains of another two flanking. A string course separates the windows from a battered footing (sloping plinth) measuring c.1.5m high which incorporates a doorway. The remains were partially restored in 1933 by the Derbyshire Archaeological Society and capped with modern red pantiles. The ground floor plan of the chapel is also preserved as a buried feature.
Excluded from the scheduling are Stydd Hall, as noted above, all modern boundary walls including the Grade II* Listed garden wall attached to Stydd Hall, all fences and gates, the surfaces of the tracks crossing the site, all outbuildings and other structures belonging to Stydd Hall Farm and a telegraph pole, although the ground beneath all these features is included.
Book Reference - Author: Bailey, George - Title: Stydd Chapel - Date: 1876 - Journal Title: Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire (4 volumes) - Type: ILLUSTRATION - Description: Sketch of chapel
Article Reference - Author: Currey, P.H. - Title: Stydd Chapel - Date: 1933 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Page References: 33-35 - Type: DESC TEXT