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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 398
Date assigned Monday, February 23, 1998
Date last amended


REASONS FOR DESIGNATION A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible. Parish churches are found throughout England. Their distribution reflects the density of population at the time they were founded. In regions of dispersed settlement parishes were often large and churches less numerous. The densest clusters of parish churches were found in thriving medieval towns. A survey of 1625 reported the existence of nearly 9000 parish churches in England. New churches built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries increased numbers to around 18,000 of which 17,000 remain in ecclesiastical use. Parish churches have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour and technical achievement. A significant number of surviving examples are identified to be nationally important. A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone, mostly erected during the medieval period (mid-10th to mid-16th centuries AD). Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they served as stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm Sunday. Elsewhere, standing crosses were used within settlements as places for preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between parishes, property, or settlements. Crosses in market places may have helped to validate transactions. After the Reformation, some crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the scenes of games or recreational activity. Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have numbered in excess of 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval standing crosses, with or without cross-heads are now thought to exist. The oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stome and raised upon a flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th centuries until after the Reformation. Standing crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. All crosses which survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their original location, are considered worthy of protection. The standing and buried remains of the medieval church and cross at Ticknall are well preserved despite disturbance from burials, footpaths and the attempt to blow it up in the 19th century. The well documented and unusual history of the site is particularly important in understanding the medieval and subsequent settlement of the village and its status within the wider landscape. DETAILS The monument includes the standing and buried remains of Ticknall medieval church and cross. The remains of the medieval church lie approximately 45m south of the present church of St George and the cross 10m further south. The church, originally built as a chapel dedicated to St Thomas Becket, is first mentioned in about 1200 in a charter of Ralph, the sixth earl of Chester, but was confirmed, along with the mother church at Repton, to Repton Priory in 1271 and again in 1279. In the early 14th century it was almost completely rebuilt and again underwent considerable changes in the 15th century. After the Dissolution of Repton Priory, the rectorial tithes passed from the crown to Edward Abell, the Lord of the Manor. In 1625 the manor and tithes were purchased by Sir John Harper and by 1650 the chapel became the parish church. In 1692 the church was reported as being in disrepair and church wardens accounts from 1720 document extensive repairs. In 1755 the three aisles were re-roofed and leaded and a porch built on the southern side. Nearly 100 years later the church was completely re-pewed. It was during the 18th century that the cross is believed to have been moved to its current position in the churchyard, 10m south east of the porch. In January 1834, the insecure state of the building was reported to Sir George Crewe, the patron of the church. Because the church only accommodated 350 to 400 people and the population of the parish had increased to around 1500 it was decided that a larger church should be built. Permission was granted and the church was blown up with gunpowder in 1841. Some of the stone was used in the building of the new church which also contained two 14th century monuments removed from the old church. The church, a Grade II Listed Building, survives as both above and below ground remains. Two fragments of the structure survive above ground, including a section of the east wall of the chancel and the south west angle of the tower. These are constructed of coursed, squared sandstone and ashlar. The remains of the tower stand to approximately 6m in height and comprise the corner, which is defined by angle buttresses, and a section of the south wall which runs for approximately 1.5m in an easterly direction. A section of the west wall extends for approximately 2m in a northerly direction and retains the jamb and the first three voussoirs (shaped stones which form an arch) of a double chamfered four centred arched window. Only the lower part of the east wall of the church survives but this retains a complete three light window, with intersecting tracery, and the beginning of a return wall running north west. The rest of the church survives as slight earthworks but these have been degraded in some areas where later burials have taken place. Despite this degradation the earthworks correlate with 19th century drawings to provide a clear plan of the church. Extending north for approximately 9m from the surviving fragment of the east wall is a low bank which terminates at a line of recent burials. This represents the east wall of the north aisle, shown on the illustrations to have ran the full length of the nave and chancery. The north wall of this aisle has been disturbed by the modern burials which have, during the digging of the graves, produced fragments of a marble effigy. Further earthworks south west of the ruined east wall indicate the alignment of the south aisle which extended from the tower along the full length of the nave. The position of the porch to the south of the tower is less clearly defined because a network of modern pathways converge at this point and have distorted the earthworks. A low mound, to the west of the main path leading to the present church, probably represents the west wall of the porch. Further remains of the west wall of the tower have also been distorted by burials. Approximately 12m south east of the standing remains of the tower is a standing stone cross built in sandstone. The cross, which is Listed Grade II and principally of medieval date, was originally a village or market cross which, it is believed, was moved into the churchyard in the 18th century. It is of stepped form, with a base consisting of a plinth, two steps, a socket stone, a shaft and the remains of the cross head. The steps are circular in plan and are constructed of sandstone blocks resting on a plinth of just over 2m diameter. The socket stone stands on the upper step and is octagonal in plan with step moulding around its upper edge. The shaft, which is also octagonal in plan, stands to a height of approximately 1m and is surmounted by a large irregular square finial which has been repaired in cement with an iron band. Although moved from its original location, the cross probably relates to the position of the 18th century south porch and may mark the spot of an earlier cross. All modern path surfaces, benches and grave markers and the slate altar, built from grave marker stones, to the west of the east wall remains are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Cox J. C - Title: Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire Vol 3 - Date: 1877 - Volume: 3 - Page References: 459-464 - Type: DESC TEXT Article Reference - Title: Copy of drawing of 13th century church. - Date: 1900 - Type: ILLUSTRATION Article Reference - Title: RCHM NMR entry - Date: 1997 - Type: DESC TEXT Article Reference - Title: RCHME NMR entry - Date: 1997 - Type: DESC TEXT Article Reference - Author: Anonymous - Title: St Georges Church Ticknall - Date: 1996 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: unpublished notes avail. from church

External Links (1)

Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1998. Scheduling Notification: Medieval church and cross 45m south of St George's Church. List entry no. 1018355. SM Cat. No. 398.



Grid reference Centred SK 3515 2404 (28m by 31m)
Map sheet SK32SE

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Record last edited

Aug 21 2013 3:37PM

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