A priest and a church are recorded for the manor of Scropton in 1086. The present church, which is dedicated to St Paul, consists of nave, chancel and tower, having been completely rebuilt in 1855-6. From the drawings and descriptions of the old church, it appears that it formerly consisted of a nave 50ft 10in by 12ft 11in and a chancel 33ft 9in by 15ft 7in. It had a low embattled tower of small proportions. In 1835 a description of the church recorded that "An erection of wood, composing three arches placed triangularly, projects into the church, which supports the east side of the turret in which are the bells", while the font was described as "plain and very old". The exterior of the nave and chancel were 13th century, although some 14th century and far later windows had been inserted. The roof of the chancel was flat but that of the nave had a steep pitch. The arch between the nave and chancel was said to have been "plain Saxon". Cox notes that "There was much confusion between Norman and Saxon in the archaeology of those days; but we have good reason to believe that this arch was really of Saxon work". (1)
St Paul's Church, 1855-6 by Ferry. The west tower has the alien motif of a pyramid roof. (2)
St Paul's was the parish church for both Scropton and Foston and lay within the Diocese of Lichfield until 1884. In 1704 a burial vault for the members of the family owning Foston Hall was constructed beneath the sanctuary. In the 1824 Visitations it was noted that the church was deteriorating rapidly. Repairs were required to the stone walls and roof timbers of the building, the brick walls and tiled floor of the porch, and also the brick buttresses along the tower. The current church is constructed of sandstone with ashlar dressings and consists of a tower, a nave with a south porch and a chancel with a lean-to north vestry. A watching brief was carried out in 2004 during repairs to the church. French drains excavated around the base of the church walls show that the construction of the current church has reasonably substantial foundations and it was not possible to see whether they had been constructed on top of earlier foundations. Indeed, no features were identified that related to the earlier church. (3, 4)
Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1877. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. III. pp 263-266.
Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. p 315.
Unpublished document: Jefferson, P (ARCUS). 2005. Archaeological Watching Brief at St Paul's Church, Scropton, Derbyshire.
Article in serial: Jefferson, P (ARCUS). 2007. 'Fieldwork in Derbyshire by ARCUS: Scropton, St Paul's Church', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 127, p 110.
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