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Monument record MDR12286 - St James and St John's Church (site of), Derwent submerged village, Ladybower Reservoir, Derwent

Type and Period (2)

  • ? (Georgian - 1757 AD? to 1757 AD)
  • (Victorian - 1867 AD to 1868 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The church of St James and St John, belonging at an early period to the Abbey of Welbeck (see SMR 4663), was subsequently rebuilt in 1757, and again in 1867 and following years. It was consecrated in August 1869, and is now an admirably proportioned building of stone in the Geometric Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle with an arcade of three arches, south porch and a western tower with spire, containing one bell, added in 1873. The ancient stone font, dated 1670 and bearing the arms of Balguy, stood for some time in the gardens of Derwent Hall, but has been replaced in the church. The church plate includes a fine silver-gilt chalice of 1584-5, and a silver paten of 1763-4, presented by Dr. Denman. There is also a small library connected with the church, which affords 140 sittings. In the churchyard, near the south entrance, is a sun-dial, the work of Daniel Rose, clerk of Derwent in the 18th century. (1) The former monastic chapel at Derwent (SMR 4663) stood near to the site of the present Parish Church. The pre-Reformation building, having become dilapidated, was pulled down in 1757, and a smaller and much inferior one erected on the site. This chapel was superseded by the present Church of St James and St John in 1867. The tower and spire were added in 1873. It is a handsome edifice, charmingly situated in the valley of the Derwent, and forms a harmonious picture from every point of view. It is built in the Geometric style of architecture, from plans prepared by William White, Esq., F.S.A, London, and consists of a chancel with aisle, nave with aisle of two arcades, south porch, and tower and spire of good proportions. The stone used is local sandstone, which is of warm and pleasant colour. The windows are filled with geometric tracery. The roof is open-timbered with tinted ceiling between the rafters. The walls of the chancel are finished internally and those of the nave are plastered. The chancel is furnished with carved choir stalls of pitchpine, and the nave is fitted with open benches, which are free to all parishioners. The east window is placed somewhat high, to admit of the reredos. A Caen stone pulpit, of neat design and enriched by delicate carving, stands in the nave. Some old 14th century stones, which had been re-used in the erection of the late chapel, have been rebuilt into the walls of the present church. The old font, with its long octagonal shaft and disproportionate basin, has been retained. It bears the date 1672, and the name, Henry Balguy. The church plate included an ancient alms dish of Dutch manufacture, with a representation of the Fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, in repouse work; a solid silver plate; and a very rare silver-gilt chalice, of Elizabethan date, richly chased, with a cover or lid. (2) Looking at the 1st edition OS map, 'Site of Chapel' is marked to the northeast of St James & St John's Church, indicating that the later church was not built on the same site as that of the original chapel. It is not known whether the 1757 chapel was built at this site or the site of the earlier chapel. (3) The church held its last service in March 1943. The bell from the church was re-hung in St Philip's Church in Chaddensden, which was built in 1955. Bodies from the graveyard were exhumed in 1940 and reburied in the village of Bamford. All buildings in the village had been demolished by autumn 1943, and the water level of the reservoir began to rise by the end of 1944. The church spire was left intact to form a memorial to Derwent; however, this was dynamited in December 1947 on purported safety concerns. The site of the village was revealed when the reservoir levels fell dramatically in 1976, 1989 and 1996. (4) The 1672 bowl of the font mentioned by Authority 2 is now in Holy Trinity Church in Tansley (see SMR 13610). (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: 1891. Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Notts, Leicester and Rutland. pp 182-3.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. p 156.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
  • <4> *Internet Web Site: Wikipedia - free online encyclopedia. Visited 29/04/2010.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: I A H Combes. 2004. Anglican Churches of Derbyshire. p 170.



Grid reference Centred SK 1846 8850 (36m by 33m)

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Record last edited

Jul 3 2015 4:55PM

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