Four chapels were established within the extensive monastic grounds owned by Welbeck Abbey in Derwent Woodlands. The monks were of the Premonstratensian Order, and devoted much of their time to the cultivation of the land. One of the chapels stood near to the site of the present Parish Church (See SMR 4662). The pre-Reformation building, having become dilapidated, was pulled down in 1757, and a smaller and much inferior one erected on the site. The edifice, which, say Dr Cox, had neither antiquity nor beauty to recommend it, was superseded by the present Church of St James and St John (SMR 4662) in 1867. 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. (1)
The monastic chapel at Derwent was probably the most important of the four chapels, as it was by the old water-mill where a small colony would be in permanent residence. (2)
The chapel at Derwent was at first a monastic chapel serving a Grange set up by the Monks of the Premonstratensian Order (the 'white canons') from Welbeck Abbey. After the Dissolution, the patronage of the chapel passed into lay hands. By 1672 the Balguys, who built their hall at Derwent in that year, had the patronage, and the chapel was used by them virtually as a domestic chapel to the hall. The font in the later church at Derwent (see SMR 4662) is known to have born the inscription 'Henry Balguy 1672', and it seems likely that the font was a thank offering to the church at the time of the building of the hall. (3)
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 on this site or that of St James & St John's Church. (4)
The site is now under Ladybower Reservoir , which was constructed in the late 1930s and early 1940s. (5)
Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. p 156.
Article in serial: Kirke, H. 1924. 'Monastic settlements in the Peak Forest', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 46, pp 222-233. pp 230-1.
*Internet Web Site: Parish of Frecheville. 2002. A History of the Church at Derwent. http://www.stcyprian.force9.co.uk/a_history_of_the_church_at_derwe.htm. Visited 29/04/2010.
Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). Current Mastermap and 1:10000 series. 29/04/2010.
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Centred SK 1846 8857 (29m by 28m)
DERWENT, HIGH PEAK, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jul 3 2015 4:55PM
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