Site record MDR12992 - Churchyard, All Saints' Church, South Church Street, Bakewell

Type and Period (1)

  • (Saxon to Post Medieval - 900 AD? to 1900 AD) + Sci.Date

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The south-western corner of the churchyard was completely changed in c1820 when the old wall and some steps were demolished and the corner was 'elongated'. (1) In March 1826 the footpaths and piers with balls on them on the south side of the churchyard were completed, when all the headstones were placed in lines and set upright. (2) When the church spire was taken down in the 1820s, the architect's specification provided that the mortar and rubbish was to be placed at the bottom of the churchyard where there were no graves. (3) The churchyard surrounding Bakewell church is rectangular in shape and is raised, partly to level the ground due to the hillslope but also, one suspects, to accommodate more burials. It occupies a commanding position overlooking the town and the river. There is a steep rise to the west of the church where the land has been cut away to accommodate the west end of the church. A few metres to the west of the church are the remains of an ashlar-built structure of which little more than foundations survive; they include the base of a spiral stone stairway. The foundations stand above the level of the west front of the church and the purpose of this former building is unknown but it may have been a medieval outbuilding to the church. In the churchyard to the immediate east of the south transept and Vernon chapel stands a large Saxon stone cross of the same stylistic type as those at Bradbourne, Wirksworth and Eyam. Its provenance is unknown; it has been in its present position for some time, although it was probably moved there after the Vernon chapel was constructed. Another cross shaft stands close to the south porch, but has been brought here from elsewhere. (4) An excavation of the area immediately surrounding the High Cross to the southeast of the church was carried out in 2012 as part of a conservation programme, and to determine if the stone was in its original location. Two slit trenches were excavated, around part of the socket stone and around the railings. The first was excavated to a depth of 1m revealing the base of the socket stone and archaeological features and deposits running below it, including a large wall foundation running east - west. A burial was found below this foundation. 'The excavation also established the extent of the socket stones current inclination which may have caused by earth movement during the process of burial decomposition beneath the stone. A brick-lined grave of possible 19th century date was also perceptible abutting the stone.' A number of well preserved burials were observed in the second trench, including that of an adult female with remains of a neonate, that produced a radiocarbon date of 1030 - 1210 cal AD. Another burial had traces of corroded metal over their chest indicating post medieval coffin plating. The stratigraphic sequence demonstrated that the cross shaft was not in its original 8th or 9th century position, and that it had been erected at some time in the post medieval period. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Unpublished document: c. 1820. The Gatehouse, Monyash Road, and area. Derbyshire Record Office D2057/A/PZ 14/1.
  • <2> Article in serial: Watson, W. 1889. 'Observations on Bakewell: beginning on the 31st of May, 1774', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 40, pp 157-173. p 168.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Meeke, E (Bakewell and District Historical Society). 1993. Bakewell in the 19th century. p 62.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Sidebottom, P. 2007. The Early Church in Derbyshire, a study of the development of Anglo-Saxon church building. Appendix II: Survey and Illustrations: Bakewell, All Saints.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Mora-Ottomano, A (ARS Ltd). 2012. The High Cross at Bakewell Churchyard, Derbyshire: Archaeological Excavation.



Grid reference Centred SK 2157 6847 (146m by 77m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR4619
  • EDR4047

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Feb 28 2020 12:04AM

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