The church was built in 1838 by Thomas Johnson (1794-1865), architect of Lichfield. An early engraving of the interior shows box pews and 3-sided gallery. It was altered internally in 1889 by Samuel Rollinson (1827¬-91), architect of Chesterfield, who added the organ chamber and probably removed the gallery. The choir vestry was added in 1938. In 1994 the interior was re-ordered by removing the pews and closing off the west end of the nave. The church is the burial place of the distinguished railway engineer George Stephenson (1781-1848), whose wife worshipped here. A modern inscription describes him as "Railway Pioneer: First President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers". (1)
According to White's Directory, on the 17th May, 1837, the first stone of Holy Trinity Church, Chesterfield, was laid by his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, who gave the land for the site. It is a neat Gothic structure with tower, surmounted with pinnacles, capable of accommodating 1,000 persons, and cost £3,300, of which sum £500 was obtained from the Diocesan Society and the rest raised by voluntary subscriptions: a considerable surplus was applied towards the endowment. The patronage is vested in trustees, the vicar of Chesterfield being one. The Rev. Alexander Poole is the incumbent. It constitutes an ecclesiastical district, the parishes of Chesterfield, Newbold, and Tapton, surrounding the church. (2)
According to Bulmer's Directory, Holy Trinity Church was erected on Newbold Road in 1837. This edifice is a neat Gothic structure consisting of a very small chancel, nave, and a western tower. The latter is surmounted by an arcaded parapet with corner pinnacles, and contains a clock and one bell. The site was given by the Duke of Devonshire, and the total cost of erection was £3,700. In 1889 the sum of £1,500 church was expended in repairs and improvements. The organ was the gift of Dr. Hart, and cost £250. The chancel is lighted by three handsome stained glass windows, the central one being a memorial of George Stephenson, of railway celebrity. (3)
According to Kelly's Directory, Holy Trinity church, at the north-west extremity of the town, erected in 1838, at a cost of £3,700, on a site given by William, 6th Duke of Devonshire K. G. is a plain but substantial building of stone, consisting of nave and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing a clock and one bell: in 1889 the church was restored, at a cost of £1,500, when the ceiling and galleries were removed, the timbers of the roof strengthened and decorated, an organ chamber built, the nave re-seated, and choir stalls erected: in this church lie the remains of the great engineer, George Stephenson, who died 12 Aug. 1848, and to whose memory a stained east window was placed in 1848: in 1894 the organ was restored and enlarged at a coat of £180, and in 1907 the interior was re-decorated at a cost of £200: there are 400 sittings, one-third being free. (4)
From the National Heritage List for England:
'908/5/167 NEWBOLD ROAD 26-SEP-77 (Northeast side) Church of the Holy Trinity (Formerly listed as: NEWBOLD ROAD Parish Church of the Holy Trinity)
II Parish church of 1838 by T. Johnson, altered 1888-89 by S. Rollinson. Choir vestry 1938.
MATERIALS: Pecked square blocks of gritstone, freestone dressings, rock-faced choir vestry, slate roof.
PLAN: Nave, short lower chancel, west tower with flanking porches, north-east vestry, south organ chamber, west choir vestry. EXTERIOR: Plain early C19 Gothic style. The 4-stage west tower has angle buttresses with gabled caps to the first 3 stages, shallow gabled buttresses with attached shafts to the upper stage, and arcaded parapet with triangular merlons and large corner turrets. The second stage has a lancet west window, above which is a clock in the west face and small north and south lancets. The bell stage has 2 lancets with louvres. Lean-to porches have west lancet windows, and doorways with hood moulds, head stops, and ribbed doors. The 6-bay nave has buttresses with gable caps, below a plain parapet, and has lancet windows above sill and plinth bands. Small trefoil windows are in the west wall above the porches. The chancel east window is 3 stepped lancets with attached shafts and hood moulds with head stops. The lower south organ chamber has lancet south and east windows, and the vestry has a hipped lean-to roof and square-headed windows. The choir vestry has a re-used 2-light plate-tracery west window.
INTERIOR: The nave is unusually wide because it was designed to accommodate a 3-sided gallery. The west end of the nave has been closed off by a partition, with gallery above. The nave roof has pine tie-beam trusses strengthened by queen posts, arched braces and 3 axial beams. It has a deep panelled coving above the tie beams. The chancel arch has polygonal responds, possibly an insertion of 1889. The arch to the organ recess is similar. The vestry doorway in the east wall of the nave has a continuous moulding. Walls are plastered and nave windows have hood moulds with head stops. In the south porch is an open-well gallery stair of cantilevered stone treads and iron balusters. Original floors are concealed, but there are floorboards beneath pews and stone paving in the sanctuary.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: East window stained glass is a memorial to the engineer George Stephenson (d 1848), probably of the 1850s and erected by his son Robert. His grave marker, a simple memorial slab, is in the floor of the sanctuary. The 1838 font has a narrow octagonal bowl with pointed quatrefoils. The pulpit, also of 1838, has open arcading and steps with later wrought-iron balusters. Surviving pews have shaped and moulded ends. The chancel has a C20 panelled dado and reredos of 3 arches under gables, with rich tracery, cross and symbols of the Evangelists.
HISTORY: The church was built in 1838 by Thomas Johnson (1794-1865), architect of Lichfield. An early engraving of the interior shows box pews and 3-sided gallery. It was altered internally in 1889 by Samuel Rollinson (1827-91), architect of Chesterfield, who added the organ chamber and probably removed the gallery. The choir vestry was added in 1938. In 1994 the interior was re-ordered by removing the pews and closing off the west end of the nave. The church is the burial place of the distinguished railway engineer George Stephenson (1781-1848), whose wife worshiped here. A modern inscription describes him as "Railway Pioneer: First President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers".
SOURCES: Holy Trinity Chesterfield, church guide, c1995. Pevsner, N., (revised E. Williamson), The Buildings of England: Derbyshire (1978), 144.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of the Holy Trinity, Chesterfield, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * The church retains its original external character, despite the addition of an unsympathetic vestry, and well represents the plain Gothic style favoured in the early C19 for new parish churches built to accommodate expanding urban populations, as here in Chesterfield. * The church is associated with the railway engineer George Stephenson, who is buried here.'