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Listed Building record MDR1821 - St John The Baptist's Church, Tideswell

Type and Period (1)

  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1300 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

[SK 1526 7578] Church. (1) St. John the Baptist's Church, Tideswell, dates from the 14th century. (2) Popularly known as "The Cathedral of the Peak". In normal use. (3) One of the finest churches in Derbyshire. The fabric belongs almost entirely to the 14th century. The tower of imposing dimensions being the latest part. Spacious and lofty chancel in the manner of those of Norbury and Sandiacre in this county. The tower has very large octagonal angle pinnacles. The lateral windows of the chancel are large and square headed. The altar stands against a solid stone screen six feet from the east end to allow space for a sacristy approached by a door on north. Nave roof is probably original though restored. Some 15th century stalls now in north transept. Road screen 15th century; part of the roof loft parapet is now in north aisle. Numerous notable monuments including that of Robert Pursglove (1579) in full pontifical vestments. Table tomb in centre of chancel to Sir John Foljambe (1383). (4) Grade I listed Church. 14th century, restored in 1873 by J D Sedding. Coursed gritstone with ashlar dressings, lead covered pitched roofs, with coped gables to transepts, chancel, and above chancel arch, which also carries 19th century bellcote. West tower, south porch, north and south aisles and transepts, nave with clerestory, chancel and sacristy. Interior contains two defaced effigies of unknown females and dedicated monuments and brasses. One of the most important of the county's medieval parish churches in which the development of the Decorated Style and the emergence of the Perpendicular Style in Derbyshire is clearly illustrated. (See Listed Building Record DDR4007). (5) Medieval tiles can be seen in the churches in Tideswell. (6) A bell now removed from St John The Baptist's is of historical significance. Dating to circa 1400, it has no indication of who the founder was. (8) The church refelects entirely the style of the Decorated period, the tower and the great west window which was completed last, has strong Perpendicular affinity. The nave is of local stone unadorned. Most noticeable is the slenderness of the piers of the arcades forming the north and south aisles and the symmetry of the pointed arches above which the small clerestory windows light the great beams and arch braces of the room, believed to be the original timbers. The splendidly carved oak choir stalls are the work of Advent Hunstone, the local craftsman who did much valuable work for the church. On the organ case are vignettes of houses and buildings in and around the village, while in the adjoining Lady Chapel the screen is ornamented with flora and fauna- a kingfisher, starling, dog, monkey, camel and deer can be identified. The Lady Chapel is still the chapel of the Guild of St Mary, founded about 1349. Sited centrally in the chancel is a large altar tomb to Sir Sampson Meverell. The roughly incised five crosses representing the stigmata indicate its use as an altar through its longitudinal position in the chancel is rather unusual for that purpose. The first mention of Tideswell Church is at the time of the Domesday Survey when it was a chapel to the parish church of Hope and was given by King John to the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield who subsequently bestowed it on the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield. The manor of Hope, however, was given along with 161 others by William the Conqueror to his illegitimate son, William Peverel. (9)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. p341-344.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 FRH 20-JAN-66.
  • <4> Index: Department of the Environment. 1963.
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment. 1984. Department of the Environment District of West Derbyshire, Peak District National Park, August 1984.
  • <6> Article in serial: Ward, J. 1892. 'Notes on the medieval pavements and wall tiles of Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 14, pp 119-140. p123.
  • <7> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust: 1905. 1905.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Church of England. 2007. Identification of bells and bell frames of historic significance.
  • <9> Article in serial: Sample, E. 1970. 'Churches of Derbyshire, St John the Baptist, Tideswell', Derbyshire Life and Countryside. January.



Grid reference Centred SK 1526 7578 (52m by 32m) Centre

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR2286
  • EDR1258

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Record last edited

Nov 12 2023 5:00PM

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