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Listed Building record MDR2685 - St Helen's Church, Etwall

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

At the time of the Domesday survey there was a priest and a church recorded in the manor of Etwall. The church remained connected with the manor for about a century; however, in the later 12th century it was given to Welbeck Abbey, in whose possession it remained until the Reformation. The church is dedicated to St Helen and consists of nave, chancel, north aisle, south porch and low embattled tower at the west end. Four semi-circular Norman arches separate the north aisle from the nave. Part of the masonry and the buttresses of the chancel seem to date from the 13th century, while the buttresses of the north side of the nave are 14th century. The greater part of the present church belongs to the Perpendicular period of the 15th and 16th centuries. The south porch of stucco was probably erected in 1805. Monuments inside the church include one to Sir John Port, founder of Etwall Hospital and Repton School. (1) Parish church, late 12th, 15th, 16th and 17th century, restored and the north vestry added in the early 19th century and later restored in 1881 by F J Robinson. It is constructed of ashlar sandstone with stone dressings and has low pitched slate roofs with stone coped gables, partly hidden by low unembattled flush parapets. It consists of a western tower, nave and chancel with continuous north aisle chapel and vestry, and south porch. (4) A bell in St Helen's Church is of historical significance. Dating from circa 1520, it is an example of the work by the Mellours family of Nottingham. (5) Simple stone building comprising of a tower, nave and chancel with a lean-to on the north side forming an aisle, the Port Chapel and a vestry. The first written referencewas about 1086 when the Domesday Commissioners commented that Etewelle had a priest and a church. Additional building on the initial structure was done in the 13th century, where part of the masonry and the butresses of the chancel are of an Early English style including the aumbry and piscina niche. The font is a plain octagonal type thought to be 15th century, the hinge lock and cover broken off, probably during the Reformation. The earliest dated memorial is an incised alabaster slab which was dug up during the alterations in 1881. It depicts a civilian and his wife, Richardus and Johana, and their 11 children. The husband died in 1503, but spaces left to record the wife's death were never completed. The Royal Arms of George III over the south door is dated 1805, the year of Trafalgar. Beside the pulpit is a monument to Hannah Eaton who married two Masters of the Hospital in succession and then another, surviving them all till 1869. An oak altar and reredos from the 20th century are also present in the church. (6)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • --- Unpublished document: Morris, M. 2011. Etwall Conservation Area: Character Statement.
  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1877. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. III. pp 161-168.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Department of the Environment. 1985. DOE(HHR) District of South Derbyshire.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. p 211.
  • <4> Index: Trent & Peak Archaeological Trust (TPAT). Trent & Peak Archaeological Trust Index: 2482. 2482.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Church of England. 2007. Identification of bells and bell frames of historic significance.
  • <6> Article in serial: Henderson, J. 1974. 'Churches of Derbyshire, St Helen's, Etwall', Derbyshire Life and Countryside. April.



Grid reference Centred SK 2688 3199 (30m by 21m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR5214

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Record last edited

Jun 10 2021 2:04PM

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