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Listed Building record MDR4676 - St Mary's Church, Church Street, Denby

Type and Period (2)

  • (Medieval to Tudor - 1200 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • (Tudor to 21st Century - 1539 AD? to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

St Mary's Church, Church Street, Denby, originally an early 13th century building. 'Denby ... 'Church, or chapel, which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, consists of nave, aisles, south porch, chancel, and tower and spire at the west end'. The south arcade is late Norman, 'not earlier than the reign of Stephen'. From a description of the north arcade by Mr. Rawlings, 1825, ... 'there seems no reason to doubt, ... that this arcade was of Saxon origin'. Numerous alterations took place in 1838, including the removal of the north arcade. Much of the remaining work - including the chancel, tower and spire - is Decorated with some Perpendicular windows.' (1) 'The church at Denby is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is an ancient edifice comprising chancel, nave, aisles, south porch, and a tower with a spire at the west end containing four bells. It underwent unsympathetic restoration work in 1838, when the north arcade was taken down and a gallery was erected. Another gallery was also built at the west end, blocking up the tower. A flat plastered ceiling was added, concealing the previous open timbered roofs, and all the ancient heraldic glass was destroyed. The two rounded arches of the south aisle are Norman.' (2) 'Two of the bells in St Mary's are of historical significance. One by an unknown founder dates from circa 1400 and the other by H Dand of Nottingham dates from 1580.' (3) 'Detailed account of history and architecture. The church was not mentioned in Domesday but there is a fragment of an 11th or early 12th century incised sepulchral cross in the lintel of the south belfry window. Saxon arches within the church are described by the Rev. R R Rawlins, in 1825, as two arches, 'cut out of the wall, like those on each side of the reading desk and pulpit in Repton Church, springing from a circular column with a square capital rudely sculptured and profusely whitewashed so as nearly to obliterate the design'. The church was extensively repaired in 1904.' (4) The incised stone mentioned by Authority 4 is described as Saxon by Busby. (5) 'The church is in use for public worship (1959). It was not possible to see the 'incised sepulchral cross' in the tower. The 'Saxon' arches described by M Fryar (see source 4) might well be Norman.' (6) 'St Mary's Church has a 14th century tower and nave, with a 15th century clerestory and two 13th century bays. Cox in 1879 noted that there was a chapelry included in the old parish of Horsley. A 1484 covenant concluded that 'vicars of Horsley had previously since time unintentional provided and paid (for) a resident priest at Denby'.' (7) A watching brief carried out in 2006 suggested that the north aisle had been added c1450. (8) From the National Heritage List for England: 'SK 34 NE 1/5 PARISH OF DENBY CHURCH STREET (south side) Church of St Mary 13.02.67 GV I Parish church. Early C13, C14, early C15 and late C15 with alterations in 1838 and restoration in 1901-3 by J Oldrid Scott. Brown rubble sandstone and grey ashlar sandstone with sandstone dressings. Leaded and plain-tile roofs with embattled parapets with ridgeback copings to nave and aisles. Plinth, with moulded copings to tower and coved eaves band to nave and nave aisles. Western tower with recessed broached spire, clerestoried nave with south aisle and two storey north aisle, chancel and south porch. Three-stage C14 ashlar west tower has full-height stepped angle buttresses to all corners and reduces slightly at each stage with a chamfered string course at each level. West elevation has a pointed two-light window with C19 reticulated tracery and original hoodmould. Above, in second stage is a blocked, elaborately moulded, ogee-headed opening with carved head label stops and foliage finial to hoodmould. North and south elevations have trefoil headed lancets with hoodmoulds. Above again to all sides, are two-light pointed, louvred bell openings with reticulated tracery and hoodmoulds. Projecting parapets above have frieze of blind cusping to top and small gargoyles to corners, also a domed cupola to top of the staircase within the parapets to the north west corner. Octagonal spire above has gableted lucarnes with trefoil headed lancets on four sides, near base and top. North nave aisle has rubble stonework to base and ashlar above. To either end, it has diagonal buttresses and between it has two further buttresses to sides of windows. Ground floor has one, probably C19, C17 style two-light recessed mullion window and two early C15 flat headed two-light windows with cusped lights, pierced spandrels and returned hoodmoulds. Above, three two-light windows with four-centred arched lights, 1838 copies of south clerestory windows. East window of aisle is C14, two-light with reticulated tracery and hoodmould over. Similar but taller window to east in chancel and beyond a blocked pointed doorcase. East chancel elevation has diagonal buttress either side of central four-light pointed window with 1901 flowing tracery and chamfered sill band below. South chancel elevation has two C14 windows with central stepped buttress, western window elongated and tracery in both windows probably of 1901. Adjacent to buttress is a small pointed doorcase. South nave aisle has flat headed two-light C15 window with cusped lights, pierced spandrels and returned hoodmould to east and two similar windows to south elevation to east of porch, also a c.1901 copy beyond porch to west. South porch is an addition, probably of late C15 and has a lapped stone roof over a pointed vault with stone coped gable, gableted to top with stone cross. To each side it has central stepped buttresses with tiny two-light mullion windows to north, whilst front elevation has a double-chamfered arched door. The inner door which is out of alignment with the porch is a single-chamfered arch. Above, the clerestory has three late C15 three-light windows with four-centred arched lights and incised spandrels. INTERIOR: of church has two bay south arcade with early C13 double chamfered semicircular headed arches and semicircular responds with moulded capitals and bases. North aisle has a panelled wooden gallery on cast-iron columns with splat baluster staircase to north west corner, added in 1838. Tower has tall double-chamfered arch, chancel arch similar except wider and with inner arch resting on polygonal responds with moulded capitals. Well restored late C15 nave roof with central painted bosses to the cambered ties. Chancel roof has a C19 pointed timber vault with ribs. In the chancel is a fine C14 double sedilla with moulded ogee arches, topped by flame finials and an attached piscina in similar style to east side. North nave aisle also has a small trefoil headed piscina to east end. Choir stalls and reredos are C19 whilst nave pews and pulpit look contemporary with restoration. To north side of chancel is an impressive architectural, early C17 alabaster monument to Patrick Lowe, who died 1616, with cartouches between decorated panels to base, central fluted column above, flanked by elaborately decorated columns with bulbous bases, and ornate cornice topped to corners by steeple finials. Large central achievement in strapwork surround to top and below, in the two niches, are the outward facing, kneeling figures of Patrick Lowe and wife, with the figures of their children in relief behind. A substantial amount of paint is still evident. There are also several other Lowe memorials in the chancel mostly in black slate with white marble. These include one of c.1785, one of c.1827 and other later one of c.1887. Similar memorial of c.1844 to Mary Holden in chancel and several other similar late C19 ones in the nave aisles. The font in the south aisle is C15 and looks like part of a re-used pier. Various stained glass windows, the main one in the east window by Warrington and Co of c.1889. Eastern window to south side of chancel is by Florence Camm of Smethwick dated 1942, whilst the western windows on both sides of chancel are late C19. North aisle has east window by Christopher Webb, dated 1961 and two side windows of c.1900 and c.1922. South aisle has two late C19 stained glass windows and one of 1950 signed GW. Fragments of medieval glass have been placed in one of the north gallery windows. In the tower to south wall there is a lead plaque inscribed 'RE PE CW 1719'. Listing NGR: SK3986146495.' (9)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1879. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol IV. 248-254.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. 578-579.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Church of England. 2007. Identification of bells and bell frames of historic significance.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Fryar, M. 1934. Some Chapters in the History of Denby.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Busby, C. 1946. A Simple Guide to Denby Parish Church.
  • <6> Personal Observation: F1 WW 14-OCT-59.
  • <7> Personal Observation: F2 BHS 22-SEP-66.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Baker, S (ARCUS). 2008. Archaeological Monitoring at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Denby, Derbyshire.
  • <9> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.



Grid reference SK 39861 46495 (point)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR4909
  • EDR1092
  • EDR1319

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Record last edited

Jan 23 2023 1:48PM

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