Building record MDR4682 - St John The Baptist's Church, The Butts, Belper

Type and Period (3)

  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1250 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1250 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

This church was doubtless founded by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, who died in 1296 and built a mansion here, probably a hunting seat. The buttresses and other details suggest a date c. 1250. (1) Occasionally used by the adjacent school as a chapel. No regular services are held here [1966]. (2) The Church of St John The Baptist is a Grade II Church of England building that was founded c. 1260 as a Forester's Chapel in Duffield Frith. It is a small building of coursed stone rubble with a single roof over the nave and chancel and buttresses at the east and west ends. The tiled roof has coped gables and there is a bellcote at the west end. It is generally of Early English period but was restored in 1870, the south porch dates to 1634. Within the interior is a very rare possession, a Pre-Reformation altar table which has never been disturbed (only 3 others are known). There is also a 15th century font and five ancient beams within the roof, which are probably reset. The building was used as a school sometime after the Reformation and stands in a picturesque churchyard. (3) St John the Baptist, The Butts, is the old chapel of the village of Belper. Nave and chancel only, small and with smallish lancet windows (renewed, probably incorrectly). No other distinctive features. The Rawlins Manuscript shows a date-stone 1634 on the porch. (4) The building is now labelled 'St John's Chapel Heritage Centre' on modern OS mapping [2011]. (5) St John's Church, Belper was constructed in c. 1250 on the orders of William de Ferrers utilising stone in various colours in the brown/ buff/ grey range. This was probably won from either the site itself or within c. 150m. The use here, and probably for Belper Manor House, of the readily accessible Chatsworth Grit contrasts with almost all the other stone buildings in the area at this time, where Ashover Grit was deployed. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1877. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. III. p 142.
  • <2> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 22-SEP-66.
  • <3> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1335668.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. pp 88-9.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). Current Mastermap and 1:10000 series.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Thomas, I (National Stone Centre). 2012. The Lower Derwent Valley: The Exploitation and Use of Historic Building Materials. p 7-8.



Grid reference Centred SK 3524 4753 (28m by 15m) (Centre)
World Heritage Site Derwent Valley Mills

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3551
  • EDR1319

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Record last edited

Dec 21 2018 9:27AM

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