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Listed Building record MDR4879 - St Leonard's Church, Shirland, Shirland and Higham

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 3997 5846. St. Leonard's Church [T.U.]. (1) The earliest mention of a church at Shirland is in 1307, when Reginald de Grey, who possessed the manor, also held the advowson of the church. There was probably a church before that, however, since in 1250 John de Grey obtained a grant for a market and fair and it is highly likely that a market town would also be in possession of a church. The present church dates to around the mid-fifteenth century and it is possible that it was built soon after the acquisition of the manor by the Shrewsbury family, who purchased in during the reign of Edward IV (1461-1483). The church consists of a nave, side aisles, chancel, tower at the west end, and south porch. It is all of the Perpendicular style; however, the general appearance of the exterior of the east end of the chancel shows that much of the wall belonged to an earlier building, probably of the Decorated period. (2) St. Leonard's Church, Shirland, essentially 15th century, embattled throughout with Perpendicular windows. The south porch is vaulted. (4-5) Four service trenches were excavated to the west and northwest of the church, and an area of flooring within the church tower was removed during the installation of a heating system, electricity cables and drainage works in early 2004. An archaeological watching brief was undertaken, but no in-situ burials were encountered and no archaeology beyond the fabric of the church structure was revealed. Courses of masonry below the western tower were thought to be associated with the foundations of that structure, and there was nothing to suggest the presence of an earlier phase of the church. (6) St. Leonard's Church was built in the 15th century, altered in the 17th century and restored in 1848 and 1929 when the chancel was much rebuilt. It is built from massive sandstone blocks, except the chancel which is built from coursed squared sandstone. There are gritstone dressings. The roofs to the nave and nave aisle are of copper, whilst the chancel roof is 20th century concrete tiles. There is a three stage western tower with stepped diagonal buttresses to parapet level and a four-centred arched west door with continuous moulded architrave and moulded hood. Above on the second stage there is a clock face and stringcourse with Y-tracery and louvred bell openings in four-centred arches to all sides. There are embattled parapets with corner and central pinnacles. The north nave aisle has buttresses to centre and west corner. There is a pointed arched doorcase with cavetto moulded architrave to the west. To the east there is a gabled north vestry with a four-centred arched 19th century doorcase. The porch is on the southern side, with a stone slab roof, a four-centred arched door with niche over and a cavetto moulded inner door. The interior has three bay 15th century arcades with octagonal columns, moulded capitals and double chamfered pointed arches, there is a similar tall tower arch. The chancel arch has a chamfered soffit supported by moulded corbels. Further details can be found in the Listing description. (7) Two of the bells in St Leonard's are of historical significance. One dates from circa 1510 and was made by the Seliok family of Nottingham, the other was made in 1713 by the Im Halton foundary, a rare founder, in Wingfield. (8)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1921. 6" map.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1875. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. I. pp. 331-41.
  • <3> Personal Observation: Baird, J. F1 JB 02-JUN-66.
  • <4> Index: NDAT. 2139. 2139.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Halsted, J (BUFAU). 2004. The Church of St Leonard, Shirland, Derbyshire, An Archaeological Watching Brief.
  • <7> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1158790.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Church of England. 2007. Identification of bells and bell frames of historic significance.



Grid reference Centred SK 3997 5845 (31m by 20m) Centre

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR747
  • EDR1817

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Record last edited

Jan 17 2024 6:26AM

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