St Margaret's Chapel, Alderwasley, an early 16th century building.
Alderwasley is mentioned in an inventory of the ecclesiastical property pertaining to the Deanery of Lincoln in 1310, at which time it seems clear that it was not possessed of a chapel. Although it has been suggested that a chapel was not erected until the reign of Henry VIII, it appears that an older building existed on the same site. This first chapel was probably erected as a domestic oratory sometime in the 14th century. In 1850 a new church was built at Alderwasley, replacing St Margaret's. The old chapel was described in 1877 as 'a plain barn-like building under a single roof, and the bell turret that formerly existed at the west end has been pulled. Otherwise the walls and general external appearance must be almost precisely the same as when it was "repayred and made new" in the 16th century'. (1)
The old chapel was rebuilt in the reign of Henry VIII by Thomas Lowe on the site of an older one, probably the domestic chapel of the Founes. After the new church was built, the old chapel was allowed to stand on condition that the bell turret and a transept were taken down, these being 'modern' additions. In 1883 Mr Hurt restored the old building and enclosed a piece of ground in the front as a cemetery. The building is oblong; the east window consists of two three-light square headed windows, one above the other. At either side of the upper one is a grotesque head. Over the south entrance is a sculptured stone escutcheon. The priest's door on the same side is walled up. High up on the same wall are some corbel heads which probably belonged to the first chapel. (2)
St Margaret's Chapel is in a reasonable state of preservation and is correctly described above . See GP: AO/62/239/3 for the southern aspect. (3)
St Margaret's Chapel is an early 16th century Grade II building restored in the 20th century and now a village hall. It is constructed from massive coursed gritstone with moulded copings to gables, moulded kneelers and a stone slated roof. (4)
The former Chapel of St Margaret, now Alderwasley Village Hall, is first mentioned in 1504 in the will of Richard Smyth, vicar of Wirksworth. It is mentioned again in an indenture, probably dating to the 1520s, which records that the chapel was then "repayred and mayd new" by the parishioners, a statement which suggests that it could have pre-16th century origins. The building had a northern extension and a possible bell-tower to the west; both of these were removed in the mid-19th century. There is some evidence to suggest that it once had a lower roof level and it may perhaps have been raised in the early 16th century as part of the repairs referred to in the 1520s indenture. During works carried out at the former chapel in 2010 a watching brief was undertaken. The removal of the Victorian floor surface revealed the building's foundations and the remains of a previous floor level. A small area of former floor surface revealed that it had been partially created by secondary architectural fragments, including a corbel and a large slab which may have been the remains of an altar. A blocked up 19th century fireplace was revealed within the northern elevation. Although there is a documentary reference to the fireplace in 1884, its exact location had not previously been known. Several other blocked windows and doorways were also identified. (5)
From the National Heritage List for England:
'PARISH OF ALDERWASLEY CHAPEL HILL SK 35 SW 2/2 Chapel of St Margaret 13.2.67 II Chapel, now village hall. Early C16, restored C20. Of massive coursed gritstone with moulded copings to gables, moulded kneelers and a stone slated roof. South elevation, asymmetrical, with 2-light recessed chamfer mullioned windows to centre, and a blocked doorway to the east, with four-centred arch to lintel soffit and a quoined chamfered surround beneath a dripmould. Further to east, 2-light chamfer mullioned window with segmental arched heads to lights. West end has a double doorway with a shouldered surround supporting a reset lintel with four-centred arch to soffit, with floral motifs, and nail head ornament to margins. Slightly curved dripmould above, with carved heads set at either end. Various other carved stones set into masonry. Carved plaque of alabaster or similar material set behind glass above blocked doorway. Set-off to masonry to east gable, and a tall 3-light chamfer mullioned window with segmental arched heads, and a plain version of this window to the gable apex.
Listing NGR: SK3238553421.'