Building record MDR5062 - All Saints' Church, Ashover
Type and Period (3)
- CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1200 AD?)
- FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
- PARISH CHURCH (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1200 AD? to 1900 AD)
A church and priest are mentioned at Ashover in the Domesday Survey. The earliest part of the present church, dedicated to All Saints, seems to be the doorway inside the porch, which is c. 1270. The north side aisle is probably c. 1350. The windows, later insertions, are square-headed Perpendicular with one exception. The remainder of the structure is also Perpendicular though differing somewhat in date. The south aisle, the four arches that separate it from the nave, the clerestory windows of the nave, the chancel with its east and side windows, the flat roofs and the exterior battlements of nave and chancel are all of the same period, apparently about the close of the 15th century. Seven yards of the spire - which Leonard [This should read Titus] Wheatcroft, clerk of the parish, and school-master, writing in 1722, says was originally built in 1419 - were blown down and rebuilt in 1715. The lead font, which stands on a comparatively modern stone base, is embossed in a style thought to be of about 1150. (1) The lead font of Ashover is a splendid example of Norman metalwork, second only in importance to the font at Youlgreave. It is ornamented with an arcade of twenty arches, forming a series of canopies over a similar number of male figures clothed in long robes. In every case their right hands are pressed to their hearts, while the left hands hold a book. Below the feet of the figures is a beautiful band of fleurs-de-lys. (2) Two gravestones built into the fabric of Ashover Church show the axe and cross, symbols of heathen belief. They probably belonging to graves of a very early period. (3) Church in regular use. (4) Still in use. (5) The general appearance of the church is typically Derbyshire, ie a tower with spire and the rest of the church low and embattled. The west tower was completed soon after 1419. The spire is 128 ft high. In the rest of the church, the south doorway is the earliest, late 13th century. The chancel is 14th century. The north arcade of the nave is typical 14th century, the south arcade late Perpendicular. Within the church, the font is lead and the most important in Derbyshire - one of only 30 nationwide. It dates to circa 1200 and is less good in quality than early 12th century examples elsewhere. The pulpit is late 17th century. (6) Tower and spire were built by the Babington Family in the 15th century. In the nave is an alabaster tomb to Thomas Babington in 1518, together with his wife and fifteen children. In the chaneel are two brasses, two chairs believed to come from Eastwood Hall and an Elizabethan screen. The font, which is a rarity being made from lead in about 1150, lead production being once a major industry of the area, has twenty figures around its periphery. (9) In 1603 a law was introduced whereby every parish church was required to provide a chest with three locks for the church register and valuables. This chest can be seen beside the font. The postion of the old musician's gallery can be discerned above the font. This was removed in 1860. The pew ends were carved by George Eastwood who died at the end of their completion in 1903. (10)
- <1> SDR11673 Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1875. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. I. pp 17-20.
- <2> SDR7988 Article in serial: le Blanc Smith, G. 1905. 'Derbyshire fonts', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 27, pp 41-58. p50-1, illust..
- <3> SDR320 Bibliographic reference: Addy, S. 1893. The Hall of Waltheof. p22-3.
- <4> SDR6256 Personal Observation: F1 FDC 18-NOV-59.
- <5> SDR6597 Personal Observation: F2 FRH 26-JUL-66.
- <6> SDR12891 Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised.
- <8> SDR10840 Index: NDAT. 0090. 0090.
- <9> SDR22715 Article in serial: Merrill, J. Derbyshire on Foot: Ashover. No. 3.
- <10> SDR22717 Bibliographic reference: Warner, T & Buxton, P (North East Derbyshire District Council). 1979. Ashover Village Trail.
|Grid reference||Centred SK 3486 6312 (38m by 32m) (Centre)|
|Civil Parish||ASHOVER, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE|
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Record last edited
Nov 1 2017 4:44PM