A chapel attached to Codnor Castle is mentioned by the Rev. J. C. Cox, who refers to the finding of a font on the site in c. 1835. (1) "There seems to be no clear evidence of the existence of this chapel beyond tradition and the discovery of a few relics of an apparently ecclesiastical character on the supposed site. These remains, consisting of a font, a key, a female head carved in stone, something like the termination of a label and some indications of interments were discovered about forty yards to the north of the ancient dwelling-house at Ormonde Fields, and about 500 yards west of the castle on the edge of 'Church Close', a field which has borne this name for generations… The font was dug up in 1834 … it was removed to Heanor, about … 1870, by Mr. J. S. Wooley, … where it remains in the possession of his widow. At the time of discovery of the font was found the head of a female … carved in stone, now in the hall at Ormonde Fields. … It exhibits a square headdress, with lappets characteristic of the costume worn about the end of the fourteenth century … … [Human] remains and parts of coffins [were] disturbed when the ironstone mines were worked here some forty or fifty years ago. …" A footnote from the editor with regard to the above suggest that the 'font' was actually a holy-water stoup from the porch of some parish church, and suggests it may have been part of the original porch at Heanor church; it also suggests that 'Church Close' is a common name applied to church lands and is not necessarily proof of the former existence of a chapel on the spot. (2)
Despite extensive enquiry the chapel-site and field name have not been located. Nothing was visible in the area when the topsoil was removed prior to open-cast mining. The whole of the area to the north of Ormonde Fields has been open-cast mined to depths of c. 100 feet. Nothing of significance was seen at the edge of the workings nearest the house. The illustration of the 'font' by Corfield suggests it to be part of the capital of a pillar. Its present whereabouts were not ascertained and the sculptured head is not now at Ormonde Fields. (3)
The font is now in St James's Church, Codnor. (4)
Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1879. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol IV. p240.
Article in serial: Corfield, F. 1893. 'Archaeological gleanings in the neighbourhood of Codnor Castle', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 15. p105-6.
Personal Observation: F1 WW 02-NOV-59.
Unpublished document: Meek, B. 2002. Codnor Castle and the Greys of Codnor. pp 60, 61; Plates 50 & 51.
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SK 4279 4980 (point) (Centre)
CODNOR, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jul 7 2015 3:26PM
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