Building record MDR5739 - St Lawrence's Church, Heanor

Type and Period (2)

  • (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • (Victorian to Late 20th Century - 1868 AD to 1980 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

There was a church at Heanor at the time of the Domesday Survey, and in the 11th century it was granted to Burton Abbey [(Staffs). Henry, Lord Grey of Codnor, appropriated the great tithes of Heanor Church to the neighbouring Abbey of Dale in 1473. In the Valor Ecclesiasticus (27th Henry VIII), the church was valued at £26.13.4. per annum. 'There is nothing left of the old church … dedicated to St. Michael, except the fine west tower (the pinnacles of which are modern…. On a board in the tower it is recorded that "This church was restored in 1868 … Date of tower 1454. Probable date of old church, twelfth century". We have failed to learn on what authority this precise date is given. It seems more probable that the tower would be rebuilt about 1473-4, when the church was given to Dale Abbey'. The old church consisted of nave, south aisle and chancel, 58' by 12'5"; 52' 10" by 10' 9", and 31'4" by 7' 9" respectively. 'Some of the work may have been early English, but the church was certainly repaired in the Decorated period, and also considerably remodelled during the Perpendicular style at the time the tower was built. It therefore follows that the statement on the board in the tower, about the old church being of the twelfth century is rather misleading, as twelfth century work, unless otherwise specified; is generally understood to be Norman'. Kelly's Directory states that the church was dedicated to St. Lawrence, but there is no evidence for this, and it was certainly dedicated to St. Michael in 16th century. (1) Heanor Church was entirely rebuilt in 1868. It was dedicated to "St Laurence". (2) According to Burton there is a considerable amount of historical documentary evidence to prove that the church of Heanor had no connection at all with Burton Abbey, and that the church actually granted to the Abbey was another of very similar name, but lying in the parish of Mickleover. (3) The church is dedicated to St Lawrence. The dedication to St Michael presumably arose after the body of the church was rebuilt in 1868. (4) The church is in use for public worship. (5) The Church of St Lawrence is a parish church with 15th century origins but mainly built in 1866-8 by Stevens and Robinson and is Grade II* listed. The east end was demolished and south aisle rebuilt c. 1980 by Prof Kenneth Murton. It is built from ashlar with an asbestos slate roof. The west tower is 15th century. Inside there is a selection of good wall memorials, a fine marble pedimented one to Prudence Burton died 1676 and another marble one to William Parkes and wife who died 1628 and 1626. There are simple slate memorials of 1641 and 1678, also a fine memorial with swags and cherubs in the tower with an illegible inscription, possibly to Samuel Watson, woodcarver of Chatsworth fame, who was born in Heanor. There is also a 1803 monument to John Sutton by White Watson, descendant of Samuel. (6) A church is recorded at Heanor in 1086 but the first datable evidence of a stone building is a mid-12th century tympanum decorated with incised chevrons. The later medieval church was predominantly Gothic with later remodelling. It experienced gradual decline and in 1868 the church, with the exception of the 15th century tower, was demolished. In 1981, prior to partial demolition and rebuilding of the Victorian successor, excavations were carried out in the nave and the chancel. The earliest phase, represented by pitched stone footings, was interpreted as indicating a sizeable church of Anglo-Saxon or Norman date. This was completely replaced by the Gothic church, of which three phases were identified. (8)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1879. Churches of Derbyshire. Part 4, 233-240.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. p521.
  • <3> Article in serial: Burton, F. 1907. 'Henovere and the Church of Heanor', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 29. p23-30.
  • <4> Verbal communication: Roberts, Rev. H. C..
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: F1 WW 09-JUN-59.
  • <6> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1311460.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. p243.
  • <8> Article in serial: Drage, C. 1983. 'Excavations at the Church of St Lawrence, Heanor', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 103, pp 87-90.
  • <9> Index: TPAT 2398.



Grid reference Centred SK 4358 4644 (40m by 24m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR308
  • EDR922

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Record last edited

Nov 16 2017 10:40AM

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