Building record MDR5953 - St Leonard's Church, Scarcliffe

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The advowson of the church at Scarcliffe, the gift of Hubert Fitzralph, was one of the earliest endowments of Darley Abbey, which was established in c. 1135. There is no record of a church here at the time of the Domesday survey. The original chartulary of the Abbey speaks of the Church of St. Giles. Pilkington, followed by Davies, attributes the dedication to All Saints, but Liber Regis gives St. Leonard, and this is the impression prevailing in the parish. The plain porch covers a very good Norman entrance, with a tympanum with geometrical ornamentation, and jambs with shafts cut from the same stone. Three pillars of different construction, which support four round arches separating north aisle from nave, are of the original fabric, and the jambs of the pointed archway into the chancel appear older, and may also be original. The priest's door, south side of chancel, so fresh-cut as to appear to be modern, is also a good specimen of old Norman work, said to have been freed from plaster, and scraped, a few years ago. In the south-east corner of the chancel is a small Norman piscina, and another, later, piscina. Below a small (Early English) lancet window, south side of chancel is what is perhaps the most interesting memorial (also Early English) in Derbyshire, an effigy of a lady and child, probably of one of the baronial family of Frecheville, who had for a time held the manor of Scarcliffe. The base of a shaft or small pillar (Early English) found built into the wall at the west end of the north aisle, now stands on the north side of the churchyard. A two-light window on the north side of the chancel is Decorated. The east window of the chancel, another on the south side of the nave and two in the south wall, are Perpendicular. The old tower, 13th century and surmounted by a spire which is said to have resembled that of the church at Bolsover, was taken down and a new one built in 1842. (1) Some Norman detail; the greater part of the rest of the fabric, excepting the modern tower, is Early English. (2) The church is in use for public worship. The incumbent confirmed the modern dedication as being to St. Leonard though several medieval alternatives are known. The Early English pillar-base, mentioned by Authority 1, is now placed at the south west corner of the porch. (3) No change. (4) Church of St Leonard, Parish church 12th, 13th and 16th century, tower rebuilt in 1842, 19th century restoration. Grade II*. (5) The bell's of St Leonard's are of historical significance. One conserved bell dates from circa 1450 and was made by the RC Nottingham foundary. Another conserved bell dates to 1698 and was made by W Noone of Nottingham. One of the two 16th century bells made by the R B Chesterfield foundary dates from circa 1500 has not been conserved, whereas the circa 1560 bell made by R II Heathcote of Chesterfield has been. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1875. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. I. pp 321-7.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1953. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, 1st edition. pp 212-3.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 WW 16-NOV-59.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F2 JB 09-JUN-66.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: DOE (HHR) Dist of Bolsover Derby 23 Mar 1989 78-9.
  • <6> Index: NDAT. 1751. 1751.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Church of England. 2007. Identification of bells and bell frames of historic significance.



Grid reference Centred SK 4954 6875 (37m by 16m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR923
  • EDR1146

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Record last edited

Jun 12 2017 4:34PM

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