Building record MDR6240 - Church of St Mary and St Lawrence, Hornscroft Road, Bolsover, Old Bolsover

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The earliest reference to the church is that it was given by William Peverel the younger to the Abbey of Darley in the reign of Henry II (1154-1189). Peverel's father (died 1142) was probably the original founder of the church. The church [in 1875] consisted of a nave, chancel, south aisle, south porch, and tower at the west end, surmounted by a low broached spire. (1) The parish church of St Mary and St Lawrence was burnt down in 1897 and the 13th century tower and spire are almost the sole surviving features of the medieval church in the present building [1956]. (2) Several 12th and 13th century grave slabs were discovered in the walls of the church after the 1897 fire. (3) The church is in use for public worship [1959]. (4) The notice board states that the original church on this site was built c. 656, but nothing survives to substantiate this. (5) There is a Norman door to south chancel. (6) A grade II* listed parish church. It dates to the 13th century, 14th century, 1624, 1897 by L. Ambler, restored after a fire, and 1961-2. It is built of coursed squared limestone with ashlar dressings, and has Welsh slate roofs. It comprises west steeple, aisled nave with south chapel, chancel and north vestry. The west tower is of two stages divided by a string course. There is a square staircase projection to the south-west. The rectangular, projecting Cavendish chapel was built in 1624. Inside the church is a sculpture set on a modern base, which is a late 13th century relief of the Nativity. In the north porch are remains of two foliated grave covers. See list description for more details. (7) The church has been found to stand on a geological fault line, with the result that substantial structural problems became evident in the 20th century. The engineering solution required the excavation of all soil and bedrock to a depth of several metres within the tower and for several metres around it, including a similar area on the east side within the nave. Archaeological excavation prior to the necessary engineering works identified a number of features. Many of these were related to 19th century and modern reconstruction and disturbance; however, earlier features included a large rectangular bell-pit located within the tower and containing shattered fragments of a bell-mould, bronze dross from the casting process, and 13th century pottery sherds. To the east of the bell-pit was a second pit thought to have been dug for clay to be used in the founding process. There was no archaeological evidence for an earlier Norman tower, although foundations of the Norman nave walls were identified. In addition, a total of 70 burials were excavated, ranging in date from pre-13th century to 19th century. (10)

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1875. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. I. pp 99-105, plate.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Anon. 1956. The Story of Bolsover Church.
  • <3> Photograph: 1899. Frontispiece: 'Slabs of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, discovered in the walls of Bolsover Church after the Fire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 21.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 WW 12-NOV-59.
  • <5> Personal Observation: F2 FRH 24-NOV-65.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. pp 91-2.
  • <7> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. Ref: 79238.
  • <8> Index: NDAT. 1627. 1627.
  • <9> Article in serial: Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Notes and Queries, Derbyshire Advertiser.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Foster, P (Creswell Heritage Trust). 1992. Excavations at Bolsover Parish Church, St Mary and St Lawrence, Derbyshire.



Grid reference Centred SK 4744 7030 (40m by 28m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR3523
  • EDR1810
  • EDR1039
  • EDR1366

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Record last edited

Sep 14 2017 11:32AM

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