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Listed Building record MDR6240 - Church of St Mary and St Lawrence, Hornscroft Road, 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) From the National Heritage List for England: 'SK 4771 TOWN OF OLD BOLSOVER HIGH STREET 16/68 (North side) 5.7.65 Church of St Mary & St Lawrence (formerly listed as Church of St Mary) II* Parish church. C13, C14, 1624, 1897 by L.Ambler, restored after a fire 1961-2. Coursed squared limestone with ashlar dressings. Welsh slate roofs. Moulded coped gables with plain kneelers and moulded coped parapets. Moulded plinth. West steeple, aisled nave with south chapel, chancel and north vestry. West tower of two stages divided by a string course. Square staircase projection to south west. Double chamfered west doorway with one order of colonettes. Single chamfered lancet above. The lower stage of the tower is blind to north and south. Two-light bell-openings of a pair of plain lancets under a single hoodmould. Stone broach spire with two tiers of lucarnes, each a single louvred lancet, the upper ones gabletted. Gabled north aisle has a C19 3-light west window with cusped intersecting tracery and hoodmould on headstops. Gabled north porch with gabletted buttresses and moulded doorway with hoodmould. Rectangular windows with cusped ogee lights on either side. North aisle of three bays divided by buttresses with two set-offs. Three 3-light C19 windows have cusped tracery with an encircled trefoil, each with hoodmould. To the left a slightly projecting gabled transeptal bay with similar 3-light window. Hoodmould with headstops. To the left again is the vestry, built in 1961-2 by Taylor, Young & Partners. Octagonal two-storey block like a chapter house. Mullioned windows and cross windows. The north side of the chancel has a two-light C19 window with cusping and trefoils. Five-light east window with Geometrical tracery. The south side of the chancel has a single buttress flanked by 2-light windows with cusping and trefoils as on the north side. Between them is a flat- arched doorway with a round-arched tympanum above which has a moulded arch and a sculptured Crucifixion. To the left is a restored round-arched lancet. Rectangular, projecting Cavendish chapel built in 1624. Castellated parapet and string course above the second tier of windows. The ground floor has a 3-light mullioned and transomed window with returned hoodmould. A single light and a 3- light recessed and chamfered mullion window above. Blind elevation to south with parapet inscribed CAVENDO VTVS. Square sundial below. Gabled south aisle of three bays divided by buttresses with two set-offs. Three 3-light windows with C19 Geometrical tracery. Hoodmould with foliage stops. Large 3-light west window with cusped intersecting tracery. Interior. Four bay arcades, the fourth bay on the south side blocked when the Cavendish chapel was added. Octagonal piers, moulded octagonal capitals and moulded arches. Moulded chancel arch with filletted responds and capitals with naturalistic foliage continued as a band. Double-chamfered arches on semi-octagonal responds between north transept, chancel and north aisle. Keyed round arch from the south aisle into the Cavendish chapel. The chapel has a Jacobean style roof, and houses two large monuments. Standing wall monument against the south wall, to Charles Cavendish t 1617. Pair of recumbent effigies and kneeling children in the 'predella'. Coffered arch and rich strapwork cartouche. Marble monument of reredos type, to Henry Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, his wife and one of his daughters. Erected in 1727. Big black sarcophagus between large coupled Corinthian columns supporting a pediment, on which lie two allegorical figures. It was designed by Gibbs and sculpted by Francis Bird. On the east wall is a stone C19 monument in Perp style, with three canopies and inset brass inscription panels to three members of the Cavendish Bentinck family t 1858, t 1877 and t 1893. At the east end of the south aisle is an inscribed tomb slab to Huntingdon Smithson t1648 and John Smithson t1716. The painted roofs are all of the'l96Os, the nave with 4-light mullioned clerestory windows. The north transept baptistry has a richly decorated C19 octagonal font with painted cover. Sculpture set on a modern base; a late C13 relief of the Nativity. Grave cover with axe, shears, sickle and ring. Painted stone reredos. Some re-used C19 furnishings, including a brass eagle lectern. In the blocked south aisle bay are six re-set corbels. In the north porch are remains of two foliated grave covers. Listing NGR: SK4744270306' (11)

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <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.
  • <11> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.



Grid reference SK 47442 70306 (point)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR3523
  • EDR1810
  • EDR1039
  • EDR1366

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Record last edited

Feb 24 2023 8:33PM

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