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Listed Building record MDR6324 - Holy Cross Church, Main Street, Langwith

Type and Period (2)

  • (Medieval to 21st Century - 1200 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • (Medieval - 1200 AD? to 1250 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Holy Cross Church, Main Street, Langwith, originally a 13th century building. 'There was a church in Langwith as early as the reign of Henry II (1154-1169). The present church is dedicated to St Helena, although it is ascribed by some modern directories to the Holy Cross. It is a small building, consisting of a nave, chancel, and south porch, with a small tower, or rather bell turret, at the west end. Its architectural features span the four different styles usually attributed to English churches. Inside are two plain round archways, which are of the early Norman period, indicating that there was church here prior to the reign of Henry II. One of the archways also indicates that there was a west tower present in the original Norman design, with the archway opening out in to it. The chancel appears to have been rebuilt in the Early English period in the 13th century. There are some Decorated-style windows inserted later, circa 1320. The high-pitched oaken roof and the south porch also appear to be of this date. A Perpendicular-style window is situated in the south wall of the nave. The present west end of the church, which is surmounted by a small square tower, appears to have been built at this time also. It contains two small bells, both of which bear the name of Hedderley, the Nottingham bell-founder, and the date 1772. Inside the church, in a recess in the south wall of the chancel, is a coffin-shaped incised slab that is thought to date to the early 13th century, and probably commemorates an ecclesiastic.' (1) 'The church at Upper Langwith is an ancient structure, dating from Norman times, but was considerably restored and enlarged in 1878, under the direction of the architect Norman Shaw, Esq. The west gallery was removed, the tower taken down, and the nave lengthened one bay in that direction. The chancel was also extended and widened, and an organ chamber and vestry were added. A bell turret was substituted for the tower, and contains two bells. The interior was entirely re-seated and re-furnished. In the churchyard is a coffin-shaped slab, formerly in the south wall of the chancel, bearing an incised cross, chalice, and book. The church was re-consecrated in September 1878, and the dedication was changed from St Helen to Holy Cross.' (2) There is a mutilated scratch dial on the east side of the south door, inside the porch. The dial comprises four lines; the noon line measures five inches, and there are two lines to the east and one to the west, all of which are joined by part of a circle. (3) 'Holy Cross Church has a nave and chancel, but no tower. The chancel dates to the 13th century. The south porch has big pinnacles, and is vaulted inside with transverse arches. Most of the windows are Perpendicular. Inside is a small, simple bronze Censer, which dates to the 15th century.' (4) 'In normal use [1966].' (5) From the National Heritage List for England: 'SK 56 NW PARISH OF SCARCLIFFE MAIN STREET, UPPER 8/149 LANGWITH (North Side) 8.7.66 Church of the Holy Cross II* Parish church. C13, C14, restoration 1877 by Norman Shaw. Coursed rubblestone and ashlar. Lead roof and stone coped gables with gabletted kneelers. Nave and chancel in one. South porch and north vestry. The south side has deep gabled porch with parapet and string course at the base of the parapet. Diagonal buttresses and pinnacles. Additional buttresses to the side. Moulded depressed four-centred arched doorway with small four-centred arched window above. To the left of the porch is a 3-light window with flat arch and shallow segmental arched lights. Returned hoodmould. To the right of the porch is a 2-light window with Y-tracery and hoodmould with head stops. Buttress dividing the nave from the chancel. The chancel has a string course below the windows at sill level. To the right is a tall plain chamfered lancet, and a blocked four-centred arched doorway with moulded arch, set above ground level. To the right again is a 2-light flat-arched window with segment headed lights. Returned hoodmould. Beneath the eaves-is a re-set head corbel. Three-light east window with pointed arch and Perp style tracery, all C19. North vestry has a 3-light recessed and chamfered mullion window to the east. To the north there are steps up to a four-centred arched doorway, and to the west is a single light window with recessed and chamfered surround. The north side of the chancel and nave has a deeply set 3-light flat-arched window with segmental arched lights and returned hoodmould. Also a C19 2-light window with Y-tracery. The west elevation has a full-height central buttress flanked symmetrically by 2-light pointed-arched windows with transoms. The lower parts are blind and the upper lights are cusped, with mullions rising from the apexes of the two lights. Gabled double bellcote with rectangular openings and blind depressed ogee arches above. Interior: The porch has a pointed stone tunnel vault with three chamfered transverse ribs. Stone seats on either side. Off-centre south doorway with chamfered surround and lintel, but round-arched within. Plain white-washed interior. The nave roof has moulded cambered tie beams with cusped braces. C19 double chamfered chancel arch with low stone screen. Plain string course around the chancel. C19 octagonal font. C19 wooden pulpit with linenfold panels, set on a stone base. The font and pulpit are by Shaw. Plain pointed arch and doorway into the north vestry. Aumbry on the south side of the nave. Listing NGR: SK5187869331.' (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1875. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. I. 267-270.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. 90.
  • <3> Article in serial: Fisher, F. 1935. 'Derbyshire Scratch Dials', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 56, pp 31-43. 38.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1953. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, 1st edition. 348.
  • <5> Personal Observation: F1 JB 09-JUN-66.
  • <6> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.



Grid reference SK 51878 69331 (point)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR923

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Record last edited

Jan 16 2024 5:35PM

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