Giles Parish Church, Matlock, before 1908
|Matlock, Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
Two similar views of the church, showing the churchyard
and gravestones on the left going up the hillside towards Pic
Tor. Both pictures were taken from Church Street but it is quite
probable that the photographer who took the top image was standing
in an upper room of the property opposite. We can see the wrought
iron gateway, the main entrance to the church and churchyard,
which hadn't altered since the 1870 photograph of the church
Old Church, 1870). The gate was shortly to be replaced by
the lych gate that is there
today. There were stone pillars, topped with ball finials, on
either side of the gate and these were retained. From pictures
of the lych gate taken a few years later, it also looks as if
the gates may have been re-used, but cut down and placed on top
of the walls on either side of the new gates.
Describing Matlock's parish church a few years later, in 1915,
John Charles Cox wrote:
"At Matlock Bridge, where hydropathic caravanseries abound,
is the parish church (St. Giles), but the chancel was built in
1859, and the body of the church in 1871 ; only the 15th century
tower remains. In the rectory garden are some Norman and 13th century
fragments of the old church. In the vestry are some of the old
paper funeral garlands mentioned in the account of Ashford church
[not included here]. The church was again enlarged in 1898".
Barton's book on Matlock states that the first two alterations
were made by Benjamin Wilson of Derby and the chancel enlargement
of 1898 was undertaken by P.H. Currey.
In 1904 it was decided to apply for a faculty or ecclesiastical
licence to carry out necessary work in the belfry which was to
cost £680. The Rector and churchwardens had £500 in
hand. They wanted to recast the bells they already had and increase
the peal from six to eight whilst retaining the pre-Reformation
bell for special purposes.
Messrs. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in
London were responsible for the casting or recasting of the church
It is interesting to read whose names are inscribed on them. The
1626 bell was in memory of Anne Hopkinson; the 1718 bell remembered
F. Walker; the 1769 bell was engraved with the names of John Wolley,
Jno. Wood and C.W. Lester; one of the two 1791 bells bore the names
of Rev. George Holcombe, R. Mason and W. Godward; the tenor
bell, engraved with the initials C.H., had Marian Wildgoose's name
added in 1904. The recast bells and the new bells were dated 1904.
There seem to have been three new bells, the first of which was
a gift from Miss Harrison of Dean Hill, a Treble bell was in memory
of Robert Wildgoose and the third was inscribed to "D.D.H.
et C. Staples" who was a Leacroft before she married (see
Pedigree of Leacroft).
Curious about the large black sign in the foreground? It reads: "Children
are forbidden to come into the church yard unless accompanied by
a grown up or person who is responsible for their good behaviour".
You may like to view more onsite information
St Giles' from 1300
Parish Church Baptisms, Marriages & Burials
- a Surnames Index
Giles', MIs in the Church
View even more about the church by clicking on the images below:
1. "Matlock Parish Church, Matlock Bridge" G.W.W.
Post Card. Not posted so date estimated from other versions of the
card that have been posted. © Ann Andrews collection.
2. "St Giles, Matlock". Trichromatic
PC by J Welch & Sons, Portsmouth Printed at our works in Belgium. There
is a number, bottom left which is difficult to read but is probably
2495. Unused, but the postal rates were HALF PENNY INLAND FOREIGN
ONE PENNY. © Judy Cooper collection.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal
 Cox, John Charles, (1915, 2nd edition,
revised), "Derbyshire" - Illustrated by J. Charles
Wall, Methuen & Co., London, p.197. Cox was then Rector of
 Barton, David A. (1998) "Around
Matlock in Old Photographs", part of a series called "Britain
in Old Photographs", Budding Books, ISBN 1-84015-076-9.
 "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield
Herald", 20 February 1904.
 "Matlock Parish Church, Derbyshire" (1969)
Pictorial Guide and Souvenir, The Church Publishers, Ramsgate.
The full text that is inscribed on the bells is not included above.