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St. Giles Parish Church, Matlock, before 1908
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Some of the webmistress's ancestors are buried in the churchyard.
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Matlock Church
from Hawe Leys

Matlock from the Memorial

Matlock, showing Church & Memorial Gardens

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 (see Matlock 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"[1]. 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[2].

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[3]. Messrs. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London were responsible for the casting or recasting of the church bells[4].

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
Rectors of St Giles' from 1300
Matlock Parish Church Baptisms, Marriages & Burials
Memorial Inscriptions - a Surnames Index
Matlock St 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 use only.


[1] Cox, John Charles, (1915, 2nd edition, revised), "Derbyshire" - Illustrated by J. Charles Wall, Methuen & Co., London, p.197. Cox was then Rector of Holdenby, Northampton.

[2] 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.

[3] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 20 February 1904.

[4] "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.