St. Giles Parish Church, Lych Gate
|Matlock : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards,
Engravings & Etchings
The first known dated picture of the lych gate at St. Giles
was published in 1908 and appeared on the annual Christmas greetings
card sent out by Mr. and Mrs. W. N. Statham (not
shown here). The gate was probably one of the items dedicated
by the Bishop of Southwell earlier in the year, following a
gift from Miss Harrison and another from the Will of Mr. Henry
Knowles of Burton-upon Trent and Matlock, although the gate
was not specifically mentioned at that time.
The entrance had been widened, with the stone pillars and their
ball finials moved outwards, to accommodate the lych gate and
railings (compare this picture with one
taken a short time earlier). It is also highly likely that
the original gates were re-used, cut down to form the railings
fixed into the top of the wall on either side of the gate.
The Arts and Crafts style gateway is at the bottom end of the
churchyard, close to Stoney Way. Although it was erected before
the first world war it was not mentioned in the Ward Lock Guides
until the1920s and 1930s when the "modern" lych
gate was said to be "finely carved".
In 1937 Arthur Mee wrote that "a handsome lych gate opens
to the fine churchyard".
The gate is first shown on the 1922 Ordnance Survey
County Series 1:2,500 Map and on the 6" map of 1924. The
view of the church from where these pictures were taken has
hardly changed in the intervening years.
C. A. Peters, Ltd
An advertisement card of C. A.
Peters, Ltd., dates
from a similar time as the top postcard and describes the lych
gate at Matlock Parish Church as having been treated with the famous
Carbolineum Avenarius wood preserver.
This was a non-corrosive preserver that both stained the wood and
had long lasting qualities. It was created in Germany in 1875 by
Mr. Avenarius and became widely used.
The firm of C. A. Peters of Derby was owned by Charles Augustus Peters
who had lived at Guilderoy in Matlock Bath and had saved the land
at Artists' Corner.
Perhaps taken a couple of years later,
postal rates printed on the reverse of the card indicate a date
In 1969 Ken Russell made the film "Women in Love", based
on the D H Lawrence novel. A marriage scene filmed outside the
church featured the paths on either side of the gate, as well as
We learn from the Parish Church Guide,
written in the same year as the film was made, that
although little is known of his life St. Giles was the patron
saint of cripples, beggars and blacksmiths. The church celebrates
St. Giles' Day on 1st September each year.
You may like to view more onsite information
St. Giles' Church
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. Top image: "St. Giles Church, Matlock". Published by
C. Colledge, Stationer, Matlock. No.670/15. Not posted, but another
card was posted in 1917.
In the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
2. C. A. Peters advertisement In the collection of, provided by and © Ken
3. "Matlock Parish Church". The Milton Series, Woolstone Bros. Renowned
for Local Views. , London EC1. Printed at the works in Saxony, ½d.
Stamp inland, 1d abroad.
All research provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
hyperlinks are to transcripts elsewhere on this web site):
 1908 Christmas postcard in a private
collection. It was taken in the winter and is a photograph of the
church and the gate, with "The Studio, Matlock, Christmas Greetings
1908. The Best of Good Wishes from Mr. and Mrs. W. N. Statham"
on the back.
 Reported in both the "Sheffield
Independent", 10 February 1908 and "Derbyshire
Courier", 15 February 1908.
 The gate is described in several guides
from the inter war period, but not in those published before World
 Mee, Arthur (ed.) (1937) "Derbyshire:
The Peak Country", The King's England Series, Hodder and
Stoughton Limited, London
 From Ken Smith
 "Matlock Parish Church, Derbyshire" (1969)
Pictorial Guide and Souvenir, The Church Publishers, Ramsgate.
 C. A. Peters first began making Carbolineum
Wood Preservative about 1900 ("Derby Daily Telegraph",
8 May 1935). In 1900 the firm was Messrs. Peters, Bartsch & Co.,
but became C. A. Peters, Ltd in 1902.
 See Biographies
(P) and Matlock Dale: Artists' Corner from Pic Tor