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Weston-Upon-Trent Parish Church, nineteenth century stereoview (about 1890)

St. Mary's church is tucked away down a narrow lane away from the village centre, close to the river and surrounded by lovely countryside. Nikolaus Pevsner, in his county guide, stated that this Grade 1 listed building is "essentially a C13 church"[1].

The stereoview shows the north side of the church and the 14th century windows of the north aisle. All three windows, so the two facing the road and the slightly larger side window, have distinctive and attractive ogee curves at the top. When the church was restored in 1877 "the old plain glass" of these windows was not replaced[2].

The 1877 work had been undertaken by Messrs. Bullock and Barton of Melbourne from plans drawn up by the Nottingham architects Evans and Jolley. The then Rector, Rev. J. Wadham, had begun fund raising in 1869 and by August 1877 some £1,200 had been spent, though work still needed to be done on the roof and spire as well as the porch[2]. In 1910 further work was proposed as the lead on the roof was by then over two hundred years old and had become porous; other work was also needed[3]. However, the roof repairs had still not been done in 1949[4]. Sadly, in 1954, the theft of 15 of the 24 sheets of lead from the roof necessitated urgent repairs[5]. Three Derby men were prosecuted and sentenced, with one man receiving an eight year prison term. A further person skipped bail[6].

Enlargement of part of the right hand stereo image of St. Mary's church.

There are three stepped buttresses supporting the north aisle wall and a blocked up doorway is to the right of the windows, mostly hidden by the wall; the top of its arch appears as a small dark mark on the image (half way between the right window and the down pipe).

The embattled tower, with a slim octagonal recessed spire, is attached to the western end of the building, so is not over a crossing. It was built about 1360[7] although Dr. Cox, the church historian, suggested that the battlements were probably renewed towards the end of the fifteenth century[8]. It shows the marks of a former steep-pitched roof on its western side. We can clearly see the louvres in the tower's belfry windows and there are two tiers or lights, or lucarnes, in the spire[9].

The church door and seventeenth century porch are on the southern side, so on the far side of the building.

There are only minor differences between the way the church looked when the stereoview was taken and the way it looks today. The gate shown above has changed and the large tree on the left, which blocked the view of the chancel and its two narrow lancet windows, has gone so there is now a far better view of the structure as a whole.

Cox tells us that "at the outbreak of the Civil War there was an engagement at King's Hill ford, in this parish, which was held by the royal forces. After an entry of July 4th, 1644 [in the parish register], is written - "Some souldiers buryed of ye Garrison ;" and again under August 7th - "Duck a souldier buried a little aftr." The rector at the time was John Poole, though his name was written as Pole in the register[8].

1 and 2. Stereoview of Weston-upon-Trent Church, though not identified as such on the image. No photographer of publisher given but the stereoview is numbered 34 in the left hand corner.
Stereoview in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953), "The Buildings of England, Derbyshire", Penguin Books. Pevsner was an architectural and art historian.

[2] "Derby Mercury", 1 Aug 1877. Re-opening of Weston-On-Trent Parish Church.

[3] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 29 April 1910.

[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 9 September 1949.

[5] "Birmingham Daily Post", 18 October 1954. Another report suggests the number of lead sheets stolen was 16.

[6] "Birmingham Daily Post", 6 January 1955.

[7] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 23 April 1909.

[8] Cox, J Charles (1879) "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol IV, Hundred of Morleston and Litchurch", Chesterfield: W. Edmunds, London: Bemrose and Sons, 10 Paternoster Buildings; and Derby.

[9] A lucarne is either a dormer window or, as is the case here, a small window or light in a spire. Definition from Funk and Wagnell's New "Standard" Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1 (1946 edn.), The Waverley Book Company Ltd., London.

Also see, elsewhere on this web site:
Weston-upon-Trent, Kelly's 1891 Directory. There is more about the church.
Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811, see Weston-Upon-Trent

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