Images Index> Matlock, 20th and 21stC Images> This page
Matlock: St. Giles' Church in the First Decade of the Twentieth Century
Matlock : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
20th & 21st C Images
Next Image
Previous Image
More Matlock Pictures
18th & 19thC
"Just" Images
General Info
About Matlock
Find a Name

Churches & Chapels

The Vernon Lamb Archive


Having been enlarged in the late 1890s work on the church continued in the early twentieth century, overseen by the rector, the Rev J. W. Kewley. In 1900 a new "small but very beautiful " window was installed in memory of Catherine Sophia Oxenden Leacroft and Sir John Staples, who had been Lord Mayor of London (1885-6). It was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Staples of Spondon Old Hall[1]. The window and a number of other gifts and additions to the church were dedicated by the Bishop of Southwell, Dr. Hoskyns, in February 1908. The improvements, totalling approximately £3,000, included a magnificent set of oak stalls that had been carved by Mr. A. Hunstone of Tideswell and were a gift from Miss Harrison of Matlock in memory of her late brother, Dr. W. Harrison. A new organ, built by Mr. Adkins of Derby, had been installed which had cost over £1,000 and there two new vestries - one for the clergy and another for the choir. The church had received a gift of £800 from the Will of the late Mr Henry Knowles of Knowlstone Place and Burton-upon-Trent, which was used to pay for the items that had not specifically been donated[2].

Externally, after the 1897-8 alterations the single slope of the roof (see the church in the 1890s) became a pitched roof over the south aisle and crenellations were added. The porch was slightly smaller, although it is very hard to spot any difference. The main change to the churchyard occured a few years later when the iron railings surrounding so many of the family vaults, some beautifully forged by skilled craftsmen, were scrapped for the war effort during the First World War. They were never replaced.

The Church authorities had decided in 1907 to add the choir vestry to the church, costing about £800, as well as the organ; the cost of the latter was estimated at £600, but it clearly ended up costing considerably more. To facilitate some of the changes a question arose about moving the Woolley monument to a new position and the church was referred to the Derbyshire Archaeological Society over the matter[3].

There were three long lasting appointments made at his time. In 1900 Joseph Sladen became the Church Warden and W. N. Statham was chosen as the People's Warden[4]. Mr. Statham served his church for twenty eight years and Mr. Sladen for not much less. About 1901 John Henry Paulson, who initially resided on Matlock Green and Cliff but later moved to Church Street[5], was given the post of sexton and verger. When he retired in 1932, after 31 years' service, he had dug over 2,270 graves, attended over 2,000 funerals and been present at 1000 weddings[6].

A similar view in November, 2015.
A couple of bushes have grown, low level lighting has been installed along the sides of the path and there are a few more buildings in the background. Otherwise St. Giles' looks about the same as the image of 110+ years ago.

View even more about the church by clicking on the images below:


"Matlock Parish Church". No publisher. Unused. Stamp box shows: Inland 1/2d. Foreign 1d.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Photograph © Susan Tomlinson.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 14 July 1900. Go to the transcript of the inscription. Mrs. Staples was a member of the Leacroft family (see Pedigree of Leacroft).

[2] The dedication service was reported in the "Sheffield Independent" of 10 February 1908 and the "Derbyshire Courier" of 15 February 1908. The oak carving of the stalls seem to have been designed by W. N. Statham, as the carving was mentioned in his obituary, but the church dedication reports do not mention this.

[3] "Derbyshire Courier", 3 August 1907.

[4] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 28 April 1900.

[5] See John Paulson with his family in the 1891 census | the 1901 census. He was married and living on Church Street by 1911, his occupation being given as Church Verger.

[6] "Nottingham Evening Post", 30 June 1932. This was the date he actually retired. There was another report in the "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald" on 2 July 1932.