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A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Haddon Hall (5), The Chapel

The Chapel is on South west of Haddon Hall; it is dedicated to St. Nicholas and is one of the oldest parts of this wonderful building. It is Norman, with some later additions, and consists of "chancel, nave, and side aisles"[1], the north aisle being very narrow. Its exterior walls can be seen in the image at the top of the previous page, which shows the alignment to be closer to south-east/north west than strictly east to west.

Ebenezer Rhodes, visiting in 1818, noted that the Chapel "is enriched with painted windows"[2]. The stained glass in one of the panes of the large gothic east window depicts The Crucifixion and Mary, St. John, etc. There is an inscription running across the whole window that dates both the glass and the chancel:

"Orate pro animabus Riccardi Vernon et Benedicte uxuris eius qui fecerunt anno dni 1427"[3].

Samuel Rayner, writing in 1836, commented that the inscription was still legible, although part of it had been misplaced by a glazier[3]! This glass was re-leaded in 1858 and arranged, as far as possible, after the original. No new glass was introduced and several old quarries* were taken from other windows to complete the work[4].
*Quarries are diamond shaped glass panes, as used in lattice windows.

Much more recently (2019-2020) further restoration work, by highly skilled craftsmen using traditional methods, has been undertaken to repair the chancel window. Three other chapel windows had been restored some years before.

The west window and some other lights had also been filled with 14th century glass of exceptional high quality. However, in 1828 the glass was carefully cut out by person or persons unknown. Despite a reward of 100 guineas nothing more was heard of either the glass or the thieves[3]. It has long been suggested that it was shipped to the Continent and sold on.

Doorway entrance on the Chapel's north side.
The "sturdy low benches for the retainers" can be seen
in the south aisle[1]. This aisle
and the column of the arcade date from ca.1160[5].

William Adam describes entering the Chapel through a porch with a pointed archway." In this stands the old stoup, or basin, which contained the holy water. The Chapel, which has a body and two aisles, is considered to be very ancient - but it is of very small dimensions. This and the Great Hall belong to the most ancient parts, having been built before 1452". In a footnote he adds: "One of the pillars between the nave and south aisle is very ancient. It is in the massive style which fell into disuse in the thirteenth century". The Lysons brothers said it indicated "that it was built on the site of a Chapel attached to a more ancient mansion, probably erected by the Avenalls.". The Chapel's font "is in the same style"[6]. It is the plain circular Norman font we can see here next to the Norman pillar, with its Jacobean oak cover[7]. The free standing stoup is on the right near the door, out of sight here; it resembles a font, with the octagonal basin having a diameter of about a foot[4].

The chancel "is of unusual size in proportion to the rest of the Chapel" ... it is 28 feet in length and the total length of the chapel is only 49 feet[4]. Dr. Cox and others provide the date of 1425 for the chancel. Rhodes had also commented on the Chapel's size, especially in relation to the Hall's apartments, observing that "the very limited capacity of the chapel, when contrasted with the magnitude of those apartments, shows, that though those good people of this establishment took up a large space in which to manage their temporal affairs, they contrived to arrange their spiritual concerns within very modest dimensions"[2].

In 1624 Sir George Manners had renewed the low pitched roof and his initials, plus the date, were carved on one of the beams[4].

The three decker pulpit and reading desk are on the left.

The high balustraded oak pews on either side of the chancel were where the family sat[3]. Adam tells us that they were originally gilt[6].

The painting is by Henry Hadfield Cubley who lived at Matlock
Bath at that time. The woman and child are his wife and
one of his daughters.

On the right is the alabaster monument to Robert Charles John Manners, Lord Haddon (1885-94), the eldest
son of the 8th Duke, by his mother Violet, Duchess of Rutland. This is a replica of one at Belvoir Castle[8].
On the left, behind the pulpit, is an open small door, above which had been a small organ
loft that was drawn by Rayner in 1836[8]. He did not mention an organ.

The Altar or Communion Table is below the east window. A second altar was in the south aisle, below its east window and which Jewitt believed was a chantry[5]. "The stone slabs which formed the tops of the altars still exist, and are raised, to the extent of their thickness, above the floor: the east altar-stone is 8 feet by 3 feet, and is 8 inches thick, the edge being a fillet of 3 inches, and a chamfer ; the surface is so decayed that only one of its original five crosses patée now remains"[9].

Mediaeval Wall Paintings in the Chapel.

In 1858 whitewash on the Chapel walls was partly removed and murals and wall paintings were discovered. Jewitt records that "they were much injured before they were covered in whitewash, and the injury appears as if partially intentional. They are probably of the date of about 1425"[5]. but they faded and were restored in the 20th century. Pevsner commented in 1953 that "the grisaille or almost grisaille wall decorations have come out wonderfully in the C20 restorations"[7]. Jewitt's sketches of what was discovered in 1858 are below.

On the east side of the south window of the Chancel.
On the west side of the south window of the Chancel.

Jewitt[5] noted that on the East side:

  • "The upper group is the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple by Joachim and Anna" [Mary's parents]. Jewitt recorded that the height of their heads is 15½ feet above the Chapel floor.
  • The lower group was "much injured, apparently Anne teaching the Virgin to read, whilst Joachim stands by. Their heads are about 10½ feet above the Chapel floor".

On the West side:

  • "The Upper group is of the Holy family. The Virgin holds the infant Jesus in her arms; St. Joseph stands by; St. John the Baptist raised his hands and eyes towards the infant Saviour" Jewitt commented that the height of their heads is 15½ feet above the Chapel floor.
  • The lower group was "much injured, with four scrolls and apparently four figures. A female figure appears to be carrying a child, whilst a male figure follows behind. There seems to be indications of a fourth and smaller figure. It appears like a flight into Egypt, with the figure of St. John introduced, contrary to custom." Their heads are about 10½ feet above the floor.

West Wall of the Nave.
East wall of the Chancel.

The design on the west wall of the nave, a pattern of rose branches and leaves with red flowers of five petals, was said to date from 1427 when the east window was put in. The diaper pattern in the chancel was borderless when discovered; it was green and a dull red and believed to be of the same date. Both patterns can be seen in the sepia image immediately above this section.

1. The Chapel, "Haddon Hall, Derbyshire.". Looking east. Plate from "The Reliquary, Vol.12".
2."Haddon Hall : Entrance to Chapel". Published by The Photochrom Co. Ltd., London and Tunbridge Wells, Celesque Series, No. A.33169. Printed in England. Posted 26 Apr 1916 at Bakewell.
3."Haddon Hall, Chapel Interior". Published by The Photochrom Co. Ltd., London and Tunbridge Wells, Celesque Series. No. A.33240. Printed in England. Unused. Stamp Box shows postage rate: a half-penny stamp for inland one penny foreign.
4. "Haddon Hall. The Chapel". Ralph Tuck & Sons "Oilette" [Regd,] Postcard 1487. Art Publishers to their Majesties the King and Queen. Posted 10 Mar 1904 in Southampton. No message. Sender just signed the front Fred Short.
5. "Haddon Hall, Chapel". Photochrom Co. Ltd., Copyright. Graphic Studios, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Publishers to the World. No.V.197.
All images in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews. 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.

[2] Rhodes, Ebenezer (1824) "Peak Scenery", London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster Row. He visited Haddon on his first journey into Derbyshire

[3] Rayner, S[amuel] (1836) "The History and Antiquities of Haddon Hall", published by Moseley, Derby.

[4] Cox, J Charles (1877) "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol II, The Hundreds of the High Peak and Wirksworth", Chesterfield: Palmer and Edmunds, London: Bemrose and Sons, 10 Paternoster Buildings; and Derby.

[5] Plates published The Reliquary, Vol. XII ", ed. Llewellynn Jewitt (1871-72) published. Derby, Bemrose and Sons, Irongate. The plates here were also published in "Haddon Hall: an Illustrated Guide ...", (1871) by Llewellynn Jewitt, F.S.A., and S. C. Hall, F.S.A.

[6] Adam, W. (all editions, 1838-57) "The Gem of the Peak" London; Longman & Co., Paternoster Row.

[7] Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953), "The Buildings of England, Derbyshire", Penguin Books. The term grisaille used by Pevsner to describe the decorations means they were in grey monochrome representing objects in relief.

[8] "Nottingham Journal", 23 October 1937. Art Exhibition at Derby. Duchess's Memorial Gift to the Town.
Paintings by Violet Duchess of Rutland exhibited in the autumn exhibition at Derby Art Gallery. Also included was a sculpture of her son that she had given to the gallery.

[9] Haddon Hall: an Illustrated Guide and Companion to the Tourist and Visitor ...", (1871) by Llewellynn Jewitt, F.S.A., and S. C. Hall, F.S.A., pub. Buxton by J. C. Bates.

Also see, elsewhere on this web site:
The Gentleman's Magazine Library, 1731-1868 (under Bakewell). MI of Sir George Vernon family and mentions the tomb of his daughter who is also commemorated in the church.
Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1891
Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811 includes a short piece about Haddon, under Bakewell
The Wolley Manuscripts, Derbyshire
More about Henry Hadfield Cubley, the artist (under Matlock)

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