St Martin

Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire Dales District, Derbyshire, England Add to Map
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Saint Martins Church, Stoney Middleton, is unique in Derbyshire for its nave of octagonal shape. The church was originally built in the early 15th century, by Joan Eyre of Padley in thanksgiving for the safe return from the Battle of Agincourt of her husband Robert. They were said to have courted before their marriage at the nearby spring in Stoney Middleton, under the former Roman settlement at Castra Bank, where in Celtic times the local people would gather to give thanks for the pure water. The custom of Well Dressing today derives from similar celebrations all around Derbyshire.

The church thus dates back to 1415, and the original Tower still stands. The Nave however was destroyed by fire in 1757, to be rebuilt two years later in its present form. The builder was James Booth, a local master stonemason, who also worked on the Stable Block at Chatsworth for the 4th Duke of Devonshire, under the supervision of the architect James Paine- hence the Palladian influence and the Rotunda octagonal style, used in Italian villas of the 17th century, but seldom in church architecture. It provides an inward-facing arrangement of pews, which gives intimacy of worship in this small church.

  • Added: 26 Feb 2017
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2635920