Ilkeston Town Walk - Stage 16 - The Market Place (East Side)
w/e 14 December 2003

Market Place

The eastern side of the Market Place is taken up entirely by the church and grounds of St Mary's. The church was founded around 1150 and extended during the reign of Henry III (1217-72). A steeple surmounted the tower until it was badly damaged by a storm in 1714. A new tower was not constructed due to lack of funds until 1731 but ten years later the roof of the chancel fell in and it was not until 1854 that enough money could be raised to finance a complete restoration.
By The Church Wall

Further alterations to St Mary's took place in 1909/10 when the nave was extended and the tower moved westwards. This view along the church wall also shows more recent changes to the area occasioned by a pedestrianisation scheme. A commemorative plaque on the wall reads "Erewash Borough Council, Ilkeston. The Upper Market Place improvements were opened by the Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Mrs Mary Henshaw. 18th November 1993"
Garden of Remembrance

The churchyard was closed for burials in 1852 and following World War II, part of it was made into a Garden of Remembrance to honour the fallen. Since then, the Cantelupe Community Centre has also been built in the churchyard and can be seen here behind the Garden of Remembrance.
Market Cross

In front of the Cantelupe Centre is this large lump of stone. An engraved plate on the top shows that the stone was the base of a mediaeval cross that originally stood in the Lower Market Place. The plate is difficult to read but shows that the stone was presented by Mr C Wood Esq and gives the date as September 1958. This picture above also shows the Cantelupe Centre, the name Cantelupe coming from the family that owned the manor of Ilkeston in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

 There are still some headstones in the churchyard and here beneath the east window of St Mary's all of them bear the name "Cocker" a prominent Ilkeston family during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Two Churchyards

When the churchyard was closed for burials in 1852, an extension was made into Hallcroft but now the two sections are bisected by the inner relief road, Chalons Way, and neither is now used as a burial ground. From the footbridge over the road both sections of the churchyard can now be seen.

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