Stanley Village - Part 4 - St Andrew's Church
w/e 29 October 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Welcome To Stanley Village

War MemorialIn our fourth part of our monthly series about Stanley Village we move a little way from the War Memorial to concentrate on Stanley Church which is dedicated to St Andrew. The present church was rebuilt in 1200 and is mentioned in the Taxation Roll of 1291 as the Chapel Of Stanley. It is thought that the church was built on the site of a Saxon foundation. Prior to the Reformation the church at Stanley belonged to Dale Abbey and it is said that some stonework from the Abbey, like many other buildings nearby, is now incorporated in the church. It then passed to the Powtrell family and later it became a chapel-of-ease to Spondon, remaining so until 1852.

St Andrew's Church

Stained Glass WindowStained Glass Window DetailStanley became a separate parish in 1852 and the church was restored and enlarged in 1875 although it retains some Norman features. A stained glass window (left) in memory of Frederick Canner (died 1914) and Ethel Canner (1964) depicts several emblems and symbols synonymous with the area including Dale Windmill, a wheatsheaf to mark the agricultural links and headstocks to signify the former local mining industry. It also features a representation of the church in 1875 (right).
Church Gates

1887Memorial Plaque In 1887, Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, the church gates were erected and the year (left) was recorded in the design of the gates to mark the occasion. Another event recorded in the structure of the church is the porch which was erected 'To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory' of six men of the village who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918. A plaque in the porch (right) lists their names.
Church Interior

Jacobean PulpitKelly's Directory published in 1891 describes the church of St Andrew as a "small and ancient edifice of stone, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch, vestry and a turret on the western gable containing two bells dated 1661". It also mentions the carved oak pulpit which dates from Jacobean times which normally refers to the period of the reign of James I from 1603 until 1625. The pulpit (see small image left) can still be seen in the church today together with an octagonal font from the fourteenth century. It is also recorded that the church provided sanctuary to a mediaeval murderer. The man who sought sanctuary, William Welshman could not be turned out of the building for forty days.
Old Architectural Features

In 1950 renovation work on the north side of the church uncovered a tombstone under the floor which is thought to be that of Sir John Bentley and his family dating from the 1600s. Currently work is being undertaken on the south side of the church to relay and repair paths. No similar discoveries have been made (so far) but it is here that we can see the small round-headed priest's doorway that although now blocked up, is a fine example of Norman architecture. To the right some of the buttresses and the small lancet window date from the thirteenth century. Notice the lintel above the lancet window is carved from one block of stone as opposed to the multi-piece lintel of the later window to the left of the priest's door.

In the churchyard as is to be expected, there are a number of tombstones and behind many of them there are interesting stories to be told of bygone village life. For example the epitaph for the village blacksmith, Luke Woodward who died aged 85 in 1837 reads, "My steady and hammer lyes reclined, My bellows too have lost their wind, My fire's extinct, my forge decay'd, And in the dust, my vice is laid. My coal's are spent, my iron gone; My nails are drove, my work is done." The story goes that Luke's smithy was at a corner in the village by a small stream and after shaping his work hot from the forge, he would dip it in the 1733 Tombstonestream to cool it down. In the same grave lie two sons and a daughter of Mr Woodward who pre-deceased him aged 19, 5 and 22 in 1801, 1803 and 1822 respectively.

The oldest legible tombstone in the churchyard (bottom right above and this small image on which some of the inscription can just be made out) is for two members of the Radford family, Elizabeth and her daughter who both died in 1733. Elizabeth's husband, Thomas who was a tanner and one of the family of Radfords who lived across the road at Stanley Hall, died in 1755. His tomb is next in line.

The third image in the triptych above is not a tombstone at all but a memorial to the men who lost the lives in the Wellington Bomber Crash in 1942. The memorial is a recent addition to the churchyard and was unveiled on Sunday 11th July 2004. The BBC's People's War contains at least two accounts of the crash here and here. And if you would like to learn more about the memorials and tombstones in the churchyard Alan Bloor's excellent Stanley One Place Study website is the place to look.
Thatched Cottage

Standing right next to the church is a fifteenth century cruck-framed cottage. A cruck is one of a pair of naturally curved timbers that forms one of several rigid arched frames to support the roof. The frame in this old cottage was discovered during renovation work when detailed drawings were prepared and lodged with the Old VicarageDerbyshire Archeological Society. The cottage is also worthy of note as being one of the few thatched buildings to be found in the Borough of Erewash. Beyond the cottage and seen in this small image from the churchyard at the rear of the cottage is the old vicarage. This large house with many rooms and two staircases - one for the servants and one for the masters - was built in 1872.

In Part 5 we'll continue our walk through the village beyond the old vicarage to explore the area that became known locally as 'Grundy's Corner'.

 Back to Part 3
 Forward to Part 5

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