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Derby Cathedral

History

The first church was established on the site by King Edmund in 943ad. The current tower dates back to 1532 and was built to be the second tallest church tower in the country. The nave and chancel were rebuilt in 1725 in the Enlightenment Style. The building is completed by a complementary 20th century East End extension following granting of Cathedral status in 1927.

 

Architecture

The tower by John Otes is Perpendicular Style, built from local Derbyshire stone. The rebuild for the church in the 18th century was designed by James Gibbs of Aberdeen and executed by Francis Smith of Warwick. The screenwork is by a contemporary ironsmith, Robert Bakewell. The 20th century work is designed first by Sebastian Comper and completed by Anthony New. It features Comperís design for the baldachino and more ironwork designed by New in the style of Bakewell for the new civic pew. The only stained glass, a pair of windows by Ceri Richards from 1965, is part of the extension phase.

Attractions

The monument to Bess of Hardwick dominates the Cavendish Chapel and descendants were interred beneath here until the mid 19th century. The modern St Katharineís Chapel has been created from one of the original vault chambers. A simple grave marker depicts the local artist Joseph Wright, probably the most complete artist ever to have lived. A tablet reminds us that the Scot Bonnie Prince Charlie demanded that a service be held here for his officers before he abandoned his threat upon the English throne.
The superb acoustic lends itself to regular concerts, often featuring the Cathedralís prized Compton Organ.
A few minutes walk away is the medieval St Maryís Chapel on the Bridge. This was licensed in 1360 and is the oldest public building in Derby. Since 1930 it has been under the care of the Cathedral and serves as its lady chapel with regular services both for its own and many other religious communities.
Modern stained glass windows by Ceri Richards depicting in fluent abstract shapes All Souls and All Saints
Tower and bells are from the Tudor church and contain 10 bells one of which dates from that period, making them the oldest ring of 10 in the country in the tallest tower at 212í or 64 metres
Early 18th century wrought iron screen and gates by local ironsmith Robert Bakewell

Local Interest

Royal Crown Derby china
The Silk mill industrial museum
Derby Museum and Art Gallery including the Joseph Wright collection
The National Sikh Heritage Centre and Holocaust Museum
Pickford House museum
Derwent Valley Mills, World Heritage site
The Peak District, Britainís first National Park
Chatsworth House, Calke Abbey and Hardwick Hall are all within easy driving distance