Spondon, Derby – St Werbugh

The parish church of Spondon, now just part of Derby, is dedicated to St Werburgh. It is just north of the A52, at SK398359 – website. There’s a good local history website too. There was a priest and church here at Doomsday, and in the reign of Henry I it was given to the Hospital of Burton Lazars in Leicester, the foremost and most wealthy leper hospital in England (you don’t think of leper hospitals being wealthy!). The Hospital was dissolved under Henry VIII, and the vicarage was valued at £30.

I wonder how impressive a church it was – the trouble is it caught fire on Maundy Thursday 1340. The whole church and most of the town was destroyed – £1000 damage of done, which was a lot in those days. The church was rebuilt – it would be fascinating to know how keen the townspeople were about rebuilding the church where the fire had started; apparently they were let of their taxes while rebuilding took place (that probably helped).


Little of the re-built church survives. It is fair to say that Spondon church is Victoria, and feels Victorian. Thomas Johnson of Lichfield restored it in 1825-7, J. Oldrid Scott had another go in 1891-2. When we arrived both north and south door were opened, and the sun was shining in. We had Deanery Chapter in the Hall, then I had a wander round with my camera.


I assume this is an ancient preaching cross in the churchyard, Pevsner says it is “pre-Conquest”.


Pevsner also describes this tomb as “characterful relief bust of a woman with an elaborate hairdo”.


They have a War Memorial chapel to the north, and a newly half-installed nave altar.


Some nice glass, but the sun was so bright I didn’t get any other good photos.


Since this church is at the “high” end of the Anglican spectrum, we have a nice little gong. I did wonder whether I could bring the whole church to a grinding halt by stealing the beater.dsc04244



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One Response to Spondon, Derby – St Werbugh

  1. Julian Hollywell says:

    It would take more than thieving the mallet to halt our proceedings! The cross in the churchyard is according to English Heritage probably from around 850, though it wasn’t originally in that site but around a mile north of the village. Moved in the late nineteenth century I think.

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