Edensor, Derbyshire – St Peter

On Thursday 20 June I had to drive north for a licensing at Dronfield, and had supper with Hannah en route at the Fox Inn. On the way there I pulled in opposite Chatsworth to visit the church of St Peter, Edensor – SK 251698. They have a guide page on their website – http://stpetersedensor.org/page5.html  – and a page about the monuments. At the front of the church there are ferocious steps. There is no sign (or anything on the website) which tells you there is flatter access round the back (but they are an “inclusive congregation” … anyone else notice the irony?)

The church was rebuilt in 1864-70 in Early English style for the 7th Duke of Devonshire by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The south porch is old, much restored, and incorporated into the new build. I liked a nearby face. Apparently the boot scraper outside the porch is to a Gilbert Scott design, but I missed that (memo to self, read website first (especially when you find there isn’t a guidebook!?!).

Nice little kitchen at the back, and plenty of seats in this church!

Two fonts. The main one includes four columns of Duke’s red marble (which Duke??). The font cover dates to 1993 – designed by Michael Bradshaw, made by Ray Bradshaw, painted by Lawrence Udall. And a Seventeenth century one for good measure!

There are a selection of War Memorials. The flag hanging in front of the memorial is the King’s Colour of the Chatsworth Rifles, the 16th battalion of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment, the Sherwood Foresters. The unit was raised in 1915 by the Duke of Devonshire, disbanded in 1922, and the Colour presented for safekeeping here. The Chatsworth Rifles saw action on the Western Front in March 1916. In 2½ years, 29 officers and 600 men were killed . They won 1 VC, 6 DSOs, 28 MCs, 14 DCMs and 63 MMs. The Colour  carries the names of the 10 battles in which the battalion took a conspicuous part.

Other memorials include the Vicar’s son who died in the Boer War, the member of the Cavendish family murdered in Ireland – see https://www.historyireland.com/18th-19th-century-history/lord-frederick-cavendish-phoenix-park-murders-1882/  and the Vicar who served the village for 52 years. He had to help the Family cope with the death of one of their own, and had to cope with the death of his own son, all the while continuing to serve and pray for his community. They also display the wreath that Queen Victoria sent for Charles’ funeral.

The most impressive memorial is that to Bess of Hardwick’s sons, Henry Cavendish (died 1616) and William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire (died 1625). Apparently Henry “was the MP for Derbyshire five times, but (according to Wikipedia) did not participate greatly in politics. His mother disinherited him due to his morals and behaviour – he inherited the estate, and sold it to his brother William. William accumulated a vast fortune – he paid £10,000 for the title of Baron Cavendish of Hardwiclk. This memorial must have cost a few quid too – William Wright made it, he needs some research. Could we persuade the church they don’t need as many chairs in the chapel, or the benches stacked beside it?

There is more I should have photographed, but time was pressing. I’ll come back! I’m told the café in the village is rather good too.

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