Boulton, Derby – St Mary the Virgin

The new Derby City Deanery was launched on Saturday 24 September with a Festival of Light, and a service at 4 pm. I took a full car and had time to photo the church as well as attend the service. We were in the south east of Derby at St Mary’s Boulton – website – SK384331. Excellent signage.



One grave by the wall struck my eye “Killed in action in France”. Only when I lifted the holly did I find two sons were “Killed in action in France”. There are several War Graves Commission stones too – a lot of history in this churchyard. I also find myself wondering what name was originally on Catherine Elizabeth’s stone, and what else was to be carved on Charlotte Ann’s.


The original church was founded around 1150 by Robert Sacheverell of Hopley (Sawley) in Derbyshire. He had a daughter called Avelina who came to live in the Manor of Boulton when she married Arwin of Boulton (this is sounding like something out of a Cadfael novel). He had links with the church of St Peter’s in Derby, and their son was called Peter. Adelina’s brother John became head of the Sacheverell family in 1197 and also came to live in Boulton. The porch has some Norman work, but now you enter the church at the West End you don’t really notice it.


There are some medieval tiles displayed on the wall inside.


The West End was added in 1840 by John Mason of Derby, north aisle 1870 by William Smith (he also remodelled the chancel and replaced the nave roof), and the church was enlarged in 1960 by Sebastian Comper. The windows include the Crucifixion with the cross treated as the Tree of Life in the East window (Walter J. Pearce 1913) – I wonder what the mothers of those WW1 soldiers made of that a few years later. Pevsner describes this as “Unusual painterly Annunciation of c. 1901”.



dsc04503Other windows are 1929 and 1938 by Powells. I liked the one in the kitchen with local saints – and Dr Who.


Memorial tablets to two long-standing workers, and a rather nice head.


A banner from today and a photo of the Great and the Good at the end of the service. Interesting how the CofE has changed in the last few years – I looked at this photo and was surprised it was all male. A decade ago I would have taken it for granted that it would be. If our Suffragan Bishop had been here today, it would haven’t have been all male. If all the Deanery clergy had robed, this photo would have reflected the CofE as it really is.




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