Willington, Derbyshire – St Michael

Tuesday 21 February, and a morning’s drive to explore a couple of villages south of Derby – just a few minutes away down the A38. Willington is a busy village, on the Trent and Mersey Canal – website. One of these days I will chuck it all in and buy a narrow boat. Presumably we could have a butty boat for all Julie’s books. The canal was built in 1770 – I wonder what’s being planned for the 250th anniversary. A search shows me there were celebrations last year for James Brindley’s 300th anniversary.

The railway station was opened in 1839 – one of the earliest stations, on the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway. The name has changed several occasions – Willington and Repton, or vice versa. It closed in 1968, and re-opened as Willington in 1994. As it only has a couple of bus shelters, I didn’t go and photo it. The village once had a power station – here is a website. Forget churches, I’ll blog power stations …

The church of St Michael is in the centre of the village at SK 295282, and men were working on the porch. Did they get a faculty for the “Welcome” sign? Pevsner describes the tower as “pretty, modest” and dates it to 1824. The south door is Norman, but I couldn’t get a close photo of it. The tower cost £80, and the C19 rebuild also destroyed a Norman chancel arch. I like the interior view.

The font is C18 and the pulpit 1820. The Commandment boards have been built into the woodwork at the east end – presumably this wasn’t their original position. The incised slab is C17. I like the altar frontal, but could they please put the white cable somewhere more discrete?







They have done an excellent job of adding a kitchen and a disabled loo, and a discrete projector screen.

I can’t find any details of the hatchment – it is rather good. There is a nice tapestry which commemorates the centenary of the freeing of the bridge over the Trent from tolls. It is a Grade II listed bridge – I like the way the Historic England website says it “extends into the parish of Repton”. It was built in 1839, and the engineer was James Trubshaw (1777-1853), a Staffordshire man who was an engineer to the Trent & Mersey, and to several churches. There is a biography of him available. I will go and explore the bridge at some point.

There is a church website – though it doesn’t seem to have been updated recently. This is a good moment to publicise a new church website for one of my churches, St Matthew’s Darley Abbey – click here. Thanks Ross.




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One Response to Willington, Derbyshire – St Michael

  1. Roger Howitt says:

    I have been reading a book “The Greatest Siege in British History “ and it refers to a Mr J Spilsbury from Willington dated 1760. There was a Rector Spilsbury in the early 1830 when the church was built. But there seems to be very little data available before 1800 about life in Willington

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