Castleton, Derbyshire – St Edmund, King and Martyr

Tuesday 22 September 2020. We went on to Castleton, as I had arranged to meet Linda to look round St Edmund’s church. Pre-covid it was open all the time, now just twice a week. It is one of three churches with a house-for-duty Vicar, and at the moment has one service a month (and the fourth Sunday on zoom). Again, like Tideswell, no guidebook. I did wonder if their noticeboard is a symbol of 2020.

The Chancel arch, which we’ll see in a minute, is Norman, but the rest of the church was restored in 1837. One authority describes it as “almost as ugly as could well be imagined” which is a little harsh.

The ceiling is interesting, the pews are old, and I like the lights. A couple of monuments – this one is to Charles Potts, 1725 – and a nice hatchment. Some damp problems are going to need sorting.

The Norman arch is rather good. There’s a little organ, and Edmund’s arrows are in the screen to the vestry. The vestry contains the Farran Collection, the parish library. It was bequeathed to the parish by a former incumbent, the Reverend Frederic Farran. The greatest part of the material is apparently of the C18, but includes some C17 and C19 items. A note says that a catalogue was produced in 1977 by the School of Librarianship in Sheffield. The school has gone, Amazon have no copies for sale, “Farran collection” has no hits on the Derbsyhire Libraries catalogue, nor any hints on the Sheffield University website, and a quick google gives no information. I am glad to say that Cambridge University Library has a copy of the catalogue. I wonder when anyone last accessed the collection. They also have a Breeches Bible on display.

Linda got the lovely cross and candles out for me to photo. Blue John is gorgeous.

The East Window dates to 1853, and may be by Wailes. I don’t know whether they did Dorcas and Edmund too.

The annunciation is by Kempe and Co, and dates to 1912. Finally there is one medieval fragment of an angel.

Then out into the churchyard, which is looking rather lovely.

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