Parwich, Derbyshire – St Peter’s

We continued on to Parwich. St Peter’s church is in the middle of the village at SK 188 543, just behind The Sycamore Pub (which is one of those annoying places where the website says dogs are welcome, but makes no comment about accessibility for humans). The church has a page on the village website – It is not accessible either. It is a late Victorian replacement of the Norman church (1872-3) – Pevsner describes it as “unfeelingly hard-edged and rock-faced”. The church was open, but there was no notice saying so. It was depressing seeing how many walkers just walked past. There was no guidebook available either.

A very high and large church with lots of pews – it is depressing that 150 years after being built the church doesn’t even get a weekly service (it is currently part of a group of five villages and their Vicar has just retired). I wish I could see a positive future for all of these buildings.

Under the tower is a replica of a tympanum (a recessed semi-circular stone over a doorway). It is carved out of grit stone, probably from Stanton Moor, and was rediscovered during the demolition of the old Norman church. It was under plaster and whitewash, and may have been deliberately concealed during the Puritans’ purge of church decorations in the mid 1600s. There is no agreement as to the date this was carved – anywhere between 700 and 1200. This means it could have been made for the Norman church when it was built in the 1100s, or been reused from a possible older Saxon church on the site. The original is outside, above the west door, and there is a 2008 reconstruction inside the church – they decided not to try and move the original. There is an excellent display panel which explains some of the symbolism and there were leaflets produced in 2008 when the project was undertaken – no leaflets available now or on a website that I can find. A Christmas tree making photography hard.

Lovely old font – it has a date of 1662 which is the date of reinstatement. Original Norman chancel arch by the tower with a Royal Arms and a note about the bells. A rather lovely C17 chest lid.

The church had several Christmas trees in – it had obviously been a good Festival. Made photography a bit difficult. Nice school board and parish map.

Some rather nice modern stained glass. Beatrice and Mary Graham, postmistresses to the village, window by Meg Lawrence 2008 – Post Offices are another village institution that no longer exist. I remember Bert, the post master in Barton, Brian at Fornham All Saints, and Ralph in Cockfield – a very full-time job in the days before everything was paid into bank accounts and you buy stamps on line.

A Harvest window, a St Francis one, and one with birds and a sunrise. The Millennium windows have the names of all the children aged under 14 in the village – designed by David Pilkington and Ian Baillie. A lot of children – I wonder how many there are now.

The East Window is 1865 by Holland, Son and Holt of Warwick, and a link between Christmas and Easter in another window.

Then a wander round outside – lovely churchyard, and I should have a wander round the village sometime.

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