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St Lawrence, North Wingfield, Derbyshire

(53°10′30″N, 1°23′49″W)
North Wingfield
SK 404 644
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Derbyshire
now Derbyshire
medieval Lichfield
now Derby
  • Celia Holden
  • Jennifer Alexander
  • Louisa Catt
  • Olivia Threlkeld
08 April 1990, 31 August 2014

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North Wingfield is a village about four miles SE of Chesterfield. The church lies to the W of the village and is a structure of coursed squared sandstone and sandstone ashlar consisting of an aisled nave, a N transept, two N side chapels, a chancel with a N vestry, a S porch and an embattled W tower. The only original 12thc sector of the church is the N transept. Much of the current building is of the Perpendicular period; it was restored in 1880 by Richard Herbert Carpenter and Benjamin Ingelow. Romanesque sculpture consists of the E window of the N transept, a reset head in the S aisle, and two incised tomb slabs in the S porch.


The Domesday Survey records that the extensive parish of 'Winnefelt' valued £4 and possessed a priest and a church. In 1066 the manor was held by Swein the Noble, and in 1086 it passed under the lordship of Walter of Aincourt. In the mid-12thc, during the reign of Henry II, the manor was held by the Deincourt family, and one Ralph Deincourt, son of Roger, presented the church to Thurgarton Priory (Nottinghamshire); the priory had earlier been his grandfather's foundation. John Charles Cox surmises that Ralph rebuilt or restored the church prior to bestowing it on Thurgarton Priory, and that the fine transept window is the only remnant of his work.


Exterior Features





Loose Sculpture


John Charles Cox's comment on the transept window capitals - that they 'might, if taken by themselves, be attributed even to the Saxon period' - is remarkably perspicacious, as the paired tendrils with curled tips are exactly paralleled on the narrow frieze at Breedon, which is dated to c.800. They certainly look earlier than the rest of the window, which has probably been altered or rebuilt, as the superfluous column bases seem to indicate. Thus the dogtooth and the pointed arch could well be a later introduction of c.1160, and the capitals can be dated to the early 12thc.

The slab in the S porch incised with a cross fleury was probably carved in the mid-12thc, and resembles that at Bakewell (Cox (1875), II, pl. II, fig. 6). John Charles Cox describes this cross (I, 42b) but gives its size as only 24 inches long by 9, tapering to 7, wide, calling it an infants gravestone. Either he is referring to the one now in the S porch which is larger, or another, now lost, is uncertain. The small incised grave-marker is dateable to c.1100; it is also paralleled at Bakewell (Cox (1875), II, pl. III, fig. 5). Cox also mentions a cross-slab on the floor at the entrance to the S porch, with the head under the door-hinge.


J. C. Cox, Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, vol. 1, London 1875, 415-34.

W. Stevenson, 'Some notes on North Wingfield Church', Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, 40 (1918), 193-201.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Derbyshire, London 1953, 291-2.