We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Lawrence, Whitwell, Derbyshire

(53°17′8″N, 1°12′44″W)
SK 526 768
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Derbyshire
now Derbyshire
  • Richard Jewell
  • Ron Baxter
  • Ron Baxter
09 Jun 1990 (RJ), 16 May 2022 (RB)

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=2840.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.


Whitwell is a village in the Bolsover district of NE Derbyshire, 10 miles E of Chesterfield but only 4 miles SW of Worksop, over the border in Nottinghamshire. The church stands on the NW edge of the village and has a nave with 12thc 4-bay arcades, a 12thc clerestorey and corbel tables. Gabled transepts were added to the 1st bay on each side in the 1st half of the 14thc. and the S porch is of a similar date. The chancel arch is 12thc work, and the chancel also has a corbel table surviving on the N side. The S corbels were lost when the roof level was raised in the 14thc. The chancel also has a 2-storey N vestry or treasury. The W tower is 12thc in its lower storeys and retains its original W doorway.


In 1086, Barlborough and Whitwell were held in conjunction by one Robert, under Ralph Fitzhubert. A priest and church are mentioned, but probably refer to Barlborough, which was then the more important village. Robert de Meynell, descended from the above Robert, was lord of part of the manor of Whitwell in the C12th and an early benefactor to Welbeck Abbey.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches



Pevsner dates the E responds and chancel arch late 12thc. on the basis of the keeled shafts and waterleaf capitals. The W doorway c.1150. Brushfield (1900), 257 describes ‘a rectangular lintel, about 3 ft. 6 in. long and 1 ft. wide, and sculptured with an animal, of uncertain kind, having a tail of conventional form, and tufted: accompanying it are three circles inclosing six-rayed stars’, set over the S chancel doorway. This is no longer there and was mentioned in neither Cox nor Pevsner (1953), but the information is repeated in Keyser (1904), 54.

The nave corbels are too badly eroded for useful comment, but those on the N side of the chancel must have been protected as they are better preserved. To those we must relate the double headed corbel NS1 on account of its similarity to CN2.


T. N. Brushfield, ‘On Norman Tympana, with especial Reference to those of Derbyshire’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association 6 pt.3, (1900), 241-70.

  1. J. C. Cox, Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Chesterfield and London 4 vols, 1875-79, vol. 1, 391ff.

Derbyshire Historic Environment Record MDR6404

  1. C. Hartwell, N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, New Haven and London 2016, 647-48.

Historic England Listed Building: English Heritage Legacy ID: 79336

  1. C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana and Lintels, London 1904. 54.
  1. N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Derbyshire, Melbourne, London and Baltimore 1953, 242-43.
  1. N. Pevsner, E Williamson, The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, 2nd ed., revised 1979, 352-3.