Monday, 11 June 2012

Wirksworth Church

The church of St Mary the Virgin in Wirksworth dates from the 13th Century; the first vicar being appointed in 1272 by the Dean of Lincoln. It is an impressive building, topped by a tower with a short spire. 

Inside the church are various memorials to significant people, including this tomb chest containing the remains of Anthony Gell of Hopton Hall, who founded a grammar school (1584) and almshouses in Wirksworth. The local secondary school still bears his name.

There is also a dedication to Francis Hurt of Alderwasley, who died January 3rd 1801 (aged 47) and his wife Margaret, d May 7th, 1831 (aged 75). The Hurt family were influential landowners who owned Alderwasley Hall about 3 miles East of Wirksworth. A well known descendent of this family is the actor John Hurt (1940) who has had a distinguished career, including the role of  Ollivander in Harry Potter.


  1. Wonderful Post! Very well researched!

  2. Lovely stained glass window, a more permament fixture than the beautiful well dressings. But with the same sentiment, thanksgiving and honour to God.

  3. What a beautiful building - I could just about smell that old-stone air and feel the chill.

  4. What a beautiful church.
    Lovely post today.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. Another place on my list of places to visit. You should be given a grant by the Derbyshire Tourist Board

  6. I've never been inside the church at Wirksworth it looks quite beautiful. Funny you should mention John Hurt, his father was Vicar of Shirebrook in Derbyshire where my mother's family lived and my cousin Brian (sadly no longer around) was a childhood friend of John and his brother I think they were all in the Boy's Brigade or something like that to do with the church. Great photos:)