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I visited my first St Mary's in Derbyshire when I went to Staffordshire in February 2019 and my "assistants" got it wrong (again) and thought Marston-on-Dove was in Staffordshire as well (It's a bit complicated 'cos I've now also visited Rolleston-on-Dove and that IS in Staffordshire!).

I've now been back to Derbyshire (I said I would) and have added seven more lovely St Mary's churches to this list.

Crich (267)


Cromford (265)

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Marston-on-Dove (222)


Mappleton (269)

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Sawmills (264)


South Darley (274)

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Tissington (268)


Wirksworth (266)

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267. Crich

big ted sitting on fontbig ted in the children's cornerAnother lovely St Mary’s to look around. I had to be very, very careful sitting on the font as there were lots of flowers on it. Once I’d clambered up I sat very still while Uncle Les took my photo.

I met a stuffed animal in the Children’s Corner here (I think he was a giraffe, but I didn’t like to ask – it’s rude) [that doesn’t usually stop you, Big Ted!].

265. Cromford

big ted sitting on fontI had to wait about here for ages for the church to open. I was in my transport bag (it’s an M&S carrier bag that’s seen better days – I really should be carried around in something more elegant.) [Well you do insist on being out of the rain, and it’s what was available, Big Ted].

Anyway, when I got inside, I found it was well worth the wait – what a lovely St Mary’s and it has some splendid pictures on the walls (you can see them behind me in this picture). The church was built by some mill chappie and he did a very good job. [St Mary’s, Cromford, was built by Sir Richard Arkwright the industrialist and inventor. He died before the church was finished, but the building was completed by his grandson, Big Ted.]

222. Marston-on-Dove

Big Ted sitting on the seatThe SatNav lady didn't know where this village was so it took some finding. This St Mary's has a car park though, which was handy. It also has a splendid noticeboard. You see how I'm precariously balanced on a rail? Well, shortly afterwards there was an "incident", I may need to have a bath!

The church has this rather splendid seat in the churchyard too. I had a quick sit down on it, but the weather was rather too chilly and damp for a serious snooze.

269. Mappleton

Big Ted sitting on fontI liked this St Mary’s 'cos looks different to most of the ones I’ve visited. [It was built in the 1850s and designed in an Italianate style by James Gibbs, who was a friend of Christopher Wren, Big Ted]. I sat in the font for my photo ‘cos it didn’t have a lid (it was empty though).

They’re not sure if it’s "Mappleton" or "Mapleton" here – they need to mind their "P"s (and "Q"s - snigger)!

264. Sawmills

Phew! Another St Mary’s in Derbyshire (I thought I would only ever have one). [This only makes sense if you are reading these comments in number order, Big Ted]

This is a derelict St Mary’s (which is always very sad). I sat on the greenery on a wall for my photo (dodging some very smelly Cow Parsley).

It was a St Mary’s Mission Church, but since it didn’t know whether it was in “Saw Mills” “Sawmills” or “Ambergate” I can see why its mission failed!

Update January 2021: The church is now for sale as a house!

274. South Darley

Big Ted sitting on fontMy last St Mary’s on this visit. We didn’t know if it would be open, but it was (hurrah!). It has a nice flat font cover, just right for a bear to sit on (no flowers to avoid or spikey bits to hang on to in a precarious fashion – that’s what I like).

268. Tissington

Big Ted sitting on fontBig Ted sitting beside the wellThis St Mary’s is in a lovely village and sits opposite an old hall. It’s at the top of a hill, which made me puff a bit [It might have made you puff if it wasn't for the fact that you're carried everywhere, Big Ted].

I went inside and Uncle Les took my photo sitting on the old font. He also took my photo beside the well in the village. (I confess I was a little worried about getting my feet wet here.)

266. Wirksworth

Big Ted sitting on fontBig Ted sitting on fontI actually came here twice. But the first time a big band was playing and I didn’t want to disturb them [It was the Derby Concert Orchestra practicing for a concert in the church, Big Ted].

I went back and had my photo taken in one font, on another font and then sitting in something that looked like a font but prob’ly wasn’t. It’s a nice St Mary’s with lovely stained glass windows and lots of space.


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