St Werburgh's Church, Derby

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St Werburgh's Church, Derby
A stone church seen from the west; on the left is the nave with a large Perpendicular window, and on the right is the tower with corner pinnacles
St Werburgh's Church, Derby, showing the body of the church on the left, and the conserved tower on the right
St Werburgh's Church, Derby is located in Derby Central
St Werburgh's Church, Derby
St Werburgh's Church, Derby
Location in Derby
Coordinates: 52°55′24″N 1°28′52″W / 52.9232°N 1.4812°W / 52.9232; -1.4812
OS grid reference SK 349 363
Location Derby, Derbyshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Status re-opened
Dedication Saint Werburgh
Functional status Redundant
Architect(s) Sir Arthur Blomfield (rebuilding)
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Survival, Gothic Revival
Completed 1894
Closed 1990
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official name Church of St Werburgh
Designated 20 June 1952
Reference no. 1287685

St Werburgh's Church is an Anglican church in the city of Derby, Derbyshire, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building,[1]. It has two sections, which although are connected as a building, there is no internal access between them, these are the church tower/chapel and then the main church.

The church tower and chapel was previously preserved by volunteers with the Churches Conservation Trust and open every Saturday from 10:30am for a few hours.[2]. Samuel Johnson (Dr Johnson) married Elizabeth Porter (née Jervis) here in 1735.[3][4]

The main church was closed a place of worship in 1984[5] and it reopened as a place of worship in September 2017[6][7] as part of the Holy Trinity Brompton Church network.[8]. The church meets for worship every Sunday in the main church at 10.30am and 6.30pm every Sunday and is of a contemporary music style.


The oldest surviving part of the church is the tower, which was rebuilt in 1601. The chancel was built in 1699. The remainder of the church was rebuilt in 1893–94 in stone from Coxbench quarry, the architect being Sir Arthur Blomfield. The style of this rebuilding is Gothic Revival in the manner of the 15th century.[1] The church was declared redundant in 1990, and the body of the church, as designed by Blomfield, was converted to commercial use. The tower and chancel have been vested in the Churches Conservation Trust.[4] The tower was refurbished in 2004, and contains a chapel known as the "Johnson Chapel".[4][9]


The tower is in Gothic Survival style.[3] The chancel has been converted into a side chapel.[1] It contains many of its original fittings and furniture, including an elaborate wrought iron font cover made by Robert Bakewell.[3] The reredos contains panels inscribed with the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and the Apostle's Creed.[9] Over the reredos is Queen Anne's Royal coat of arms. The stained glass is from the studio of Kempe, and there is a monument dated 1832 by Chantrey.[1]


The church had an organ as early as 1750.[10] A new organ by John Gray was opened on 3 February 1841.[11] It was replaced by a new instrument by Walker and Sons of London which was opened on 14 December 1872.[12] After several restorations and enlargements it became a 4 manual instrument with 47 speaking stops. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.[13] William Hartley Ashton was organist and choir master in early 1910s and 1920s.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Historic England, "Church of St Werburgh, Derby (1287685)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 11 April 2015 
  2. ^ "St Werburgh's Church, Derby, Derbyshire | The Churches Conservation Trust". Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  3. ^ a b c St Werburgh's Church, Derby, Derbyshire, Churches Conservation Trust, retrieved 29 March 2011 
  4. ^ a b c Derby, St Werburgh's Church, Britain Express, retrieved 26 November 2010 
  5. ^ "History". St Werburgh's Church, Derby. 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2018-02-19. 
  6. ^ "Coming Soon". STW Derby. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  7. ^ "It's about to be a church again after 31 years and we look inside". derbytelegraph. 2017-08-04. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  8. ^ "Related Churches & Church Plants | HTB Church". Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  9. ^ a b St Werburgh's chapel, Derelict Places, retrieved 26 November 2010 
  10. ^ Boeringer, James (1989). Organa Britannica: Organs in Great Britain 1660–1860 : a Complete Edition of the Sperling Notebooks and Drawings in the Library of the Royal College of Organists, Volume 1. Bucknell University Press. p. 263. ISBN 9780838718940. 
  11. ^ "St Werburgh's Church, Derby". Derby Mercury. England. 3 February 1841. Retrieved 4 June 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ "St Werburgh's Church, Derby. Opening of the New Organ". Derby Mercury. England. 11 December 1872. Retrieved 4 June 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ "NPOR N05282". National Pipe Organ Register. British Institute of Organ Studies. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  14. ^ The Monthly Magazine. 34. Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper. 1812. p. 177. 
  15. ^ "Prominent Derby Musician's Death". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 10 December 1914. Retrieved 3 June 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ "Organist Presented with a cheque". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 16 August 1941. Retrieved 3 June 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ "St Werburgh's New Organist". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 28 January 1943. Retrieved 3 June 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]

  • Website of St Werburgh's Church by local Churches Conservation Trust group