Welcome to the ancient parish church of Ecclesfield. The earliest reference to a church is from 1141 although it is probable that one existed here well before the Norman Conquest. Traces of the Norman church still exist in the present building.
The present church was started in 1478 and completed around 1500, built in the Perpendicular style. The 1478 church is largely the building seen today although there have been restorations in the 18th and 19th centuries.
There are many things to discover and explore in the church. An arch in the porch is thought to date from the 13th century and was relocated here in 1913. The octagonal font dates from 1662 and each side is carved.
The church has some beautiful roof bosses, including carved faces and foliage and several Green Men and Janus, the Roman god of entrances and exits with two faces - one looking back and one looking forward. Most of the woodwork in the chancel dates from 1500. Some of the stalls have faces carved on the arms including that of a king/bishop and Janus. They also have finely carved poppyheads on the ends, including the Virgin Mary and Child and the three Magi bearing gifts.
There is some lovely stained glass, including a window which shows Juliana Hortatio Ewing, daughter of Revd Alfred Gatty, who wrote several children’s stories including one that inspired the name of the Brownies.
The church houses an original Saxon Cross, originally outside and believed to have been used as a preaching cross by wandering priests. Only the base and cross shaft remain.
There are many interesting things to see in the churchyard including the graves of several well known people. They include the historian Joseph Hunter, Margaret Gatty and the Revd Alexander John Scott. He was chaplain to Lord Nelson, who died in his arms on HMS Victory, at the battle of Trafalgar. The earliest marked grave is of Richard Lorde who died in 1600. He was Vicar of Ecclesfield from 1585 to 1600.
The 13th century Benedictine Priory and the 18th century Old Hall are through the trees to the north of the church.
If you know anything more about the heritage of this site and would like us to include it here please contact us.
Address: Church Street, Ecclesfield, S35 9XY
Opening Times: Open 10am – 12.30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays for coffee shop. Please contact us to arrange a group visit at other times.
Contact: 0114 2460194 or Ddb6@me.com
Directions: M1 J35. Follow A629 to Chapeltown. Turn left and follow sings for Ecclesfield. Go straight at crossroads, and left at t-junction. Church on right.
Grid Reference: SK 352 941 GB Grid
The text has been written by volunteers from the site, more information can be found when you visit in person.
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