Mapperley Chapel of Ease
The Strelley family were land-holders in Mapperley in 1240. Hugo of Strelley (Hugonis de Streleg) and his wife Matilda de Jorz sought permission to build a private Chapel at their Manor House at Mapperley.
In the Cartulary of Dale Abbey (173). Authority was given by Alexander Stavensby Bishop of Coventry and Litchfield.
“To set up a Chapel in the Manor House at Mapperley for the personal use of Hugo of Strelley and Matilda his wife, but safeguarding the rights of the Canons of Dale has Patron and Rector of Kirk Hallam, and their Vicar Henry (1224-38)”. But encouraging them to attend the Mother Church at Kirk Hallam.
In 1467 the Powtrell’s purchased the Manor of West Hallam from the Cromwell’s.
“Maud the widow of Gervace Clifton, the eldest co-heir of the Lord Cromwell. In the year 1467 conveyed the Manor of West Hallam with the Advowson of the church to Thomas Powtrell, Ralph Fitzherbert and William Powtrell, the first and last apparently sons of Thomas Smith”.
This purchase also included lands in Mapperley.
On 24th November 1538 Dale Abbey was surrendered to the Crown. Thomas Powtrell purchased further lands and properties including Stanley Grange from the sale of the Dale Abbey estate. The family being strong supporters of the old Roman Faith. Many Priests were regular visitors to their West Hallam residence.
Stanley Grange and the old Mapperley Chapel being used by the family for private services, away from the Manor House.
On 18th September 1566 the marriage settlement was made for Walter Powtrell with Cassandra daughter of Francis Shirley. This included further lands and tenements in West Hallam, Mapperley, Heanor, Trowell, Bramcote and Eastwood.
The Old Chapel Font
Throughout 1877 the Derby Free Library and Museum was being renovated. During the work a considerable amount of rubble was tipped outside the building for removal from the site.
The Derby Mercury September 18th 1878 published a letter from Mr. J. Charles Cox of Chevin House, Belper.
Under the heading of Correspondence Plea through the Editor.
“To appeal to readers who may know anything of the old font buried in a pile of rubbish at the back of the Free Library Buildings in the Wardwick, Derby. Not of beautiful design or any ornamental. Searching for the history”
Following his appeal information about the font was sent to Mr. Cox giving an interesting account:
When the Reverend Thomas Bloodworth, the Parish priest of St Mary’s church Derby and priest to the Hunloke family of West Hallam was dying in 1815. He expressed great anxiety respecting an old font. So much so, that it was brought into his bedroom for him to inspect. Suggesting that this font was used at West Hallam Hall by Father Campion ** and others of the Seminary and Mission Priests, who there found refuge. For the secret and Conditional Baptism of the Roman Catholics of the district. (Reverend Thomas Bloodworth, Clergyman of the Romish faith or Church, was buried January 31st 1812, aged 56). After his death the font was passed into the custody of Robert Wilmot esq. of Chaddesden. Wilmot then handed it over to the Rev. W. Hope vicar of St. Peter’s Church, Derby.
Mr. Hope thought it best to deposit it with the Derby Museum. Later being ejected as an unknown piece of lumber when the old buildings were being taken down.
Mr. Cox rescued the font, and continued his research into this ancient artifact. Finding that this had once been the font of the old chapel at Mapperley, in Kirk Hallam Parish.
Hoping that it could be returned to the Holy Trinity Church Mapperley. Dimensions of the bowl were taken and a drawing produced showing its unique cruciform shape. (Sizes being 30 inches long x 25 inches wide x 11 inches deep).
By 1905 the font had been returned to Mapperley and placed in the garden adjoining the Old Black Horse for safe keeping. Becoming he property of Mr. E. M. Mundy of Shipley Hall. He was having the old Chapel completely restored at this time. Soon it would be hoped that it will be mounted on a suitable pedestal and placed near its original home.
For a neglected, unwanted artefact the font had become a prized possession.
But did this valued antiquity survive?
** Father Edmund Campain (1540-1581) was an English Roman Catholic Priest, Jesuit and Martyr. He was Hanged, Drawn and Quartered for his beliefs at Tyburn December 1st 1581.
A drawing of the font can be seen in J. Charles Cox Churches of Derbyshire Vol. 4 page 215
Photograph Shipley Country Park Archives Collection.
Remnants of this Chapel can be clearly seen at No 29 Mapperley village, see below. It was an important stopping point on the leadmining route between Wirksworth and Crich to Dale Abbey and Sandiacre. It was very unusal for villages to have either a chapel or church as churches tended to be built in central places
About Its Inhabitants
I lived in the old chapel from 1937 until 1944, when I was 7. When I looked the other day I saw they had put an extension on the side. I have an embarrassing photo of me as a baby on the yard which unfortunately doesn't show any of the house. What I remember is that we had a cold water tap outside, the pipe came up about 3 ft and I remember that it froze in the winter, our only source of water, and that the walls were so thick that I could play on the windowsill. There was an old font in the garden which ran along side the roadway at the side of the church. There were ledges inside which we were told was where they put the coffins. As you look to the East window the fire was in the right hand corner. The coal house and toilet and presumably the ash pit still stand beyond the East end of the building.
That's about all I can remember except family things like when my uncle Tom came to visit, he had been abroad in the army and didn't know that we had left.
There was no one in and so he went in and sat down and got a very hostile reception when someone came home. I also stood in the doorway and a budgie flew onto my shoulder, it had escaped from the Rileys who lived opposite the Black Horse and probably thought that I was Barry Riley.
It is highly improbable that the chapel now incorporated into a house near the Church was in any way connected with the Manor house at Park Hall Farm. Private chapels were part of, or close to, the houses they served. As Mapperley did not have a Church until comparatively recently this chapel may have been a resting place for travelling ecclesiastics. In other words—a chapel of ease.
Have you noticed what a lot of footpaths lead from Mapperley in the direction of Kirk Hallam? These were the byways down which countless generations of Mapperley's inhabitants went, each Sunday, to their place of worship, Kirk Hallam Church. A statutory obligation in those days of course. What a trek it must have been for the elderly and infirm.
I have happy memories of Mapperley in the 1920's. My Uncle/Guardian, Charlie Rose, was a deputy at the colliery for 25 years, on permanent night shift. Sometimes as a special treat he would take me with him as he went to draw his wages on a Friday afternoon. But first he would stop and buy me a bag of toffee from Mrs Boam's shop in the village. Things have changed a bit since then.
An article in the Guardian Journal,
NO KIDDING — they are breeding champions in Mapperley, Derbyshire. Goats, that is.
The animals, who are cared for by Mr. and Mrs. William Hooper, of Church Lane, have become VIP's at many of the country's top agricultural shows.
Jeannie is my darling "said Mr. Hooper (74)."It is just about impossible to fault her. Last year at the Royal Show she was picked out as the best goatling.
"And every big goat breeder I have met is saying she is going to be the goat to watch this year."
In her short but starry career Jeannie has a remarkable record. She has entered 15 contests, winning 13 and coming second twice.
Already the Hoopers' goats have made a big impression this year. At the Newark and Notts. Show they gained eight rosettes — with Jeannie butting her way to the forefront.
"We are hoping for a championship year with Jeannie this time round. "She has got to get four breed challenge certificates to make her a breed champion. She has already got one and she is only two years old it is almost inevitable that she will do it," he said.
Mr Hooper has been offered £40 - a princely sum for a goat - for Jeannie.
But to Bill Hooper she is priceless – the prize product of 15 years of breeding.
But Jeannie and her 16 stable-mates are not just bleating prima-donnas, they have to earn their keep.
Said Mrs. Hooper: "We never buy cow's milk, the goats keep us in stock. And we often make butter from their milk."
It was when Mr. Hooper was cutting grass in Mapperley churchyard that the idea of keeping goats was put to him.
Information Provided by Andrew Hooper
It is a Grade 2 listed building. Built 1174. Monks used it as a halfway house on route to Dale Abbey. The trusses in the roof are oak. There is a secret passage in the house. In Mapperley School, in a cabinet, are 2 gargoyles, 6 - 8 inches in diameter. They came off a window that faces down Mapperley Lane. The builders pulled them off doing remedial work and they were saved from a skip!
Albert Redgate by Hoopers goats at 29 Mapperley village.