St Wilfrid’s Church Gates
Sourced from parish magazine C1938 and provided by Elaine Sarson
The Gates were presented to the Church by the late Mr. Thomas. Williamson in the early part of the First World War and were originally hung at the old churchyard entrance where they remained until the churchyard was extended. Up to that time a pair of iron gates hung in the position they now occupy.
Mr. Williamson was agent for the West Hallam Colliery and lived at that time at the Firs Farm. He was, for a time, the Chairman of the Parish Council and, incidentally, had the Council Chamber table specially made and presented it to the parish.
The gates, of solid oak were designed and made by Mr. Walter Carrington of 136, High Lane East, who was at the time employed by the colliery. Not only did he design and make them, but actually hung them entirely on his own—no light task. They were originally designed of different sizes with only one opening, and when they were moved to the present site, extra pieces had to be inserted to equalise them. This was done so cleverly that it is impossible now to see where the alterations were made.
The wood was taken from stock of old and seasoned timber at the West Hallam colliery and at the same time and from the same design, Mr. Carrington made a pair of gates which were eventually used for the House, "Lewcote Bank" on High Lane Central, which was also owned by Mr. Williamson.
Memorial Gates at St Wilfrid’s Church
Extracts from West Hallam and Mapperley Church & Community Magazines (WHM)
March 1999 – An appeal is to be launched soon for replacement gates to St Wilfrid’s. The decorative present ones are deteriorating rapidly, and Alan Burton has volunteered to make exact replicas with the help of Frank Worthington (once a local man) who is a craftsman in metalwork. You might like to be part of this scheme by donating?
October 1999 – As recently mentioned, the church gates, by the War Memorial, are to be replaced by Alan Burton, owing to internal decay. These gates were originally presented, during the 1914-18 war, by Thomas Williamson of the Firs (Agent to West Hallam Colliery and Chairman of the Parish Council) They were designed and made by Walter Carrington of High Lane East. Would you like to make a donation for their replacement? A fitting millennium project.
Mapperley History Project
St Wilfrid’s Church, Taken From An Old Parish Magazine C1955
The centre of any village life in years gone was always the Church and although no mention is made of a church at West Hallam in the Domesday Book it is fairly certain that some place of worship existed. In those days many of the smaller places were catered for by a mobile church which moved from village to village providing spiritual comfort for the inhabitants.
More than probably, however, the first permanent church was built by the de Cromwells in the early fourteenth century. This family held the advowson (or "patronage" is the right in English law of a patron (avowee) to present to the diocesan bishop a nominee for appointment to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or church living) of the Rectory from the earliest historic mention of any church (in the twelfth century) until the male issue died out towards the end of the fifteenth century, when Thomas Powtrell of Thrumpton, Northamptonshire, purchased the manor.
At this time, and indeed for several hundred years, West Hallam was staunchly attached to the Roman Catholic faith, and the Powtrell family suffered severely for their adherence, especially during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. West Hallam Hall became a famous hiding place for Catholic refugees, being quoted in the State Papers as “Mr. Powtrell’s House called Westhalum, iiii miles [?] beyond Derby"
In 1638, as church patronage of Roman Catholics had been placed in the hands of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the Powtrells could not present, although they still owned the right, and the “Masters and scholars of Cambridge” appointed John Scargill to the living.
The Titus Oates plot did not leave the parish alone and, on the night of 16th March, 1680, Father George Busby, a relative of Mrs. Powtrell, was seized at the Hall and condemned at Derby assizes to be hung, drawn and quartered simply for being a Roman Catholic priest. This sentence was later commuted to one of banishment.
On Henry Powtrell’s death the estate and advowson passed to the Hunloke family, who sold each presentation to avoid the University statute until Francis Newdigate purchased both outright in 1821. Thus the estate passed out of Romanist hands.
There is in evidence a list of Rectors and patrons dating from Henry, son of William Orseny, who was presented to the living in 1322, but this list does not appear to be complete. It is difficult to believe, for instance, that John Houghton was Rector from 1552 until 1630 - a period of seventy-eight years, although this is possible. It is, however, certain that Henry Greatorex had forty-eight years in office as his grandson, Daniel Greatorex, took over the living on his grandfather’s death in 1716.
St. Wilfrid’s Church, although actually consisting of many mixed styles and periods of architecture, become a blend of them all under careful restoration in 1855, and now presents the pleasant appearance of a well used and cared for church. Some of the stained glass of the Old Hall was placed in the East window.
High backed pews, whitewashed walls and flat plaster ceilings have gone, to no-one's regret. The chancel screen, erected about a century ago, has also gone and gives a more open and spacious appearance to the church.
On the floor of the chancel was an alabaster slab, incised with a figure in plate armour and a long inscription in Latin. At one time this slab, a memorial to the first Thomas Powtrell, patron of the parish, who died on August 24th, 1484 stood on a raised tomb in the North-East angle of the chancel within the alter rails. From this and other stones all traces of brasses have gone, together with the bulk of any inscription.
Against the North chancel wall is the tomb of Walter Powtrell, who died in 1598, and his wife, Cassandra. This is a costly monument with life-sized effigies resting upon it and with the family, quartered and impaled, all round it. Representations of the deceased children include one in grave clothes signifying her to have predeceased her parents.
The memorial slab to the Rev. John Scargill—known to every inhabitant of West Hallam although he died in 1669 - is now covered by the choir stalls on the south side and was disturbed in 1787 to allow the interment of the body of the Rev. Mr. William Clark, rector of this parish. No reason is given for this seeming desecration of the tomb of the munificent founder of the Scargill Schools, and the entry in the parish register throws no light on the subject.
An ancient font was discovered among rubble at the back of the Free Library buildings in the Wardwick, Derby, in 1878, and, following an enquiry started by the Derby Mercury, it was disclosed that this was probably used at West Hallam Hall by Father Campion and other Roman Catholic priests in hiding, for secret baptism. It bad no base, but was of eccentric and possibly unique design, and was thought to be the font of the ancient chapel of Mapperley, which had been presented to Derby Museum.
An extract from the Derby Mercury dated April 14th 1858
West Hallam War Memorial Unveiling 6th August 1921
It is hard for us to appreciate just how significant the Dedication of the War Memorial in West Hallam must have been for the many local people present above, bearing as it must have done the names of their families.
The War Memorial was unveiled on the 6 August 1921 by Captain Fitz-herbert Wright. This event was attended by the choir, the local band and fifty members of the RAOB in full regalia. The Memorial was erected on a piece of land by the Church gates given by Spencer Rook who also gave the base and surrounding wall. The figures of the Memorial were carved out of a single block of Sicilian marble.
West Hallam War Memorial
90th Anniversary (2011)
The village War Memorial was unveiled on Saturday 6 August 1921 by Captain Fitzherbert Wright, formerly of West Hallam Hall. Accompanied by the Bishop of Derby. Reverend A. E. Wicks (Rector of West Hallam). Captain William Harvie Gilchrist (Mining Surveyor for the Mapperley Colliery Company). His home was the house now occupied by Bramble Lodge Residential Home. Mr Spencer Rook of West Hallam Hall. Mr Ernest Edrick Raby (Chairman of the Parish Council and Headmaster of Scargill School). Mrs Fitzherbert Wright. Reverend A.E.R. Bedford (Rector of Morley and formerly of West Hallam). Mrs Bedford. Mrs Rook. The Church Choir. Mapperley Colliery Band. Plus 50 members of the R.A.O.B. in full regalia representing the local Lodges. From Scargill (Punch Bowl) West Hallam, Victory Smalley Common, Queen of the Valley (Wine Vaults) Ilkeston, Middleton (Rutland Hotel) Ilkeston, Hanson (Ancient Druid) Ilkeston. The representatives can be seen seated on the cover photograph behind the Church Choir. Among the names on the memorial are those of the local men who came forward when the Territorial force was first formed. Creating the Howitzer Brigade. Several of the men had completed four years in the service before war commenced. The memorial being erected beside the iron gates, leading to the church. A piece of land was given by Mr Spencer Rook of West Hallam Hall. He also paid for the removal of the iron railings, the cost of the monument foundations and the building of a low boundary wall. It was designed and constructed by James Beresford and Sons, Stone and Marble-Masons of Belper. (Still in Business).
The Company described their monument as: Built in the form of an altar tomb. Executed in Darley Dale grit-stone. With a Bottom Step covering an area 10ft-6ins x 7ft-6ins.
On the “Lamb” (Main Body) are mounted 8 White Sicilian Marble Panels bearing all the names engraved and the lettering filled with lead.
The names of the nine fallen appear on the Centre Front Panel.
Over the panel and across the full width of the monument is the inscription:
Across the base are the words, “For God, King and Country”
A laurel wreath is carved in stone at the base.
Surmounted on the pedestal is a handsome portrait war study of two soldiers at their machine gun station.
The whole carved from a single block of Sicilian marble, weighing ten tons.
Carved at Beresford’s Carrara, Italy workshops under the supervision of Giuseppe Lagomarsini.
A well respected marble sculptor who provided James Beresford with many First World War Memorials for the U.K. including Matlock Bath Derbyshire.
The names of the men and women that served are shown on the other panels.
Those who gained distinction are also recorded as follows:
The two ladies who served also added were:
Total Cost of the Monument £400 (Estimated cost today in excess of £500,000)
(This article only describes the history of the memorial from the Great War 1914 – 1918)
Remembrance Service November 1998
Taken from the WHM Magazine December 1998