All Saints' Church, Bakewell
Church in Bakewell
Under the pressures of invasions, the Christian faith waned, but it was reintroduced to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia in the late 7th century by missionary bishops who established minster churches. Among them was Bakewell.
Within the churchyard, you can find two Anglo-Saxon stone crosses adorned with intricate carvings. Additionally, the porch proudly displays numerous carved stone fragments, while five ancient stone coffins are located nearby.
In the 10th century, a new church was erected and remained standing during the Norman invasion of 1066. Bakewell Manor was granted to William Peverel by William the Conqueror, possibly one of his illegitimate sons. In 1110, William Peverel constructed a new church in Bakewell, and remnants of this Norman church can still be observed today, particularly in the grand round arches of the western wall.
Around 150 years later, in the mid-13th century, the church underwent modernization. The sturdy Norman arches of the crossing were replaced with lighter pointed arches, and the north aisle was widened. The south transept underwent significant reconstruction and became known as the “new work” or “Newark.” Subsequently, the chancel at the eastern end of the church was significantly extended, a south porch was added, and the Newark was enlarged eastward. A tower and spire were constructed above the crossing.
The Newark houses magnificent alabaster tombs dating from the 15th to 17th centuries, commemorating members of the local Vernon and Manners families. Adjacent to the Newark, there is another 14th-century alabaster monument dedicated to Sir Godfrey Foljambe and his wife.
Over time, it became evident that the tower and spire were placing excessive strain on the stonework. In the 18th century, the arches of the crossing began to buckle, and cracks emerged in the spire. Consequently, the spire was removed in 1825. Starting in 1839, the transepts and crossing were leveled and rebuilt, and a new tower and spire were erected. Simultaneously, the exquisitely carved medieval font was relocated. A few years later, the interior of the chancel underwent remodeling, including the installation of a new mosaic floor.
In more recent times, in 1954, the Chapel of St Michael & St George, featuring an altar by Ninian Comper, was relocated to the north transept.
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Visiting All Saints' Church, Bakewell
During the spring and summer the church is open from 9am to 5pm.
In the Autumn and Winter after until the clocks change it is open from 9am to 4pm.