St James's Church, Harpur Hill

Recent Photograph of St James's Church (Harpur Hill)

According to Derbyshire Record Office's Guide to Church of England Registers St James's Church was opened as a Chapel of Ease for Burbage in 1910. However Kelly's Directory of 1895, in its section for Burbage-on-the-Wye, refers to a “Mission Church and School erected at Harpur Hill in this parish by the Buxton Lime Company - who also pay an annual stipend to the curate, and have further established a reading and news room; the Rev. Henry Clark May L.Th. of Durham University has been curate in charge since 1894”, and the St James's parish register entries begin in 1891. Moreover, the Revd. May was not its first curate, as Kelly's Directory of 4 years earlier (1891) refers to the Rev. John Hilton Ireland M.A. of St. John's College, Cambridge, as being curate in charge since 1887.

Kelly's Directory of 1891 also mentions Christ Church (in Burbage itself), a Wesleyan Chapel, and a Primitive Methodist Chapel at Canhole, and by 1895, a second Wesleyan Chapel. On first sight this seems to be a lot of chapels for what is now a small area; however Kelly's Directory (1895) further explains that “the quarries and works of the Buxton Lime Firms Co. Limited, the largest of that kind in the kingdom, give employment to several hundred men, the lime being principally used for chemical and manufacturing purposes”.

Burbage was part of Hartington Upper Quarter until 1869. In 1975, however Burbage, along with Harpur Hill and King Sterndale, were joined once again to become part of the united parish of Buxton.

St James's graveyard may be found is on the opposite side of St John's Road to the church building.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Alf Beard on 29th September 2004.
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