St Mary & St Barlok's Church, Norbury

Recent Photograph of St Mary & St Barlok's Church (Norbury)

The parish of Norbury, containing the hamlet of Roston lies close to the Staffordshire border and by the River Dove, 5 miles west of Ashbourne. In the Domesday Survey of 1086 ‘Norbury and Roston’ was part of the large estate of Henry de Ferrers, and had 17 villagers and 7 smallholders; a priest and a church; a mill, meadow and woodland pasture. The Fitzherberts later held the Norbury estate for several generations, with the Maskrey family living at the Hall as their tenants for many years. Later the Clowes family occupied the property and became the principal landowners.

The church, the manor house (built mainly in the 1660s), and the remains of the medieval manor house are grouped together in a pleasant setting. The church contains some interesting monuments, mainly to the Fitzherbert family, whose names were attached to Norbury for so long. The church was restored in 1841, and again in 1899, by the Clowes family.

The parish registers date from 1686 and are now deposited at the County Record Office in Matlock.

Norbury has connections with George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans). Her father Robert Evans was born at Roston in 1773 and sang in Norbury church choir. He is said to have made the wooden altar which is now in the north aisle. His parents are buried in the churchyard.

The medieval stained glass in Norbury church has been subject to a restoration programme during 2004, which is now complete. Recent research suggests the glass dates from c1305/6, and it is believed to be some of the oldest in England.

A guide to the glass is available in the church, price £5.

Based on an article by Winifred Waterall in ‘Branch News’, the Journal of the Derbyshire Family History Society in December 1990, when she was editor. Articles by Winifred are reproduced with kind permission.
Information on the stained glass provided by Aud Golding, Secretary of the Friends of Norbury Church.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Alf Beard on 13th May 2002.
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