All Saints Church, Youlgreave (1999)

Recent Photograph of All Saints Church (1999) (Youlgreave)

The parish of Youlgreave in medieval times and until the 19th century included the townships of Middleton, Smerrill, Birchover, Gratton and Stanton, the villages of Alport and Conksbury, and the chapelries of Winster and Elton. As the size of their populations grew, chapels were built, and chaplains appointed for their inhabitants, but it remained the custom for children to be brought to the “mother” church for baptism, and all marriages and burials of its inhabitants had to take place there.

There is no mention of a church at Youlgreave in the Domesday book; however it is recorded that about the year 1150 Robert Collie, a descendant of the Saxon Lord of the Manor mentioned in Domesday, gave the church at Youlgreave with the chapels of Elton, Winster, Stanton, Middleton and Gratton to the Abbey of St Mary at Leicester. Then in 1552, after the Dissolution, the advowson was granted by Edward VI to Sir William Cavendish. At that time also the chapelry of Winster went to the Warner family, and possibly soon after Winster gained the priviledge of its churchyard being used for burials, with the same being true also for Elton, at a later date. After the Reformation, however the chapels of Gratton, Middleton and Stanton disappeared, and again its inhabitants were compelled to travel to Youlgreave for worship.

After 1838, a new church was built at Stanton and along with the villages of Elton, Winster, and Birchover, it gained full parochial status. However since 1976, though still separate parishes, Middleton, Stanton and Birchover have all been served by the same vicar and the “old medieval links between the congregations have been reforged”.

[The above is a summary of “The Church and the Parish” taken from Youlgreave Parish Church - a Guide, a booklet available in the church]

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Andrew McCann on 12th April 1999.
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