A little larger than last Sundays church. It is / or was/ All Saints Church, Derby. As Cathedrals go it is quite new, only receiving its new title of stature in 1927.
All Saints is of course much older than that. Records indicate a place of worship on this site in the 10th century, but a more substantial church was built in the 14th century. The main body of the All Saints was rebuilt in a neo-classical style in 1725. The tower is somewhat older in Gothic style and dates to the 16th century
It was during the 1725 rebuild that the feature I love best about All Saints was installed….that is the wrought iron Rood Screen a magnificent creation by local craftsman Robert Bakewell.
Since then there have been additions that have much enhanced the building with a cupola above a retro choir area. Those additions together with a stylish décor gives All Saints a very fresh modern feel and very much the stature befitting a modern Cathedral.
All Saints, as it was then known, was the selected resting place for Bess of Hardwick*, who at the time had been one of the richest and arguably the most powerful woman in England. There is a large memorial and effigy of Bess within All Saints were she was interred in 1608.
There is also another fine example of Robert Bakewell craftsmanship below the tower in front of the main doorway….a set of magnificent wrought iron gates that nearly match the Rood Screen. Old as the gates maybe they are still a new addition to the Cathedral after an inspired decision was made to move them from another location in Derby.
Derby Cathedral may not match the perceived image of our grand Cathedrals but it certainly is justifiably proud of its history and its 21st century appearance.
* Bess of Hardwick 1527 – 1608
Much associated with Hardwick Hall, Chatsworth House
A number of important husbands including William Cavendish and George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury.
(C) David Oakes 2016