St. Giles' Church


St Giles Church, Caldwell, (in the snow)



The following information is from the leaflet available to visitors to St. Giles' church.

St Giles' Church, Caldwell

Welcome to the church of St Giles', Caldwell.
The origins of the church go back to Saxon times and throughout its history the church has been linked with Stapenhill. Abbot Briteric gave this church and Stapenhill to Burton Abbey. Then the manor of Caldwell was bestowed to the monks of Burton Abbey by William Rufus and confirmed to them in 1144 by Pope Lucius III. A later visitor to Caldwell was Edward the second in 1322 on his way to ford the Trent at Walton and on to fight the Earl of Lancaster at the Battle of Burton Bridge.

'The great tithes' of Caldwell were paid to the Abbey and later, until 1773, to the Vicar of Stapenhill.

The register of baptisms and burials, incorporated with that of Stapenhill, dates from 1659.

Few of the church's ancient features survived renovation and restoration in 1843 and 1865. However, the two small windows with circular heads on either side of the nave and one in the chancel are undoubtedly pre-Norman and seen from the outside there is clearly a blocked up doorway on the north wall from that same period. In 1835, before the restoration, a record of the church described a circular arch between the nave and chancel, several 14th century windows on the south wall, a wooden bell turret on the west gable and a high pitch roof.

The Nave

In the bell turret on the west gable are two bells made by Taylors of Loughborough in 1865.

The west window itself incorporates the oldest stained glass in the church, two fine 15th century stained glass roundels believed to be from Nuremberg, one showing the Resurrection with Roman soldiers around the tomb (Matthew 28) and Joab slaying Abner (2 Samuel 3).

From the outside you will see a chimney, which was part of the Victorian heating system with vents in the nave (now under the carpet).

There are 3 ancient memorials sited on the west wall.

Elizabeth Sleigh. Can you work out how many children she had?

Major Henry Sanders.

Callingwood Sanders. The husband of Elizabeth Sleigh.

Also on the west wall is a memorial to Revd Joseph Clay a curate of Caldwell raised by the congregation who valued his 'clear and scriptural preaching of "Christ crucified"'.

On the north wall is a stained glass window remembering the men of Caldwell who died in the First World War.

Brass plaques on the north wall are memorials to Sir Thomas Gresley, his wife Laura Ann Gresley and Joan Gresley who died aged 1. Sir Thomas being a barrister and MP and relative of Sir Nigel Gresley (of train fame).

On the south wall is a memorial window to another former clergyman, Francis Meynall, 1851-1932 who was Vicar for 35 years.

The brass plaque in the nave remembersSir WilliamDes Voeux (Bart) who lived at Drakelow (died 1868) and his Wife, Lady Sophia Katherine Des Voeux (died 1875).

The graves of the Des Voeux's and the Gresley's are to found in the churchyard.

The Chancel

Entering the chancel, ahead is a finely sculpture alabaster reredos, sited behind the communion table, with angels blowing trumpets. It is believed to be of local alabaster from Hanbury. (Burton was known for fine alabaster carving from 12th to 17th century).

The east window is a memorial to Charles and Gertrude Milligan, residents of Caldwell Hall. This was given to the church by their daughters, Eva Gertrude, Ada, Blanche and Hilda whose memorial plaque is also in the chancel.

The fine stained glass window in the chancel is a memorial to another member of the Milligan family, Frank William Milligan, who died in the Boer War, nr Mafeking on 31st March 1890. The window, in the Arts & Crafts style is by the artist Charles Kempe; you can see his trademark which is a sheaf of corn. The brass altar rail was also given in memory of Frank Milligan.

You'll see that the stonework in the chancel is showing signs of efflorescence (flaking) caused by dampness at some time in the past.

Outside you will clearly see that the main building material is sandstone,which, after over a thousand years, was showing signs of wear, and damage from inappropriate mortaring in a number of places. Extensive work has been done to replace the most damaged stones, to rebuild and refurbish the bell tower and to remortar with lime mortar.

The churchyard contains burials of many local families. Until recently there were 2 paths that gave private access to Caldwell Hall.

We hope you enjoyed your visit to our small church in the heart of the National Forest.

The congregation of St Giles', Caldwell meets every Sunday at 10.00am and welcomes all visitors.

2nd Sunday of the month - Family Service
3rd Sunday of the month - Holy Communion
1st & 4th Sundays - Morning Prayer

Thanks to the many sources used to compile this leaflet. If you have any other information am,out this church to share, we'd love to know.



Renovations to the church & bells took place during the Spring of 2010
The bell "tower" during and after assembly


The bells on new hangers, inscribed J. Taylor & Co. Loughborough 1868, (and 1867)


This stone was removed during renovation of the bell "tower" in 2010
It supported one end of the wooden arm that carries the bell
and was presumably recycled from a broken name plaque from where?
A close up of the new hanging mechanism.


One of the bells on its way up.Both bells in place.


This photo (probably the turn of the century), was found in the loft of Church Farm Cottage during renovations.
The brick work can clearly be seen on the house, which is now rendered.
Note the figure in the church yard, on the very left of the picture.
A painting of the church by Mark Ruff of Nuneaton, given as a thank you gift to Nene Mizuro, who organised the flowers for Mark's marriage to Alison, Nene's niece



The stained glass window on the south wall, just in front of the altar rail, is by Charles Eamer Kempe.
The church has been visited by members of the Kempe Society.
Examples of his work can be found in about 4000 churches throughout the land.
All of Kempe's windows can be identified by the wheatsheaf 'signature'. For more information visit the
Charles Eamer Kempe Webpage



'Taken from the garden in the Hall grounds
by Miss Blanche Milligan, early 1900's

This photograph seems to have been entered into a competition. The enclosed data with the picture says

'PHOTO BY 44, PORTFOLIO Nov, SUBJECT Optional, TITLE 'A Garden Peep' WHEN TAKEN Aug '10, TIME OF DAY 12.30, LENS Cooke S111, SIZE OF NEGATIVE 1/1, LIGHT Good, PLATE Ilford Chrome, STOP f16, EXPOSURE 1sec, DEVELOPED WITH Rodinal, PRINTING PROCESS Rough Platona',

Judges comments. 'I presume the Church thro' the tree is the motif of the picture.
That being so, quite 3 inches could be lopped off the top of your print and a full 2 inches from the right side and an inch from the bottom.
Then the church becomes more important and the sky in the right top corner doesn't detract attention.
Cover up the portions mentioned and note the result'.
F 28.X.10



'Friday March 16th 1973
Taken by Margaret Kenny from the field'
The same view in October 2010
taken by Rick Mizuro



The bricked up Norman door on the north wall of the church



The two impressive heads either side of the main door.
Does anyone know who they are?



This extract from Cox's "Derbyshire Churches" was kindly given to me by Mrs Partridge of Rosliston

The Chapelry of Caldwell

When Abbot Briteric gave the church of Stapenhill to the abbey of Burton, the gift included all the appurtenances of the church, of which the chapel of Caldwell was undoubtectly one. William Rufus subsequently bestowed also the manor of Caldwell on the monks, and it was confirmed to them by Pope Lucius III.
The Church Goods Commissioners reported of Caldwell chapel, on October 5th, 1552, that it possessed-

" j chalyce parcell gylte with a cover, ij vestments with the albes, j aulter clothe, j towell, j surplyce, and ij bells in the steeple."

The report of the Parliamentary Commissioners, of 1650, has been already given under Stapenhill.
Caldwell manor and the impropriate tithes were granted by the Crown to Sir William Paget, in 1545. In the year 1550, Henry, Lord Paget, had license to alienate the manor, etc., to Peter Collingwood. On the death of Peter Collingwood, in 1588, he left his two nieces, Ellen, who married John Stone, clerk, and Margaret, who married Thomas Sannders, of Little Ireton. A few years later the moiety of the elder sister was transferred to the younger, so that Thomas Saunders was seized of the whole manor.
It remained in the Saunders family till the second half of last century, when it passed by marriage to the Mortimers. In the present century, the manor and impropriate tithes have changed hands by purchase on several occasions. A modus of 6 per annum for tithe-hay and other small tithes for Caldwell-was paid to the vicar of Stapenhill up to 1773, when the vicar claimed tithe in kind in the Court of Exchequer, and had a decision in his favour. Mr. Mortimer, the principal defendant, appealed to the House of Lords, but it was there confirmed in February, 1777. The tithes are now said to be commuted for 152 11s. Od.

The small chapel, which is dedicated, to S. Giles, is of great antiquity, hut only a few of its ancient features have survived the "thorough renovation" of 1843, and the "restoration" of 1865. Mr. Rawlins gives its area in 1835, as nave 30 ft. 5 in. by 17 ft. 5 in., and chancel 18ft. 1in. by 14ft. 4in. He makes mention of an old circular font, and a circular arch between the nave and chancel, both of which have disappeared. From the sketch that he gives, it seems that there were several fourteenth century windows on the south side, and a square wooden bell turret on the west gable. The roof of both nave and chancel were of a high pitch. The new features of the church, as it now stands, are after the Decorated period, but care was taken in 1865 not to obliterate all the old work. There are two very small lights, with circular heads, and of rude workmanship, in the nave, one on each side, and also another in the north wall of the chancel. These are, undoubtedly, of pre-Norman work, and must have been here when Abbot Briteric gave the church of Stapenhill and its appur- tenances to Burton monastery. The same may probably be said of the now blocked-up north doorway of the nave.
On the floor of the chancel are four alabaster slabs; one of these is altogether illegible, except the words memento mori; the others bear the following inscriptions:-

" Here lies expecting the second coming o{ Jesus Christ the body of Elizabeth Sleigh sole daughter and heire of Edmond Sleigh of Derby Merchant, wife to Callingwood Saunders the wt had issue by him dyed you .... sone, Margaret . . . . 2d Thomas, ye fourth Edmond, ye fifth John, ye sixth Daniell, ye seventh Daniell, the 8th Elizabeth, ye 9th Samuell, the 10th Joseph, the 11th Alice, the 12th Henry. She was born February 1588 dyed the fifth of August 1652,"

"Here lieth ye body of Major Henry Sanders of London, Silkman, long Captain of Cripplegate Company, younger sonne of Mr Thomas Sanders of Lulllington, borne May 1, 1582, died Jan. 3, 1616, had issue [by his wife Susanna, daughter of Christopher Alleston] Thomas, factor for the East India Company, dyed at Bantam, and Daniell, Silkeman, dyed at Stokerston, and others wth dyed wthout issue. He hath surviveing Henry, a Silkeman in London, George and Christopher in Newe England, and Susanna, married, to Mr Robert Mellor, 2ndly to Mr Sim. Ash, 3dly to Thomas "Woodcocke."

" Here lies expecting the second coming of Jesus Christ the body of Collinge- wood Sanders lord of Caldwall and Ireton in Derbyshire. Hee was eldest sone of Thomas Sanders of Lullington gentleman who had 5 sonnes and 4 daughters, and was home the 28th of August 1578 departed this life the 6th of May 1653. was married to Elizabeth sole daughter and heire of Edmond Sleigh of Derby Merchant, had issne by her nine sones and three daughters."

In the turret on the west gable are two bells, bearing the name of Taylor, bell-founder, of Loughborough, and the date 1865.



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