Saint Werburgh's Church in Derby

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Saint Werburgh's Church in Derby

Saint Werburgh's Church is located at the corner of the Wardwick and Cheapside, Derby.

The oldest parts of St Werburgh's are the 15th century tower, rebuilt in 1604 after it had collapsed, and the 1699 chancel, now a side chapel. The remainder was rebuilt in 1893-1894 by Sir Arthur Blomfield in 15th century style.

Its tower contains the Johnson Chapel, where Samuel Johnson, English writer and lexicographer (1709-1784)), married Elizabeth "Tetty" Porter in 1735. The marriage is annually reenacted at the church.

The chapel contains a very attractive wrought iron font cover by Robert Bakewell, 1716, with scrolly leaf motifs. There is a monument to Sarah Winyates by Chantrey, many minor wall tablets, stained glass by Kempe and a wrought iron pulpit designed by Bloomfield.

The lease on the main building was sold and the building converted into a shopping mall called the Cloisters. This enterprise failed due to high rent and council tax. The building has stood empty and subjected to vandalism for a number of years, but the lease has now been sold to a to a private company which will be converting the building into a restaurant and arts centre.

Saint Werburgh was born around 650, the daughter of King Wulfhere and Queen Ermenhilda of Mercia. Against her father's wishes for her to marry, she was determined to become a nun and was finally allowed to enter Ely Abbey. She subsequently became an Abbess, and finally senior Abbess of all Mercia. She died on 3rd February, 700 and her feast day is 3rd February. There are 17 churches dedicated to her in England, plus one in Dublin, one in West Australia, a village in Zimbabwe and lady chapels in Chester and Lichfield cathedrals.

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Saint Werburgh's Church  in Derby UK
St Werburgh's Church

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