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Chancel in St Mary's Church, Church Street, Wirksworth, c 1920s
c 1920s - 1930s ?
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The arcades of the chancel date from fourteenth century with the restoration of western-most columns in 1871 by Gilbert Scott. The arch creating the sanctuary area was added 1854-55.
Between 1870-72 the walls above the chancel were raised to allow clear stones and the six quatre-foil windows.
The windows date from 1929 and were replaced under the direction of the church architect, Sir Charles Nicholson. The rose window on the east gable also dates from this period. There is an unusually large double piscina in the south wall of the Sanctuary. The double aumbry in the north wall has two carved oak doors and was made in 1927 by Kenneth 'Roger' Hanson. The carved oak dado around the lower walls of the Sanctuary dates from 1906-7 and was designed by Temple Moore.The tiles before the alter pavement are copies of Mediaeval encaustic tiles found during the restoration of 1870-74.
The most prominent memorial in the chancel, just out of view in the picture, is the tomb chest of Anthony Lowe (see DCHQ005920) who died in 1555, Lord of the Manor of Ashleyhay and Alderwalsey, Gentleman of the Bedchamber and Standard Bearer to the Henry VII, Edward VI and Queen Mary.
The fine 13th century church replaced a Norman one which in turn had replaced a Saxon church. The main part of the church is Early English, but the roof of the Nave was raised in the 14th century and this was renewed in the early 20th. The line of the old 13th century roof can clearly be seen. The tower is also largely Early English but was added to in the Decorated style, and the west window was added in the Perpendicular period. The church was restored in the early 20th century by Gilbert Scott.