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St. Lawrence's Church prior to the demolition of the mediaeval nave and chancel in 1868.
Heanor St Lawrence

The Domesday book of 1086 records a church at Heanor. Nothing is known of the earliest church in the town, but the large church situated at one corner of the Market Place dates from the fifteenth century. The mediaeval chancel and nave of this building was demolished in 1868, but the tower was left intact. This Victorian rebuilding couldn’t have been too good a job, as, in 1981, another major rebuild took place, and again only the tower was left as before.

St. Lawrence's Church prior to the demolition of the mediaeval nave and chancel in 1868.
St. Lawrence’s Church prior to the demolition of the mediaeval nave and chancel in 1868.

The dedication of the church to St. Lawrence causes some confusion, as it seems clear that at some stage it was dedicated to St. Michael. The list of rectors and vicars below is principally taken from “Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire” by J. Charles Cox, published in 1879. Cox states that the church is dedicated to St. Michael, but is aware of it being referred to as St. Lawrence’s too – he states that this is a mistake in a recent directory, but this was not the case. He categorically says that it was Heanor St Michael in the sixteenth century. When the change to the dedication actually took place is unknown.

From the 13th century, the church was under the patronage of the de Greys of Codnor Castle.  It was transferred to the Abbey of Dale in 1478, until the dissolution, following which it reverted to the crown.

Rectors and Vicars of Heanor 1298 to 2004
1298Eudo de DerbyPatron – Sir Henry de Grey
1304Roger de ShuttonPatron – Sir Henry de Grey
1320John de ShiringhamPatron – Sir Richard de Grey de Codnor
1346Gilbert de GreyPatron – Richard de Wylloughby
1348Nicholas de GreyPatron – Sir John de Grey de Codnor
1349Roger SausemanPatron – Sir John de Grey de Codnor
1370Ralph de BartonPatron – Sir John de Grey de Codnor
1385Roger de CherltonPatron – John, Lord de Grey de Codnor
1434William ThrumptonPatron – Henry, Lord de Grey
1435William Wethurby(rector of Morley)
1440John FowlerPatron – Henry, Lord de Grey
1475William TykhullPatron – Abbot of Dale
1477John Middleton
1485Richard Nottingham(Canon of Dale)
1491William Cutt
c.1535Oliver Pyggen
1547Richard ArnoldePatron – Robert Cooke de Little Hallam
1565Laurence BrookesPatron – the Queen
1592William Ashby
1633Josias HawksworthPatron – the King
1650Samuel WrightParliamentary Commission
1664James Rathbone
1669George Westwood
1698Samuel LeesPatron – the King
1737William ClarkePatron – the King
1774William Gould(died in 1788 after being kicked by his horse at Eastwood, after hunting)
1788John ThompsonPatron – the King
1821Richard WhinfieldPatron – the King
1866Frederick CorfieldPatrons – Francis Wright and others
1879Conyngham William George Corfield
1886Claud Evelyn Lacy Corfield
1911Ashley Tregoning Corfield
1917Herbert Gilgrist
1933Douglas Gerard Smith
1946Stephen Robert Futers
1958Harry Benjamin Roberts
1970John Goodwin
1975Ron McMullen
1989Cedric Blakey
1998Ian Pallett
Priests in Charge
2004Dan Pattimore

From 1866 to 1917, the Corfield family dominated the church at Heanor. The stained-glass window above shows the former east window at St Lawrence’s, placed in memory of Frederick Corfield in 1883. The lower photograph shows two of Frederick’s children, Claud Corfield and Ashley Corfield – this was taken in 1911, when Claud had moved to Taunton.

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