Grid Ref: SK 166 480: Elevation 394 feet
Dates: 7 May 2017


St. Mary's, Mappleton
The Nave
The Nave


Organ Pipes   East Window
Organ   East Window
West End   Pub
West End with Gallery   The Okeover Arms
Cottage   House
My idea of "Escape to the Country"   The Clergy House. My wife's idea of "Escape to the Country"
House on the Corner   Bridge
House at the junction   A glimpse of the bridge over the River Dove


Mappleton is an idyllic spot on the banks of the River Dove in beautiful countryside on the borders of Staffordshire and Derbyshire. In 2011, according to census data, the Civil Parish had a population of 147 people

The origins of St. Mary's are not clear for the village but not a church are recorded in Domesday in 1086. A pre-Norman foundation would probably have been dedicated to an Anglo-Saxon saint so St. Mary's suggests a post-Conquest foundation. The church is mentioned in the reign of Edward 1 (1272 to 1307) when it was made a Rectory to be held by the Vicar of Ashbourne. A Rector was entitled to the "great tithes" on agricultural produce such as grain and wool, whereas a Vicar had the "lesser tithes" on such items as hay, wood, eggs, dairy produce and animals. The Vicar of Ashbourne received this benefit from Mappleton because the Rectorial tithes for his parish belonged to the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln, one of the largest dioceses in medieval England. The next mention of the church is in 1547, in the reign of Edward VI, who instituted the dissolution of chantry chapels following his father's dissolution of the monasteries. By 1650, in the period of the Commonwealth, the church was said to be in "fit to be disused" presumably indicating that it was in a very poor condition. The current church dates from the early 18th century and there is a date of 1717 on the Communion Table. However, a document in Nottinghamshire Archives describes the church in a poor condition in 1718. The communion plate and oak box, gifts of Thoams Austin, are dated 1752. The architect was James Gibbs, a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren. Gibbs also designed the nave of Derby Cathedral. The pulpit came from Ashbourne in 1906, the East Window was installed in the 1920s and the organ was a gift made in 1976. The church is Grade II* listed building.

Arthur Mee mentions that the only fragments remaining from the earlier church may be five great beams supporting the roof and some fragments of glass. Thomas Cokayne, a member of a great Derbyshire family was born in Mappleton in 1587 and is remembered as the compiler of an English - Greek dictionary of value to students of the New Testament. There are Cokayne tombs at Ashbourne.

Pevsner describes the Clergymen's Widows' Almshouses west of the church as a fine brick house of 1727 with ample stone dressings. It has five bays, two storeys and a hipped roof. The frontage is hard to photograph as it faces north across a narrow road overhung by trees so my shot shows the rather plainer south and west sides.


Pamplet available in the church for 20 pence, researched by Mr. R. C. Smith
The Buildings of England, Derbyshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, revised by Elizabeth Williamson, Yale University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-300-09591-0
The King's England, Derbyshire, by Arthur Mee, first published in 1937, 6th impression 1951
Wikipedia Article on Mapleton

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