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Melbourne Parish Church: St Michael with St Mary, Melbourne

4.8
#23 of 33 in Historic Sites in Derbyshire
Church Tourist Spot
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
21 reviews
Google
5.0
  • A very quiet church in a popular busy area. I liked the stone carvings inside but I was particularly drawn to the feature of the bell ringing. It would be good to return one day and see the bells in u...  more »
  • Melbourne parish church is a fine example of Norman architecture in a quaint little village in Derbyshire. The church has information boards dotted around the site pointing out important areas and obj...  more »
  • Definitely worth a visit. Beautiful example of English Heritage at it's best. There has been some restoration which has exposed the original Medieval art work and was incredibly peaceful and calming i...  more »
Google
  • By any measure, this is a very impressive parish church. Started in 1120 and still having most of its original Norman stonework, it is one of the finest Norman parish churches in the country. It was partly renovated in the 1630s and again, fairly sensitively, in 1859-1862 by George Gilbert Scott although at that time an opportunity to preserve medieval wall paintings was missed, with one exception, which you can see in the pictures. Competition from several nonconformist chapels in the village in Victorian times ensured that there was only enough cash for Gilbert Scott to do the essential renovation tasks, thereby perhaps saving the church from over-zealous interference with its Norman character. Traces of the original three apses can be seen at the east end, inside and outside, and adorning the massive pillars which support the tower at the crossing are some amusing carvings, see the pictures attached. The nave has circular piers four feet in diameter topped with many-scalloped capitals and the arches are heavily decorated with zig-zag patterns. Above is a clerestory with properly Norman windows on the north side but pointed-arch windows on the south side said to date from 1220. The later date may have been due to the church not being finished until then by when fashions had changed or perhaps because of a fire which made necessary the rebuilding of the south side. According to Pevsner the wall passage around the clerestory, familiar from cathedrals and large collegiate churches, is unique amongst parish churches. Again according to Pevsner, the west front's two tower fa├žade is unique amongst parish churches. Gilbert Scott added steeply pitched slate roofs, known locally as the "pepper pots", to the western towers making the church even more distinctive but they were removed, not without some opposition, in 1955. Unfortunately, an attractive tithe barn stands only a few yards away from the west front, making it difficult to appreciate fully its unique, although unfinished, nature. With its many round arches, windows and doors this church is quintessentially Norman with a Romanesque plan and is rightfully grade one listed. It is a valuable part of this lovely English village and stands next to Melbourne Hall by 'The Pool', all conspiring to create a delightful corner of England.
  • Nice place to visit.
  • Built in the 12th century, it is one of the finest Norman parish churches in the country, with its massive Romanesque arches and carved capitals. It's close to┬áMelbourne Pool, home to wild fowl, ducks, geese and heron. The tower houes 12 bells, and their monthly band came second in the 2012 National 12 bell ringing contest, against Cathedral and City bell ringers country wide.

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