which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Wakebridge Chapel

Thank you to George Wigglesworth for bring this article to our attention

Wakebridge once had a beautiful chapel erected by William de Wakebridge in about 1365. Sadly it is no more and all traces of its existence practically disappeared. However, its east window was removed by Peter Nightingale and taken to Lea Hurst.

This event was recorded in the following magazine –

A Quarterly Review of County and Family History, Heraldry and Antiquities
(date unknown)

Here is an extract from quite a long article about the Wakebridge family written by J. Charles Cox.

Sir William's earnestness led him not only to found these two chantries in his parish church and to become the co-founder of another in Nottinghamshire, but also to build a large chapel for his family and retainers at Wakebridge. This chapel he furnished on a generous scale; an inventory of its goods for the year 1368 is inserted in the chartulary. The most interesting items are that it included a portifer or breviary for the lord of Wakebridgc's use, and a manual de usu Lincolnie. In Wyrley's copy of the visitation of 1569 (HarI. MS. 6592, f. 88) it is stated that Sir William 'builded a fine chapell at Wakeburg, furnishing with orgayne and other costly devises.'

The considerable remains of this chapel were cleared away in the' forties' of the last century, when the east window was moved into the grounds of Mr. Nightingale at Lea Hurst, which was long the residence of Florence Nightingale of immortal memory,

Others besides Sir William de Wakebridge were moved to liberally endow Derbyshire chantries about thc same period, Prominent among these benefactors were Roger and Richard de Chesterfield, and Henry, Geoffrey and Nicholas de Chaddesden, who were generous to the churches of the places whose name they bore. This chartulary shows that they were among the special friends of the benefactor of Crich. Sir William several times served as knight of the shire for the counties of Derbyshire and Nottingham in parliaments held between 1352 and 1362; he died in 1369.

His effigy still remains beneath an ogee-shaped sepulchral recess in the north wall of the north aisle. He is represented in a long gown, closely buttoned from neck to waist, bareheaded, with long beard and hair, the hands joined over the breast, and the feet resting on a dog. Two small angels have supported the head, but that on the left is broken off; the one on the right holds a Katharine wheel to the ear of the effigy; in all probability the other, when perfect, held some emblem of St. Nicholas. A foolish attempt was made by represelltatives of the Bellairs family, about thirty years ago, to claim this as the effigy of Sir Roser Beler, lord of the manor of Crich. and an itinerant justice; but every sound argument is in favour of it being that of the notable founder of the two chantries.

On the death of Sir William, his sister and heiress Cecily brought Wakebridge to Sir John de la Pole. Their second son, Ralph, inherited this estate, the eldest son settling at Radburne.

Up to the time of a most disastrous restoration of Crich church in 1861, the quartered arms of Pole and Wakebridge remained in old glass in several of the windows. The Wakebridge arms were azure a fesse gules between six lozenges sable, and are instanced by Wyrley in his"True Use of Arm" (1592) as an honourable example of colour upon colour borne by that 'valiant knight Sir William Wakbirge of Wakbirge in Derbyshire.

Download the complete article – Cox's Parochial Chartulary

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