A Guide to Tideswell and Its Church

By Rev J.M.J. Fletcher

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2013

EXTERIOR OF THE CHURCH.

The grouping of the crocketed pinnacles of the Tower forms a pleasing picture from every point of view.

As the tourist glances at the exterior of the Church he will notice that, as is so often the case, the South side is more highly ornamented than the sunless north.

The Sundial
THE SUNDIAL.
Bell Cote

The Bell in the Bell Turret over the Chancel Arch was originally in the Belfry. It bears the date 1658 (i.e. towards the close of Cromwell's time). It was used, before its removal to its present position, to communicate with the Ringers from below, and to warn them of the entrance of the Clergyman into the Church. The Bellcote was erected at the time of the restoration of the Church in 1875.

At the extremity of the gable end of the S. Transept is the figure of the Crucified Saviour; but the arms have been broken off. It is 14th century work.

The
Churchyard

There is not very much of interest in the Churchyard. The picturesque Sundial bears on its base the date 1812, though this probably refers to the year of its restoration. The steps on which it stands are, without doubt, the base of the old

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Churchyard cross. The large tomb adjoining is that of William Newton, “the Minstrel of the Peak”, the friend of Anna Seward. He was for some years the proprietor of Cressbrook Mills. He died in 1830.

John Harrop, for many years Clerk to the Guardians of Manchester, who was a considerable benefactor to the Church and to the Parish, was buried towards the S.W. of the Churchyard.

Not far from the Chancel door, a tablet affixed to the wall of the Church commemorates, rhythmically, George Sheldon, who was lost in the snow in 1805.

At no great distance, against the wall of the South Transept, is a tablet to the Eley family, which shows what

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has been the effect, of exposure to the weather, on a slab of fossil limestone.

Close to the wall under a tree at the Southern extremity of the Churchyard is the tomb of Samuel Slack, a member of the Church Choir,- in his day a very celebrated singer, who was summoned to sing before King George IV. He died, at the age of 85 years, in 1822. The flat recumbent slab which covers the grave was placed to his memory by the Barlow Church Choir. It was “restored” and the headstone erected by the readers of the Sheffield Weekly Independent, in 1891.

The body of Canon Andrew, the well beloved Parish Priest of Tideswell for nearly 36 years, whose memorial in the Church has been already alluded to, lies in the small plot of ground railed off, close to the old Grammar School and the entrance to the Vicarage. He is buried in the same grave with his wife; and close by is the last earthly resting place of the Rev. Thomas Rogerson, who was Vicar of the Parish from 1906 to 1919.

It is commonly assumed that the old building which for so long stood in a ruinous condition in the centre of the town, not far from the Parish Church, was the Old Gild Hall, though we know of no documentary evidence to this effect. It was evident from some of the stonework remaining that it was at one time a building of some importance. The site has been acquired, on a perpetual lease, by the Directors of the Manchester and County Bank;- and one of the conditions of the sale was that some of the old “details” were to be worked into the new structure. The new Bank Buildings now occupy what used to be so unsightly a ruin.

The Corbels built into the front wall of the Cross (Crossed) Daggers Inn are worthy of notice. They are evidently much older than the date affixed to the

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building, 1637. The “Inn” is now used as a Club by the Ex-Service Men.

The Recreation Ground, the gift to the town of the Rev. J.M.J. Fletcher and Mrs. Fletcher, was formally opened in June, 1907.

Town War Memorial. The Cross, 24 feet in height, of grey Kerridge stone, erected in 1922 to commemorate the heroism of those who gave their lives in the cause of truth and righteousness and liberty during the Great War, and on which their names are inscribed; stands in Fountain Square.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in March 2013.

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