Heage, a township and village in the hundred of Appletree and in the parish of Duffield, is five miles from that village, and ten from Derby. In 1821 the population of the township was 1,742. Heage Parish Church has a most unusual T-shaped layout.
This place of worship, St Luke’s (still Heage’s parish church), is referred to as Pole’s Chapel, as George Pole of Heage Hall financed its rebuilding after the previous church had been blown down in a gale. However, he was a reluctant benefactor, described as a man ‘wicked above his fellows’, a dandy who combined the traits of ‘pride, meanness, treachery, covetousness and cruelty’.
He was especially cruel to his wife, and after her death Pole agreed to a suggestion by the vicar of Duffield that he build a church in Heage to ease his conscience.
St Luke’s is an interesting church: its T-shape, recommended for Protestant worship from early times but rarely adopted (and this one wasn’t until 1836), is reckoned to be unique in Derbyshire, as is its octagonal bell-tower.
This view shows the older part of the church which forms the upright of the T and is aligned more or less east-west. The lintel over the porch doorway is inscribed JW 1752. The church was originally built of wood, but was destroyed by a violent tempest in June 1545. Rebuilt in 1661, it was enlarged in 1836.
As the records for this church are larger than a web page table would permit, I have included them as a downloadable PDF file.
Please download from HERE
- Some transcripts of the parish records of Heage Church
- Kelly's Directory Description of Heage
- Interesting Information on Heage and its Church
These Memorial Inscriptions appear by kind permission of the Derbyshire Family History Society. Their website is located HERE. Books, fiches and other materials on Belper, as well as other Derbyshire districts, may be obtained from the Society.