Building » Bamford – Our Lady of Sorrows

Bamford – Our Lady of Sorrows

Ashopton Road, Bamford, Derbyshire, S33

A good example of a rural school/chapel in a low-key Elizabethan style, designed by an architect of note. The church is of historical interest for its association with Derwent Hall, the patronage of the Duke of Norfolk and the Catholic mission in the local area. The building makes a positive contribution to the local conservation area, and is located within the Peak District National Park. 

In 1877 the mission of St Henry was founded at Derwent Hall, a property of the Howard family, in a chapel designed by M. E. Hadfield. In 1881-2 a similarly-designed school-chapel, also by Hadfield, was set up in Bamford by Henry Fitzalan Howard, the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk, and served by his chaplain from Derwent Hall.

In 1912 Bamford became a separate mission and a priest was established in the former schoolmistress’s house, attached to the chapel, which was adapted and extended.

Derwent Hall was submerged when Ladybower Reservoir was created in 1944. Today the church is served from Hathersage (q.v.), and the presbytery is let.


See list entry, below, which describes the exterior only and omits mention of Hadfield as architect. The main entrance has the date 1881 over it, with the initials HN and FN, presumably referring to the Duke of Norfolk and his wife Flora. The interior of the church is a single undifferentiated volume, with a painted arched timber roof. The sacristy is in a short projecting wing, on the liturgical south side. The seating consists of wooden benches. A forward altar has panels painted with angels on a gold ground. A reredos with cresting has a relief scene showing the Deposition, and a Crucifix hangs in the notional chancel position. The reredos is said to be of Austrian provenance, and was brought to the church in 1961 from the Gee chapel at Radcliffe College, Leicester, where it had been erected as a memorial to Dr Gee, an honorary surgeon to Queen Victoria. The painted Stations of the Cross in frames surmounted by crosses appear to be part of the same scheme, all restored in 2013.

List description


Church and attached presbytery. 1882. Paid for by the Duke of Norfolk. Coursed squared gritstone with gritstone dressings. Stone slate roofs with stone coped gables with moulded kneelers. Chamfered plinth. Various stone stacks. One and two storeys, irregular plan and elevations. Single storey chapel to the south with 2- and 3-light chamfered mullioned and transomed windows and a bellcote with conical cap on the south gable. East porch and to the right a tall polygonal chimney stack. Presbytery at north end with main elevation to west. This is of three bays, the right hand bay gabled and taller. Central doorway up a flight of six stone steps. Oak studded door with segmental arched over- light above. 2-light window above. Flanked on each side by two storey canted bays with 4-light mullion windows, those to the ground floor also with transoms. Right hand gabled bay with a further 2-light chamfered mullion window above. Moulded first and second floor bands. Listing NGR: SK2070083765

Heritage Details

Architect: M. E. Hadfield

Original Date: 1882

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II