Building » Melbourne – Our Lady of Mercy and St Philip Neri

Melbourne – Our Lady of Mercy and St Philip Neri

Church Street, Melbourne, Derbyshire DE73

A modest early twentieth century chapel built by the Kerr family of Melbourne Hall and adjacent to their park wall. The half-timbered gables and terracotta dressings enhance the visual impact of this small building.

The parish was founded in 1906 by the Kerr family of Melbourne Hall, where the architect’s (Evans & Sons of Nottingham) original drawings are held (information from Canon A.P. Dolan). Copies in the diocesan archive are inscribed, ‘Proposed church Melbourne Derbyshire for Admiral Sir Walter Kerr RN’ and a stone in the porch dedicates the building to the memory of Lady Amabel Kerr. The church was opened in 1908 and the presbytery was built the following year. A parish hall was erected on the site in the 1920s and has been replaced recently. The church, presbytery, hall and the land on which they stand remained in the ownership of the Kerr family until 1982, when they were given to the Diocese of Nottingham.


The church is a modest building under a single pitched roof, with two low transeptal projections at the east end containing the Lady Chapel and sacristy. The external walls are of hard red brick with terracotta dressings and some timberwork in the gables and a steep-pitched roof covered in red tiles with two small ventilators on each main slope. The front to the road has a projecting gabled porch with splayed buttresses. Above the porch are two pairs of pointed windows and the main gable has decorative timberwork. The side walls are divided into bays by buttresses and each bay has a pair of pointed windows.

Internally the main space has a parquet floor, plain plastered walls, a timber west gallery with organ and a timber roof with hammerbeams to the principal trusses. The sanctuary is marked by a raised step, now enlarged to allow the altar to be brought forward, and the blind east wall has oak panelling installed as a memorial. The Lady Chapel on the north side also has panelled walls. Some of the furnishings, including the carved timber nave altar, are recent introductions. The windows are generally clear-glazed with coloured borders, but two windows at the west end of the nave have modern glass by Vivienne Haig showing St Clare and St Francis.

Heritage Details

Architect: Evans & Sons

Original Date: 1907

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed