Building » Ripley – St Joseph

Ripley – St Joseph

Butterly Hill, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5

A building of 1928, adopting a traditional form, loosely Italianate with some Gothic detail. The church has character and presence in the local scene.

Ripley is an ancient settlement which expanded rapidly from the late eighteenth century as coal, brickmaking and ironworking industries developed. According to the Diocesan Yearbook for 1930 there were a hundred Catholics living there in 1927 and Mass was said in a club room at the back of the Rose and Crown public house. In 1928 a building fund for a new church was opened and a site obtained in Butterly Hill; the foundation stone was laid in May 1928. The new church was built to accommodate 200 people, and opened on 10 December 1928. The architect was C.A. Edeson ARIBA (see also St Philip Neri, Mansfield) and the builders Carney & Sons, and the cost was about £2,300. It was designed to allow for the addition of aisles, never built.


The church is a small building of red brick with a replacement concrete tile roof. There is a (liturgical) west tower with an oversailing pyramidal roof and finial. A white-painted southwest porch with Gothic columns supports a gabled canopy on top of which is a statue of St Joseph beneath a curved canopy. The nave window openings are plain with flat heads, the chapels have round-arched heads. These windows are modern replacements. The west window is in the form of a plate-traceried circular opening, that to the east is circular.

The interior has a decorative open timber roof, plain semicircular chancel arch, and round-headed arcading to a Lady Chapel on the north side of the sanctuary. There is a connecting door to the presbytery on this side. Furnishings include pitch pine bench seating and a forward altar. An ornate Gothic-style font cover may be earlier and could have originated elsewhere. There is stained glass in the east window only. This is of mid- or late-twentieth century date and depicts the Holy Spirit as a dove in stylised form with bright colours.

Heritage Details

Architect: C.A. Edeson

Original Date: 1928

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed