Building » Tideswell – The Immaculate Heart of Mary (chapel-of-ease)

Tideswell – The Immaculate Heart of Mary (chapel-of-ease)

Queen Street, Tideswell, Derbyshire

Unusual as an early Catholic village church, built using simple Gothic details and with an almost vernacular internal character. The church makes a positive contribution to the conservation area of Tideswell, a large village in the Peak District National Park.

Bl. Nicholas Garlick (martyred 1588) is said to have been a schoolmaster at Tideswell. Mass was said at Whetstone Hall, Wheston until about 1830, when the present church was built on land owned by the Duke of Norfolk. A mission was established at Tideswell by Fr George Jinks from Hathersage. Some accounts suggest that the church was formed from a workshop building but the fabric and architectural style indicate that it was probably purpose-built. The bungalow behind the church was built as the presbytery in the early twentieth century, but is now in private domestic ownership. The church is served from Chapel-en-le-Frith (qv). 


The small village church is a simple rectangular volume orientated with the liturgical east end roughly to the south. Conventional liturgical directions will be used in this account. Built of limestone, the church is covered with a hard cement render, with two pointed windows with timber Y-glazing to each long elevation, set in chamfered sandstone architraves with hoodmoulds. The tall pointed entrance doorway at the west end has a similar stone architrave and hoodmould to the windows; the panelled hardwood door is modern. The roof is laid with Welsh slates with a red clay ridge and stone coped verges with one cross finial. Attached to the northeast is a small lean-to sacristy, a later addition as it blocks one of the pointed windows. The rendering on the church wall indicates that the sacristy was once larger.

Inside, the church is one volume with no features to define the sanctuary; the modest, plain interior has an austere character. The exposed three-bay roof structure has heavy pine king-post trusses and the sloping soffit is lined with tongue-and-groove sarking boards; line on the plaster walls suggests that there was probably once a plaster ceiling. Walls are plain plastered; a timber dado of unknown date was recently removed. The windows and west door have pointed stone hoodmoulds with moulded terminals; the sacristy door is Tudor-arched with a plain raised architrave. The very plain painted pine open-backed benches are possibly original. The altar, reredos, lectern and font are all late twentieth-century joinery, made locally. The sacristy retains a corner fireplace with moulded timber chimneypiece, probably late nineteenth century.  The plaster Stations of the Cross are recent replacements for larger Stations of unknown date.

Amended by AHP 29.01.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: Not known

Original Date: 1830

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed