Castleton Church, Derbyshire

The earliest church here dates to soon after William Peveril, the bastard son of William I, began building Peveril Castle around 1086. A village soon grew up underneath the walls of the Castle and this would then have needed a church. By the 12th Century the church was being built in stone and the town ditch was being constructed around the town.

The ownership of the church, castle and village went together and Henry III granted the castle – and thus church and village – to his son Prince Edward. Edward later granted the ownership of the church to the Abbey of Dernhall in Cheshire. In 1297 Edward I granted the church to Vale Royal Abbey, also in Cheshire. Despite a dispute in 1329 the Abbey remained in charge of the church until it was dissolved in 1536 when the land was granted to the Diocese of Chester.

The church seems to be largely 13th and 14th Century with the usual Victorian tweaks which have been quite small. It sits slightly behind the main buildings of Castleton but forms an important part of arguably the prettiest village in the Peak District.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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