Monyash, St Leonard's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Late 12th century sedilia
HistorySt Leonards began as a simple chapel in the early 12th century. We don't know exactly when it was built, for the first written record is from 1192, by which time it was well established.
By the end of the 12th century the chapel had grown to include a nave and chancel, featuring a beautifully carved sedilia, or seat for clerics during services. The combination of the three-seat sedilia and piscine for washing holy vessels is one of the finest in Derbyshire.
Around 1225 the two lower sections of the tower were erected, and probably topped by a spire.
The aisles were added around the ame time, followed by the north transept in 1370. Ornate traceried windows were inserted in the aisles, another sign of the area's wealth.
Despite all these expansion, St Leonards was still a chapel, not a church. It was only in the 15th century that it gained the right to hold baptisms, as evidenced buy the octagonal 15th century font in the nave, but it did not become a full-fledged church until some time around 1650.
The font is topped by an 18th century wooden cover. Look for the Bovill family coat of arms on the north face, commemorating the marriage of Griselda Bovill of Northampton to Richard Blackwell of Taddington, which took place during Henry VII's reign.
One of the most interesting historic features is an iron-bound oak chest, thought to be of 14th century origin. There are some lovely 18th century wall monuments to local families, and a royal coat of arms to George II, dated 1745.
Do take time to explore Monyash. I've been several times, and think its one of the prettiest villages in the Peak District.
About Monyash, St Leonard's Church
Address: Church Street, Monyash, Derbyshire, England, DE45 1JL
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Just east of the village green and pub. Usually open daylight hours.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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