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St. Thomas a Becket, Chapel-en-Le-Frith

August 10, 2014

St. Thomas a Becket, Chapel-en-le-Frith

DSCN0252DSCN0253This was originally a chapel of ease but became a parish church way back in 1317 as the town  expanded. Much of the church was rebuilt in the 1730’s and restored in the 1890’s.

The signs outside proclaim that St. Thomas is open and there were several visitors when I was there. A very friendly steward was on duty who showed me around and knew a lot of the history of the church. She told me how the church was used as a temporary prison in 1648 for 1,500 prisoners after the battle at Ribblesdale Moor. These unfortunates were imprisoned from 11th Sept  to 30th September. 44 died and were buried here.

DSCN0255The church interior features box pews which date from 1834. The steward told me how attached some of the congregation are to these but they are rather cramped with not much leg room. It wouldn’t do to have a long service here.

There is a guide and some bats to carry around also some folders re the stained glass here – there is a nice modern window which was put in after an arson attack destroyed the original. Also a small display about those serving in the  armed forces. I didn’t count the visitors book but my guide told me that they get quite a few people coming along. I rate St. Thomas’s as OK for the purposes of this study. There doesn’t seem to be a website.DSCN0257DSCN0258

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