St. Leonard’s Church has stood in the centre of the village for almost a thousand years. The church is Grade II* listed and contains many interesting features.
The chancel, the oldest part of the building, contains an exceptional example of a beautifully carved Norman sedilia and piscina, reputed to be one of the finest in the county. Amongst the other interesting features is the octagonal 15th century font which has a sculpture of a lion and lamb. At the rear of the nave is an old 13th century chest which is thought to have contained vestments.
The church was extensively restored between 1886 and 1888 by William Butterfield, a renowned London architect. After that restoration, very little work was carried out which resulted in a substantial deterioration of the building. A further restoration was undertaken, in three stages, between 1996 and 2006 the result of which can be seen today in this lovely ancient place of worship.
A well-kept churchyard surrounds the church and contains many mature lime trees, thought to have been planted sometime during the 1770s. By the south porch stands an ancient yew tree which possibly pre-dates the actual church itself. In the springtime, hundreds of snowdrops bloom.
The church is open every day during daylight hours and inside can be found much more information on the church and the village itself. There are two books for sale of particular interest, The Parish Church of St. Leonard and The Making of a Derbyshire Village, the proceeds of which go towards the upkeep. There is a wheelchair inside the north porch for the use of anyone with limited mobility wishing to visit the church.
Visitors are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of countless generations, some to worship, some to seek solace and comfort and some who are merely interested in the history and architecture. All are welcome in God’s house.