Entering the church, I was struck by how cold it was - Outside is was the first warm and sunny day of Spring, this year.
The first point of interest is the baptismal font-typically, these are sited near the church entrance as a reminder that baptism is the first point on the way of Christian life. This font is believed to date back to 1440. Again, this has the Coat of Arms of the Eyre, Padley and Bernake families.
The Baptism, marriage and burial records would once have been kept in the chest located at the west end of the Nave. This has 3 locks - it was decreed that each parish would provide a secure coffer to hold parish records and other important documents - the parson and 2 church wardens each held a key. The chest dates to around 1604. The records are now kept securely at Matlocks County Archive Office.
There are some attractive stained glass windows, including one rescued from the church at Derwent, (Over the High Altar) which was to be submerged when Ladybower reservoir was formed. The glass was fitted as a Thanks Offering for the end of WW", and the safe return of relatives and friends to the Parish.
On the wall of the High Altar are The Eyre Brasses - A collection of members of the family.
In the choir vestrey are replicas of these, as it is possible to create your own brass rubbings
At the back of the church is a table with guide books and post cards etc - payment to be placed in the nearby slot in the wall.
The present day church dates back to around 1381, it is thought to have been built on the site of a 12th century church.
It was built on top of the hill, because this was the centre of the village, which had formed from an ancient stronghold.
Before entering the church through the porch, (which was probably an addition around 1500, by Robert Eyre 11) look for the four shields and a four leaved rose - they are quite worn, they depict the crests/Arms of the Eyre family and possibly those of the Padley or Bernakes too. (pic 3)
In the porch way is 'an ancient sepulchral slab' which is believed to be the original tomb stone from Little Johns grave. It dates back to the 13th Century, and was found under the flooring of the church. There is an engraved fleur de lys cross and the letters LI, which are a later addition.
Look up at the spire, with its ornate stonework and crocketted pinnacles, that stand out from the spire. (pics 2 & 4) On first sight, I thought that there were carved birds too, but these were real -just resting there!
There are some eroded gargoyles too.
The Methodist church and Millennium Gardens aren't far from the Memorial Hall, heated open-air swimming pool and Oddfellows Terrace.
In the churchyard at the front of The Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels you can find the grave of the lengendary Little John, one of Robin Hood's Merry Men.
The inside of St Michaels church is quite interesting. At the alter are the Eyre brasses. There is a wonderful view of the stained glass window and a memorial to the unknown soldier.
St Michaels church in Hathersage has a beautiful stained glass window by Charles Kempe. The window had been removed from Derwent chapel before it was submerged under Ladybower reservoir.
Camp green is a medieval fortification and is the largest ring work in North Derbyshire.
Local historians believe that there was an Anglo-Saxon settlement here.
The pinfold in Hathersage is where stray sheep, that were rounded up, were kept until the owners came and paid a fine to retrieve them.