The history of this church goes back a long way. The settlement of Matlock is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) and there is evidence of a church from 1150. The church is sited at what was the historic centre of Matlock, adjacent to the former town school and three ancient hostelries, The Wheatsheaf, The King’s Head and the Duke William. Only the last of these has survived as a public house.
A detailed history of the church and its contents was written and published by John Drackley in 2006. This booklet, Matlock Parish Church: An Illustrated Guide, can be purchased from the church for £5.00. Alternatively you may download a digital copy below. If you enjoy this guide, we would welcome any kind donation to the church.
Founded in the Middle Ages the church, along with eight others in Derbyshire, was dedicated to St Giles. We celebrate St Giles day on 1st September every year. There is a carved figure of the saint and a fascinating glass panel, asking for his prayers, on the West wall.
The church contains a number of tombs and memorials marking the commitment of those who have served and worshipped in the church. The church also has some well-preserved examples of Crantes, maidens’ garlands, which at one time were suspended in the church.
The building has been developed, altered, re-developed and restored through the centuries. Close inspection, particularly of the stained glass, reveals the heritage of different ages and traditions, all helping to create a place for prayer and worship.
The beauty and peace of the church cannot be described; it needs to be experienced. We hope you will find time to visit and enjoy St. Giles Church, Matlock for yourself.