Church of St Mary the Virgin, Clumber Park

St. Mary the Virgin, Clumber Park

Coordinates: 53°15′53.21″N 1°3′42.62″W / 53.2647806°N 1.0618389°W / 53.2647806; -1.0618389
Location Clumber Park
Country England
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Anglo Catholic
Dedication St Mary the Virgin
Dedicated 22 October 1889
Heritage designation Grade I listed[1]
Length 125 feet (38 m)
Width 65 feet (20 m)
Height 175 feet (53 m)
Parish Worksop Priory
Deanery Bassetlaw and Bawtry
Archdeaconry Newark
Diocese Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham
Province Province of York
Vicar(s) Fr Nicolas Spicer
Organist(s) Dr Cox and Gareth Hand
Churchwarden(s) Robin Wilde

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Clumber Park, is an Anglican church in Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire England.

The church is Grade I listed by English Heritage as a building of outstanding architectural or historic interest.[2]


The Chapel of St. Paul at Clumber Park was commissioned by Henry Pelham-Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle in 1864. It was designed by the architect Thomas Chambers Hine but not completed and became known as the pigeon coop. Henry Pelham-Clinton, 7th Duke of Newcastle, demolished it and commissioned a new chapel dedicated to St Mary the Virgin in 1886. It was designed by George Frederick Bodley and built by the contractor R. Franklin of Diddington, Oxfordshire. The stone used in the interior is Red Runcorn, and externally Steetly ashlar with Red Runcorn dressings.[3] It was completed by 1889 at a cost of £30,000 (equivalent to £2,990,431 in 2015) [4]. It was opened by the Bishop of Southwell on 22 October 1889[5] but this ceremony caused alarm in the Protestant Alliance of the Church of England as reported in the Derby Daily Telegraph on 6 November 1889.

The committee and members of the Protestant Alliance have forwarded a memorial to the Archbishop of Canterbury, inviting his Grave’s attention to the reports published in the Press regarding the services conducted at the benediction or dedication of the new church at Clumber on the 22nd of October - services “authorised and conducted” by the Bishop of Southwell, the bishop of the diocese, and described as “a function which far exceeded that of Cardiff in grandeur of ritual and dignity of ceremonial”. These reports, it is pointed out, state that the church at Clumber was decorated with a crucifix over the rood screen, with images of the Virgin and of St John, with a baldachino over the “high altar,” and a crucifix on the re-table with a tabernacle for the reserved sacrament, having a silver lamp suspended in front of it, and with other Popish emblems. The service of the Holy Communion was conducted, according to these report, with the formalities observed in the Roman Catholic service of the sacrifice of the mass - formalities condemned by the Courts of Law - and it is further reported that no person whatever communicated with the celebrant. The procession into the Church was headed by a crucifer, bearing a large crucifix, and a thurifer, bearing a censer containing incense. Two handsome banners were carried aloft, the first being that of the blessed sacrament and the second that of the Virgin Mary, on which were inscribed the remarkable words, “S. Maria Mater Dei”. It is further reported that about 50 “priests” took part in the procession; that the Bishop of Lincoln walked in this procession, dressed in a cope of cloth of gold; that he was followed by the Bishop of Southwell, wearing a gorgeous cope, on the back of which was depicted in brilliant colours a representation of the Madonna and Child - the Madonna crowned, the Child uncrowned. The memorialists urge that the use of the idolatrous rites and ceremonies of the Church of Rome tend to alienate the affections of people from the Church of England, and, if not checked and prevents, must eventually lead to an agitation for the disestablishment and disendowment of the National Church. An appeal is made to the Archbishop to use his influence to check and prevent the introduction and the use of such superstitious services and illegal practices.[6]


The church is on a cruciform plan, and has a central tower, which contains one bell and has an 175 ft spire rising out of an octagonal corona. It is in the "second Pointed" (i.e. Decorated) style of Gothic architecture. The nave interior is plain but the chancel is decorated with carvings. The stained glass is by Charles Eamer Kempe.



The 3 manual organ was installed in 1889 by Gray & Davison. Apart from an overhaul by Harrison and Harrison in 1979 it has remained unaltered. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.[7]


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  1. Historic England. "Church of St Mary the Virgin  (Grade I) (1045032)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  2. "Name: CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN List entry Number: 1045032". English Heritage. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  3. "New church at Clumber". Nottinghamshire Guardian. Nottingham. 6 August 1886. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  4. UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2016), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  5. "Opening of Clumber Church". Derby Daily Telegraph. Derby. 23 October 1889. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  6. "Ritualism at Clumber Church". Derby Daily Telegraph. Derby. 6 November 1889. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  7. "NPOR A00709". National Pipe Organ Register. British Institute of Organ Studies. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
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