Church History

Perhaps the most enduring link between Ogston and Brackenfield on the one hand, and the parent manor of Morton on the other, lay in the ecclesiastical connection. By the middle of the fifteenth century a chapel of ease dedicated to the Holy Trinity had been built on the Highoredish ridge on the western boundary of the parish overlooking Brackenfield and Ogston, and this chapel was dependent on the mother church of Morton and was served by its rectors. It possessed rights of baptism and marriage but not of burial. In 1758 Trinity Chapel became a separate benefice with the rectors of Morton exercising the rights of patronage, and it continued in use until a new church was built in Brackenfield in 1856, which in turn followed the creation of a new parish which was carved out of Morton parish in 1844. The foundation stone of this new building was laid on 24th March 1856. The nave and chancel of this new church was consecrated on 15th April, 1857, by the Bishop of Lichfield (the diocese in which Derbyshire then lay). The architect was T.C.Hine of Nottingham. In 1860 the church tower was built with a peal of three bells from Messrs Taylors of Loughborough. In 1865 an organ was installed at a cost of £80. After the First World War (1914-1919) a War Memorial was erreced on which the names of those from the parish who died were inscribed. In recent years a major project has been the repair and renovation of the church tower and spire, and the installation of three further bells (cast by Taylors of Loughborough once again). A new toilet and kitchen facilities have also been installed in the church.

The former Trinity Chapel has been a ruin for many years. In 1881 the old oak screen, which had formerly divided the chapel chancel from the nave, was removed from the chapel and placed (after restoration) at the west end of Brackenfield Church. In the spandrels of its centre arch may be seen two armorial shields which feature the arms of Willoughby (the former patrons) and their family alliances. In 1913 the roof was taken off the chapel and the remaining contents removed. On Trinity Sundays it was customary to hold a pilgrimage from the village green to the old chapel. The congregation would march behind a local band, carrying the church banner, and halt at Mather’s Grave to sing a hymn. The service was held in the field below the Chapel. This custom ceased circa 1997 and its place was taken by a Well Dressing celebration (combined with a Flower Festival) to give thanks for the gift of water in our daily lives. Although the village wells have disappeared (unlike for example, in the village of Tissington) the tableaus have been placed at strategic positions in the village.

History Text supplied by Mr Gladwyn Turbutt - 25th February 2017