View of the buildingAlvaston Parish Church

At the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086 Geoffrey Alselin held the manors of Alvaston, then called Aelwoldestun as well as Elvaston, then called Alewoldestune. The Church of St. Michael, Derby included a chapel in Alvaston, which passed into the hands of William Fitzralph who then gifted the church to Darley Abbey. The Frechevilles laid claim to the advowson, and in 1257 an agreement was entered into, between Walter de Walton, Abbot of Darley, and Anker de Frecheville, by which the latter consented to recognise the church of Alvaston. From 1279 the Parishioners of Alvaston and the Abbey at Darley jointly maintained the Church in Alvaston.

In 1440 the monks of Darley petitioned William Heyworth, then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, to unite the Chapelry of Alvaston with St Michael’s Derby because of the small size of the parish and lack of finances. However the Parishioners objected and in 1497 the Bishop of the Diocese, John Arundel, decided that the Chapel should have its own Chaplain. Since 1499 the parishioners have appointed their own vicar, subject of course to the approval of the Bishop of the Diocese. There exists a list of the vicars starting from Thomas Hycchynson in 1535, to the present day.

By 1853 the previous church sonsisting now of a nave, tower and chancel 3 was considered to be too small for the parish since it accommodated only 179 people. It was therefore decided to enlarge the building by adding a new aisle but on inspection, it was found that the building was in such a poor condition that the proposed work would be unsafe. The church was therefore closed on 4 February 1855 and was demolished. A new church, the present church of St Michael and All Angels, designed by Stevens was built on the same site It was built to accommodate 373 this reduced to just over 200.

By 1851 the population of Alvaston totalled 504. The parish boundary intertwined with the Chapelry of St.Mary the Virgin, Boulton Lane. Over the years road and housing developments together with a new estate to the south on Boulton Moor have changed the parish boundaries and the nature of the church with the parish now housing over 18,000 people.

As you enter the church grounds you face the tower on the west wall. This is the third tower to stand on this site. The original tower built in the eleventh century had a spire but through earthquake damage, it fell in 1775. (Maybe related to a 5.2 earthquake on 19 July 1775 in Swansea). The tower was then rebuilt.

When the church was rebuilt in 1856 at a cost of £2,200. Lord Harrington of Elvaston loaned his gardens at Elvaston Castle for a two day garden party to raise funds for the building of the church. This was done on the condition that the tower should be sixty feet, twenty feet higher than the original one so that he could see it from Elvaston Castle to the east of the church.


There is a list of incumbents of the parish on the south wall with annotations transcribed below:

Alvaston Parish Church

St. Michael and All Angels

A church and a priest are recorded as being present in the Domesday Book. From early days it served as a chapel of ease to St. Michael’s in Derby. This prevailed till 1865 when Alvaston Parish was created in its own right and St. Michael and All Angels became the parish church. Since 1257 the authority to nominate the incumbent of the chapel of Alvaston was granted to the Abbot of Darley Abbey by Anker de Frecheville for payment of 15 marks. By agreement with John Arundel, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield the inhabitants have appointed their own minister. From 1499 to 1884 Alvaston was in general a combined benefice with Boulton St. Mary.

List of incumbents from the Parish register.

Thomas Hycchynson



James Tylleslye



Thomas Pegge



John Edmunds

1614 – 1639

1614 Commenced Parish Register

Thomas Pullfreman



T V Grongnet



Hugh Broome



Charles Williamott



William Lockett

1716 – 1722

Became Vicar St. Michael’s Derby 1722

Thomas Shipton

1722 – 1774

Died 1774

Joseph Smith

1774 – 1809

Died 1809

William Spencer

1809 – 1843

Died 1843

Edward Poole

1843 – 1884

Died 1884

Thomas Charles Hairs

1884 – 1919

Died 1919

William Webb

1919 – 1938


Herbert Criswell



David Vincent Jones

1943 – 1963


Harold Johnson

1963 – 1974


Peter Beck

1975 – 1989


Cyril Fredrick Meehan

1990 – 2000


Christopher J. C. Frith

2003 – 2009

Canon Emeritus – Derby Cathedral

Colin G Pearson

2010 – 2015

Priest in charge

John Whitney

2015 – present

Vicar of Alvaston

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Page last updated: 14th April 2020 9:39 AM