Peak Forest Parish church - Mike Cummins 2010

Parish Church of King Charles the Martyr in the Peak Forest

...not your regular dedication

The highly unusual dedication of the Parish Church of King Charles the Martyr gives a clue to its extra-parochial powers.

The original church was built in 1657 by the wife of the 2nd Earl of Devonshire during the time of the Commonwealth’s ban on church building – and thus fell outside the law. 

The present, quite imposing, Victorian church was built on the site of the old chapel in 1878. The Venetian-style window and porch of the old church were reused in the village Reading Room.

The church minister was able to perform marriages without the need for reading the banns, and the Peak Forest village was known as the Gretna Green of Derbyshire - until an Act of Parliament was passed in 1804.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015