Padley Martyrs Chapel
Welcome to Padley Chapel
A Turbulent History
The story of Padley is written in its stones. An altar stone hidden for three and a half centuries, the hearth stones, steps and foundations of a fine medieval manor – these are the building blocks of Padley's tale. Together they rise into a tragic story of persecution, betrayal, martyrdom and the fall of a wealthy recusant family and of Padley's rebirth as a centre of worship and pilgrimage.
A brief history of Padley Martyrs' Chapel and Manor
The building is known by a variety of names – Padley Manor, Padley Hall, Manor Gatehouse, Padley Chapel - it has been known by all of these names throughout its history. It is certain that the Manor of Padley was on this site before the Norman Conquest but we have no written evidence. However, the Manor and its lands were given to the de Bernac family, followers of William the Conqueror for services rendered. It was normal for these families to change their names to the place they had been given and so the family name became Padley. There is evidence that they built, probably onto an existing hall house and improved the manor in the fashion of the time. The ruins to the west of the site are evidence of this.
The Padley Martyrs
Nicholas Garlick and Robert Ludlam were arrested at Padley Manor House, the home of John Fitzherbert, on 12th July 1588. They were taken to Derby Gaol where they were charged together as having come into England as Catholic Priests. We are told that Garlick spoke for Ludlam as well as for himself "being very bold, his answers did serve them both." They were convicted of treason on 23rd July 1588. We are told that the night before their execution they shared a cell with a fellow priest, Richard Simpson, and a woman convicted of murder. In the course of the night they were able to reconcile the woman to God, and on the scaffold the next day she openly professed her faith. They were executed on St Mary's Bridge at Derby on 24th July 1588.
There is a tradition that the two priests, Nicholas Garlick and Robert Ludlam, passed through the village of Eyam on their way to Derby. The following note occurs in the History of Antiquities of Eyam by William Wood:
The Catholic priests, Robert Ludlam of Whirlow and Nicholas Garlick of Glossop, taken prisoners at Padley Hall in the reign of Elizabeth, were, it is said, much reviled on passing through Eyam to Derby, when one or both made some remark which bigotry has construed into a prediction of the Plague.
The title Venerable was bestowed on the two martyrs when the process of their beatification commenced (exact date unknown) and they were beatified and the title Blessed conferred upon them on 22nd November 1987. It may be many years before they are declared to "have already entered into heavenly glory" and ordained as 'Saints'.
Thanks to Barbara M Smith of Bamford on whose booklet 'The Padley Martyrs' this article has been based.
ArcHeritage Report on Padley
In mid 2010, The Diocese of Hallam appointed archaeological consultants ArcHeritage, part of the York Archaeological Trust, to carry out site surveying, recording and a condition assessment at Padley Hall and Martyrs’ Chapel. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and the Chapel itself is a Grade 1 listed building. Padley Hall was excavated in the 1930’s and its partially consolidated remains have been suffering from accelerating decay and damage caused by a number of factors. The on-site work and subsequent analysis has been supplemented by archival research and interpretation.
ArcHeritage submitted their report - a Conservation Management Plan - in March 2011 for consideration by the Diocesan Trustees.
Part One of their report - Background Information, Surveys and Assessment of Significance - is available to read here. The figures referenced in the text are available to read here. [The documents are 'read-only' PDF files]. The photographic plates can be viewed in the Gallery. [NB Plate 4 in the report is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced on this website].
Part Two of the report containing assessments of the damage to the site, appraisal of the repair options, recommendations for the future management of the site has yet to be considered and discussed by the Diocese of Hallam Trustees and therefore it is inappropriate to publish this part at this stage. Part Three of the report sets out the recommended schdeule of repair and conservation works - again it is not appropriate to publish this part of the report.
The intellectual property rights of the entire content of the report are retained by ArcHeritage and the report is copyright to the Diocese of Hallam and ArcHeritage 2011. ArcHeritage are the acknowledge authors of the material contained in the report. All rights reserved - no content of the report can be copied, printed or reproduced in any format (including electronic or web-based) without the written permission of the Diocese of Hallam and ArcHeritage. If you wish to copy, print or reproduce any on the content please contact the Diocesan Property Department on email@example.com or 0114 256 6420.
Visiting Padley Chapel
The Chapel is open to visitors in 2017 on the days and times below.
The Chapel is open for the season from Sunday 26th March 2017 and will be open for visitors every Sunday and Wednesday 2 - 4 pm until Sunday 17th September 2017.
The Chapel is also open on Sunday 10th September as part of the Heritage Open Day organised through the National Trust as part of the UK's commitment to the European Cultural Convention.
Private Group visits
Private Group visits are welcome at any time other than the above, including outside of the season.
Bookings can be made at any reasonable time but a popular visit is in the early evening which is then followed by a meal at one of our many excellent local pubs. This is also an excellent place for school visits and I would be happy to discuss this with teachers.
We also have private groups who wish to celebrate a special event such as an anniversary or birthday or family occasion. Also ideal for Parish outings.
Mass can be celebrated by appointment.
So far this year we have had booked visits from 14 schools, mainly from the Diocese of Nottingham, who come to Padley Chapel to learn about the history of the families who have lived there and the difficulties of life during the penal times.
Call the Hon. Custodian Mrs Celia White on 01433 630352 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Travelling to Padley Chapel
The Chapel is situated in Grindleford and the post code for use with sat nav is S32 2JA.
By road from Sheffield: Take A625 towards Hathersage. Approx 7 miles from central Sheffield and just after The Fox House Hotel turn left to Grindleford on the B6521 . Follow this road to Grindleford turning sharp right to the station (if you go past the Maynard Hotel on the left, you have gone too far). Park your car at the station and then walk 400 yds along the unmade road to the Chapel. It is possible to take a car to the Chapel but parking is very limited.
By train: Northern Rail from Sheffield (15 minutes) and from Manchester (59 minutes) directly to Grindleford Station.
By bus: From Sheffield Interchange: 65 (towards Buxton) and 214/215 (towards Matlock). Both buses are run by TM Travel. Check on www.traveline.info for up to date service information.
Please check with www.traveline.info for up to date train and bus times.
Pilgrimages to Padley Chapel
Annual Catenian Mass at the chapel is on Wednesday 28th June at at 7.00 pm.
The 2017 Annual Inter-Diocesan Padley Pilgrimage takes place on Sunday 9th July at 3.00 pm.
The Annual Hallam Diocesan Primary Schools Pilgrimage is usually on the Wednesday prior to the Annual Padley Pilgrimage in July, with Mass starting at 10.30 am. For any queries about this event please email Rev Peter McGuire at email@example.com.
More than 1,000 pilgrims visited the Padley Martyrs' shrine in Grindleford, Derbyshire, on 11 July 2010 for the annual outdoor Mass. Situated in the beautiful countryside of Derbyshire, this annual pilgrimage of the Dioceses of Hallam and Nottingham is seen as an opportunity to acknowledge the sincerity of faith of people who lived in darker and more difficult times, and who went to their death for their faith.
Fantastic weather proved a draw, with visitors picnicking in the ruins of the old manor house. But the big attraction was a visit by the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols.
It was the first time Archbishop Nichols had been to Padley, which he described as "a lovely place, so full of resonance for the Catholic life of this area."
Custodian of the shrine, Celia White, said, "We were delighted to welcome the Archbishop and I know the chance of seeing him boosted our attendance figures this year. But I hope that now these people have experienced Padley's unique atmosphere they will come again next year."
Also at Padley were the Catholic Bishops of Hallam and Nottingham, John Rawsthorne and Malcolm McMahon.
Archbishop Nichols's homily can be downloaded here.
A pilgrimage takes place each year on the Sunday closest to 12 July - the day when travelling priests Nicholas Garlick and Robert Ludlam were captured at Padley in 1588. They were convicted of treason on 23 July 1588 and were executed the following day on St Mary's Bridge at Derby.