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].
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 0114 256 6420.
Visiting Padley Chapel
The Chapel is now closed to visitors until late March 2019.
Private Group visits
Private Group visits are welcome at any time other than the normal opening days/times, 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 email@example.com 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 and Masses at Padley Chapel
The 2018 Annual Inter-Diocesan Padley Pilgrimage took place on Sunday 15th July at 3.00 pm and this year the speaker was the Bishop of Nottingham. (Follow this link to the Hallam News article with Deacon Bill Burleigh's homily. Please click on this link to take you to the Hallam News report of the 2016 pilgrimage).
The 2018 Annual Hallam Diocesan Primary Schools Pilgrimage took place on Thursday 12th July with Mass starting at 11.30 am. For any queries about this event please email Rev Peter McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Celebration of the Feast Day of the Padley Martyrs took place on Tuesday 24th July with Mass at the Chapel.
2019 dates will be posted as soon as they are confirmed. The annual Padley Pilgrimage is usually on the third Sunday in July.