Walking the Hathersage Pilgrim Ways

The Blesseds’ Padley Chapel Windows

Three of Padley Chapel’s stained glass windows, depict the Bl Nicholas Garlick, Bl Robert Ludlam and Bl Richard Simpson, who as Missionary Priests, in Elizabethan England post 1585, knew they faced the death sentence if captured.

Mgr Canon Hargreaves (1946), described Bl Nicholas Garlick and  Bl Robert Ludlam, ‘kneeling before the crucified Christ, and being presented to Him by Our Blessed Lady, as two privileged souls who are about to share in the suffering of their Lord’. Bl Richard Simpson is shown holding an executioner’s knife and a palm frond, the latter, the badge of a martyr, representing the victory of ‘spirit over flesh’. His window stands above the grave of Mgr Charles Payne, who was the force behind the restoration of Padley Chapel in the 1930s.

The history of the Blesseds provides us with gifts of a ‘faint insight’, into each of the Blessed’s  characters which could possibly help us on our personal pilgrimages of self-reflection, during this  Lenten season.

Nicholas Garlick – Leader (forthright – spokesman – committed)               
Robert Ludlam –  Quiet   (but could speak powerfully*- committed)
Richard Simpson – Self doubt (a ‘doubting Thomas’ – committed)  


*’Venite benedicti Dei’ (Come, you Blessed of God), Blessed Robert Ludlam’s prayer, as the last of the Blesseds to mount the scaffold on St Mary’s Bridge, Derby, 24 July 1588. This prayer is proudly declared on the Chapel’s altar balcony at Padley.

As ‘Pilgrims of Hope’, may we pray to the Blesseds, for their intercession with our petitions, in this 2024 Year of Prayer’s Lenten season, in preparation for the Year of Jubilee 2025.

Through these short articles, we have the opportunity to explore what we know about the Blesseds, the Fitzherbert family as ‘Confessors of the faith’, the history of Padley Chapel and other aspects of Hathersage’s Pilgrim Ways, in the High Peak of Derbyshire.

More articles will follow throughout 2024. If you would like to get involved or join the Friends of Padley Chapel then contact [email protected] Gerard Bonner Friends of Padley Chapel