Our Parish

The ancient Ecclesiastical Parish of Longstone includes five villages and hamlets:  Great Longstone, Little Longstone, Rowland, Hassop, and Wardlow. Under the 1894 Local Government Act the five villages and hamlets were all made Civil Parishes, but they are still part of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Longstone.

The medieval Parish Church of St Giles is situated in the village of Great Longstone.  It is listed Grade 1 because of its fine medieval roof and the quality of its restoration in 1873 by the architect, Richard Norman Shaw.  Use the "Useful links" drop down menu for the English Heritage full listing descriptions. In the parish, there is also a 19th century Chapel of Ease in Wardlow, which is listed Grade 2.




St Giles Parish Church

For enquiries about baptisms (Christenings), marriages and funerals in the Parish of Longstone please contact the Vicar: Rev'd James Croft, The Vicarage, Church Lane, Great Longstone, DE45 1TB or telephone: 01629 640257


The church is open for visitors every day from around 9am till dusk. There are church guide books on sale at £2 each. These are now kept at the Derbyshire County Council Records Office in Matlock. Their records state the following about St Giles:


GREAT LONGSTONE, St Giles (D2373) includes townships of Little Longstone, Wardlow, Rowland (from mid 19th century) and Hassop (from c1910).
Originally parochial chapelry in parish of Bakewell.
Became separate parish 1852. No entries for baptisms, burials 1743-1764, marriages 1740-1754


They have original records and microfilms which cover slightly different dates. The records include:
Original Registers in the DRO
Baptisms 1637-1742 1765-1955
Marriages 1637-1739 1755-1812 1817-1968
Banns of Marriage 1868-1926
Burials 1637-1742 1765-1880
Microfilms in the DRO
Baptisms 1637-1742 1765-1955
Marriages 1637-1739 1755-1812 1817-1943
Banns of Marriage 1868-1880
Burials 1637-1742 1765-1856



Below are the dates for the services for Wardlow and St Giles’ up to end of April.


7th February         St Giles’              Morning Worship at 11am

                             Wardlow              Parish Eucharist at 9am


14th February        St Giles’             Parish Eucharist at 11am


21st February        St Giles’              Parish Eucharist at 11am

                             Wardlow               Morning Worship at 9am


28th February        St Giles’              Parish Eucharist at 11am


7th March              St Giles’             Morning Worship at 11am

                             Wardlow              Parish Eucharist at 9am


14th March            St Giles’              Parish Eucharist at 11am

Mothering Sunday


21st March            St Giles’              Morning Worship at 11am

                             Wardlow              Morning Worship at 9am


28th March            St Giles’              Parish Eucharist at 11am

Palm Sunday


4th April                St Giles’              Morning Worship at 11am

Easter Day           Wardlow              Easter Eucharist


11th April              St Giles’              Parish Eucharist at 11am


18th April              St Giles’              Parish Eucharist at 11am

                             Wardlow             Morning Worship at 9am


25th April              St Giles’             Parish Eucharist at 11am

Great Longstone Methodist Church

Sadly, the Great Longstone Methodist Chapel in Station Road closed at the end of April 2020.


The main building was erected on land donated by Mrs Maria Furniss in 1843: a large stone that was originally on the outside of the church states that it was a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.  In 1937, the extension to the edge of Station Road was done by Mettam’s of Bakewell: electricity was installed to the entire building at the same time.  The grand total for all this work was just over £230: it was noted that this debt was cleared within the year.


The halcyon days of the chapel were in the 1950s and 1960s when a congregation of often over 20 people attended evening worship.  Mr & Mrs Mosley (Hubert and Molly) frequently provided meals for visiting preachers.  There was also a striving Sunday School, led by Miss Greta Jardine – she was, I believe, the last headmistress of Bakewell Girl’s School. 


Congregation numbers started to fall throughout the 1970s, and in 1993 (the 150th anniversary of the Chapel) the old pews were removed and replaced by 40 chairs enabling more diverse use of the building.  In addition the main part of the chapel had fitted carpet put in place.


In 2004 a Local Ecumenical Partnership was entered into with St Giles’ Parish Church and United Services have taken place at different times over the years.  More recently, the congregation has diminished and we now have a membership number that is too small to continue.  Reverent Adrian Perry has been most supportive in helping us come to the difficult decisions we have had to make.  It was hoped that our final service of thanksgiving would have taken place on Sunday 26th April 2020 at 6.30pm, when it would have been wonderful to have had a good attendance – but sadly this was not to be, due to the coronavirus directives.


Most of the “regulars” now worship at St Giles’, and I would personally like to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the way we have been welcomed there by everyone. 


At this stage, there are no plans as to how the Chapel will be used in future.


Peter Shimwell

Obituary for Professor Tarn


Emeritus Professor John Nelson Tarn, OBE, DL Better known to us as Professor Tarn, he was born on 23rd November 1934 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and died on the 8th November 2020 in Thornhill House, and was our organist and choir master. He obtained degrees from Durham University and Cambridge University and an honorary degree from Liverpool University and held positions with Sheffield University and, at Liverpool University as Roscoe Professor of Architecture and as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and as Acting-Vice-Chancellor. He was highly respected for his work in the architectural field, serving on many committees and panels of the Royal Institute of British Architects and in 1992 was awarded an OBE for services to architecture. Amongst many other awards Professor Tarn received a Papal Award from Pope Francis for outstanding contributions to church architecture and Catholic heritage in the Archdiocese of Liverpool.


He also had a great fondness for the Peak District having a home in Stanton in Peak and was for 20 years chair of the Peak District National Park’s planning committee and he also served as Vice-President of the Friends of the Peak District In 1977, whilst Revd. Lewis was the vicar at St Giles’, a musical crisis hit the choir when the organist unexpectedly and suddenly left. The Vicar’s wife Alice Lewis set about resolving the problem and got Sunday The Queen Monday The dying and those caring for them Tuesday Paramedics Wednesday The NHS Thursday Schools Friday Those who live and work in our villages Saturday The Police 5 together a group of local people who could play the piano and/or who might consider learning to play the organ. This group comprised Molly Thornhill, Janet Cumming, Robert Wright and a friend of the Wright family, a man named John Tarn. This group agreed ‘to have a go’ and provide music for the two Sunday services in St Giles’ on a rota basis. The system worked, and that John Tarn, non-resident but with a weekend cottage in the Peak District emerged as the organist & choirmaster.


The choir grew and went from strength to strength due to the commitment of the new organist to the choir and the church. Choir practices were on Thursday evenings and frequently Prof Tarn drove from the Wirral where he lived or Liverpool where he worked to take the practice in Longstone and then he drove home to return, at the weekend, to his cottage to play for the Sunday services and return to the Wirral after Evensong ended. [I have done a calculation - 160 miles round trip x 2 trips a week x say 40 weeks per year for say 40 years = 512,000 miles driven by Professor Tarn in his service to our church. Dedication! ] In addition to regular weekly services, special services became the norm throughout the year, at Advent Sunday, Palm Sunday et al, with the candle-lit Service of 9 Lessons and Carols becoming legendary. Each one requiring many hours of Professor Tarn’s time to compile and rehearse. On the social side the choir and their choir-master enjoyed parties and picnics, carol singing in the dining rooms of the Hassop Hall hotel and in the village. Many young people wore their medals gained from the Royal School of Church Music and all this because of the care, training and encouragement given to them by Professor Tarn and Janet Cumming. And a final gift to the people of Great Longstone which will last for many years to come is the wonderful guide book to Saint Giles’ Church written by Professor Tarn for the benefit of local people and visitors to the church. John Tarn, a truly wonderfully dedicated man, a devout Christian, who together with his massive contribution to the life of the church in Great Longstone will be sorely missed, and a man to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude.