Derby - The Chapel On The Bridge - Outside
w/e 27 October 2002

Chapel of St Mary

Just visible on the extreme left of this picture is the concrete structure that now carries the majority of traffic across the River Derwent in Derby. Far more pleasing to the eye though is St Mary's Bridge built in the 1790s to the right. Sandwiched between the two is the "Chapel of St Mary on the Bridge".

A bridge chapel has stood on this site since the fourteenth century. This present building, served by the clergy of Derby Cathedral, was restored in 1930 and, in parts, the brick and stonework now resembles a patchwork quilt. Holes in the masonry on this north wall were probably for wooden beams.

On the south side of the building is a small enclosed garden. The adjacent house on the left was built in the 17th century and displays the Dutch influence that became apparent during the reign of William III.
Sloping Base

It is thought that the sloping structure at the base of the east wall was probably intended to allow the passage of flood water and preventing damage to the building.

From this lower level by the wall of St Mary's Bridge, the arch on which the chapel is supported, and serving the same purpose as the sloping base, is clearly visible.

The south wall has a number of windows of mediaeval appearance but these were put in during the 1930 restoration. Derby's bridge chapel is one of only six that survive in this country.

Continued on Page 2

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