Winshill: Established church

Pages 204-205

A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 9, Burton-Upon-Trent. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2003.

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Established church

Although Winshill was in Derbyshire, it was part of Burton parish by the earlier 16th century, presumably because it was also a tithing in Burton manor. (fn. 9) In 1650 parliamentary commissioners advocated assigning the township to the adjoining Derbyshire parish of Newton Solney, but nothing was done. (fn. 10)

From 1847 services were held in the National school in Winshill village, licensed at the request of the incumbent of Holy Trinity, in Burton. There was an afternoon congregation of 90 adults on Census Sunday 1851, besides Sunday school children. (fn. 11)

A church dedicated to St. Mark, paid for by the brewer John Gretton of Bladon House (d. 1867), was opened in 1869. It served a district chapelry, established within Holy Trinity ecclesiastical parish in 1867 and covering the whole of Winshill. (fn. 12) Because it was still in Derbyshire, Winshill was transferred in 1884 from Lichfield diocese to the newly-created diocese of Southwell, where it remained until 1927 when taken into Derby diocese. (fn. 13)

John Gretton was named the patron, and the patronage has remained in his family. (fn. 14) Gretton also provided most of the endowment for the living, which was a vicarage and was initially worth £150 a year. It was worth £253 by 1900 and £300 by 1932. (fn. 15) Under the first vicar, George Frampton (1869-1910), services were low church. Vestments were used from 1947, when the sacrament was first reserved, but services have remained mainstream Anglican. (fn. 16)

A vicarage house was provided in Mill Hill Lane as part of the original endowment. (fn. 17) It was replaced by a new house in the mid 1960s. (fn. 18)

Winshill Institute in Mount Street, opened in 1888, was used as a parish room, although it was not parish property. (fn. 19) A church hall was built in brick opposite the church in Church Hill Street in 1916, and an additional hall built of corrugated asbestos was added to the north in 1962. Because of financial problems, the 1916 building was sold to the local scout troop, which continued to use it in 1999, leaving only the 1962 extension for church use. (fn. 20)

Church Building

St. Mark's church stands on the west side of the village, on a prominent site dominating the skyline. Aligned north-south rather than liturgically, (fn. 1) the church was designed in a Geometrical style by Edward Holmes of Birmingham and consists of a chancel with north organ chamber and vestry, a nave of four bays with a west porch, north and south aisles, an engaged southwest tower with spire, and a south-west porch. Built of brick faced externally with red Hollington stone and rendered internally with plaster and dressings of Bath stone, the nave arcades have chamfered orders of red Mansfield stone with stiff-leaf capitals and alabaster piers with shaft rings. The chancel arch also has stiffleaf capitals with two orders of stiff leaf and ball flower, and it rests on detached shafts of Devonshire marble. The arcaded reredos is of Caen stone and marble and has detailing similar to that of the chancel arch. (fn. 2) A peal of six bells was cast by J. Taylor of Loughborough. The vestry was rebuilt and extended northwards in 1890, to plans by the original architect. (fn. 3) In the later 1950s the nave ceiling, which was probably panelled in dark wood, was covered over with boards, painted white as were the nave walls, and in 1957 the east end of the south aisle was fitted out as a Lady chapel. (fn. 4)

A 2-a. burial ground around the church was consecrated in 1869. (fn. 5)


  • 1. The directions given here, however, are liturgical.
  • 2. Staffs. Advertiser, 18 Sept. 1869, p. 7; D.R.O., D. 2140 A/PI 11/1/1.
  • 3. D.R.O., D. 2140 A/PI 9/1/2.
  • 4. Ibid. D. 2140 A/PI 9/9/1; [Broome], Winshill and St. Mark's Ch. 13.
  • 5. Lich. Dioc. Regy., Bp.'s Reg. R, pp. 406-11.
  • 9. S.H.C. 4th ser. viii. 154.
  • 10. J. C. Cox, Notes on the Churches of Derb. iii (1877), 450.
  • 11. Derb. Returns to 1851 Religious Census, ed. M. Tranter (Derb. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 1995), 21.
  • 12. Lond. Gaz. 21 May 1867, pp. 2920-21; Staffs. Advertiser, 18 Sept. 1869, p. 7 (giving £20,000 as the cost of bdg. and endowing the church).
  • 13. Lond. Gaz. 5 Feb. 1884, p. 527; 1 July 1927, p. 4207.
  • 14. Ibid. 21 May 1867, pp. 2920-21; inf. from Derby Diocesan Registry.
  • 15. Lond. Gaz. 22 Nov. 1867, p. 6230; Kelly's Dir. Staffs. (1900; 1932).
  • 16. [D. C. Broome], Winshill and St. Mark's Church, 1869- 1969 (Burton, 1969), 9, 11-13.
  • 17. Lond. Gaz. 25 June 1869, p. 3629; Staffs. Advertiser, 18 Sept. 1869, p. 7.
  • 18. Inf. from Lich. Dioc. Regy.
  • 19. Above, social life.
  • 20. [Broome], Winshill and St. Mark's Ch. 11; inf. from the vicar.