Derbyshire War Memorials
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Memorial Title

Derbyshire Martyrs


Derbyshire War Memorials: a description of a war memorial plaque to Derbyshire Martyrs at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Derby.
Setting Memorial Plaque Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image.
Further images may be available on request.
Last known location:
St Mary's Roman
 Catholic Church
Bridge Gate
Nearest postcode:

SK 35119 36785
(From online digital mapping.)
(Map opens in new window.)
Location details:
Bridge Gate was a main road destroyed in the 1960s for the construction of St Alkmund's Way, part of the inner ring road. It survives as a footpath between the southern ends of Arthur St and Darley La and the church and associated buildings are the only premises fronting it. The church may also be reached from King St via the footbridge over the ring road. The plaque is mounted at the southern end of the east aisle.
Overall type: Plaque.

Overall condition: Fair. The inscription is legible and the memorial is cared for.


A brass plaque on an oaken backboard. The upright oblong plaque has an incised border comprising a rope or cord twined round a flory cross at the head and sprays of foliage at the foot. The incised inscription is in upright gothic lettering coloured black, partly in capitals and partly in sentence case. The maker's name is incised at the right foot. The plaque is inlaid into a plain oblong oaken backboard which also bears a narrow plaque at the foot with information on the provision of the memorial.


Component Material Height Width Depth Condition
Main plaque Brass 755 505 - Fair
Supplementary plaque Brass 25 565 - Fair
Backboard Oak 835 585 25 Fair
Dimensions in millimetres ±5mm unless stated otherwise.
Main plaque:
In honour of the Blissful Martyr,
(Born at Rodsley, near Longford, Derbyshire,)
who suffered for the Catholic Faith /
at Tyburn on December 1st., 1581.
Beatified on December 9th., 1886, by Pope Leo XIII.
Also, to the eternal memory of the
(Born at Dinting, Glossopdale,)
who suffered for the Catholic Faith
on the East side of St. Mary's Bridge, Derby,
on July 24th., 1588.
Their respective Causes were sanctioned by Pope Leo XIII.
on December 9th., 1886.
Supplementary plaque:
This Memorial was erected by the Catholics of Derbyshire, A.D. 1904.
Bottom right margin of main plaque:
John Hardman & Co. Birmm.

Conflicts and people named:
Conflict Religious intolerance.
(See explanation in
Comments below.)
Number died 4 4
Number served and returned 0 0
Total names 4 4
Custodian: Presumed to be the church managers.

Local authorities:
From 19th Century: Derby County Borough Council (Derby Corporation)
From 1974: Derby District (later Borough and from 1977 City) Council and Derbyshire County Council.
From 1997: The unitary authority has been Derby City Council.
1904: The plaque was made by John Hardman & Co of Birmingham, manufacturers of ecclesiastical fittings, and installed in the church.

20th June, 1952: The church was listed Grade II*, Heritage List for England number 1215808.

November 1991: The church lies within the Strutts Park Conservation Area first designated in that month.

7th June, 2017: The memorial was surveyed by Roy Branson. It was in fair condition and well cared for.
This unusual memorial does not conform with conventional definitions of a war memorial, but it is considered to be similar in philosophy to many that are accepted. The four martyrs were executed by the government of their own country for exercising beliefs which conflicted with the political objectives of the state. This is similar to the circumstances applying to soldiers executed during WW1 and to holocaust victims prior to WW2, both of which are the subject of recognised war memorials. It is also similar in that the victims were unarmed civilians, similar to such examples as Nurse Edith Cavell and Captain Charles Fryatt, although they, of course, were executed by an enemy government. Furthermore, if ignored, the details of this memorial would be denied a wider audience. For these reasons the memorial is included here amongst those of more conventional commemorations.

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Page © Roy Branson