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History of Padley Chapel

A brief history of Padley Martyrs' Chapel and Manor


Padley Chapel 1887The building is known by a variety of names – Padley Manor, Padley Hall, Manor Gatehouse, Padley Chapel - it has been known by all of these names throughout its history.  It is certain that the Manor of Padley was on this site before the Norman Conquest but we have no written evidence. However, the Manor and its lands were given to the de Bernac family, followers of William the Conqueror for services rendered.  It was normal for these families to change their names to the place they had been given and so the family name became Padley.  There is evidence that they built, probably onto an existing hall house and improved the manor in the fashion of the time.  The ruins to the west of the site are evidence of this.

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The Padley Martyrs


Nicholas Garlick and Robert Ludlam were arrested at Padley Manor House, the home of John Fitzherbert, on 12th July 1588. They were taken to Derby Gaol where they were charged together as having come into England as Catholic Priests. We are told that Garlick spoke for Ludlam as well as for himself "being very bold, his answers did serve them both." They were convicted of treason on 23rd July 1588. We are told that the night before their execution they shared a cell with a fellow priest, Richard Simpson, and a woman convicted of murder. In the course of the night they were able to reconcile the woman to God, and on the scaffold the next day she openly professed her faith. They were executed on St Mary's Bridge at Derby on 24th July 1588.

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Scheduled Ancient Monument


Padley Manor is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) and is protected by the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (as amended) and English Heritage. The full SAM listing can be read below:

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