All Saints


The village of Huthwaite, formerly Hucknall-under-Huthwaite, lies on the Derbyshire border, a mile and a half north-west of Sutton-in-Ashfield.

The church of All Saints was completed in 1903. It was conceived of as a chapel-of-ease for the parish of Sutton-in-Ashfield. It is built in the Early English style and consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, and the base of an unfinished north-west tower. The arches and windows are of a simple pointed design apart from the north windows which are square-headed and have Arts and Crafts style overtones. The building can accommodate 500 worshippers.

In 1901 a bazaar opened by the Duchess of Portland was held in the Town Hall at Sutton. It raised £500 for the building of the church. Plans were prepared by G. Ford Whitcombe, architect, of London. In May 1902 the contract was let to A. B. Clarke of Nottingham.

The rock from which the church is built was donated by the New Hucknall Colliery Company Ltd. who also gave a donation of £275. Huthwaite is thought to be the only church in the country to be built from rock taken from a depth of 400 yards below the surface.

The foundation stone of the church was laid on 22 November 1902 by the Duchess of Portland. Her husband, the Duke of Portland, donated £500 to the cause. Other donations were made by Sir Charles Seely, Lady Carnarvon, and the Bishop of Southwell to the value of £100 apiece. The day itself was enjoyed as a public holiday for local residents. As the Duke and Duchess moved to the church, the way was adorned with ‘triumphal arches and other decoration’. The couple drove from their seat at Welbeck in a motorcar to Sutton market place where they were met by two brass bands that escorted them over to the church site.

The first stone leading into the tower was laid by pit manager Mr Simeon Watson. Watson also donated £190 to the church and provided a pulpit, lectern, and choir stalls. The Reverend H. Warrington supplied a processional cross and a decorative plaque in memory of local miners.

The church was formally dedicated in December 1903 by the Bishop of Southwell. The living was endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at £200 per annum and placed in the gift of the vicar of Sutton.

The cost of the building and furnishings was rated at over £4,500. The building itself cost £3,097 mainly due to its deep and solid foundations.

Consecration was officiated by Dr Were, Bishop of Derby, on 4 November 1905. Were also inducted F. N. Beswick as vicar of Huthwaite when the separation from Sutton took place later that year as Huthwaite was made a separate ecclesiastical parish.

At Easter 1909 the children of the Sunday School raised funds for a brass urn to be given to the church.

In 1911, 44 trees were planted around the church site by members of the Church of England Men’s Society (CEMS). This was a group formed in 1899 as an educational and social organisation for a range of local communities.

In 1912 All Saint’s was listed as being in need of a curate. The net annual value of the benefice was rated at £240 with a total capacity to accommodate 700 worshippers. There had been 121 baptisms and 25 confirmations in the year ending 30 September 1912.

1913 saw the installation of new oak doors dedicated on Easter Day to the memory of Mr William Simpson (1853-1912) who had been churchwarden for 20 years.

In 1919 vicar W. E. A. Middleton held a bazaar at nearby Blackwell Road School to raise funds for the church debt.

In 1920 the vicarage site was extended through the purchase of one acre of glebe. The living was increased to £250. The Duke of Portland continued to pay an annual gift of £40 to the church. £25 was also given yearly by the New Hucknall Colliery Company Ltd.

In 1924, the Reverend Middleton resigned the living and moved to Tasmania. The Reverend R. H. S. Curney guided worship until the new vicar, the Reverend William Boulton, arrived in March 1925.

Owing to the fact that there was no vicarage at Huthwaite, a fund was opened to raise money for its building and a bazaar held in 1927. A total of £548 12s 4d was collected. This was noted by the diocesan magazine to be an especially impressive achievement considering ‘these times of colliery depression’. Plans were submitted by Warner and Dean, architects of Sutton. The contract was let to R. Moore and Son of Mansfield in 1929.

1929 also saw the introduction of electricity into the village. The lighting of the church was suitably updated from the old gas system. An electric motor was also installed in the organ to replace the previous water-driven engine.

The vicarage was completed in 1930. Its first occupant was the Reverend W. Boulton who moved in at Whitsuntide that year. The building was erected on a raft of reinforced concrete. The total cost was £2,245.

The tradition of holding annual bazaars to raise funds continued over the following years and in 1933 the church was cleared of all debt.

In 1934 the parish was reunited with Sutton-in-Ashfield. It also merged with nearby Teversal and Skegby.

A renovated electric organ was installed in 1977 and four wooden screens were provided the following year.

In 1983, a bronze plaque was erected in memory of the miners of New Hucknall Colliery who cut and transported the stone from which the church was built.

The church hall was destroyed by fire in 2002. A replacement opened in April 2006 at a cost of £1.2m. The new ‘All Saint’s Centre’ as it stands today functions as a ‘futuristic, multi-purpose building created to fulfil the community needs of the people of Huthwaite’.