Holy Trinity


The earliest known record for Kimberley is from Domesday Book of 1086 where it appears as Chinemarelie. The name is thought to mean ‘Cynemaer’s clearing or wood’. It mentions a chapel that belonged to the mother church of Greasley.

Kimberley chapel, c.1790

The first record of a church here is in 1298 and a late 18th century sketch by John Throsby of ‘Kimberley Chapel' is probably of that building. The chapel stood opposite Manor Farm on Granger’s Hill, approximately half a mile from site of the present church. It fell into disrepair during the Middle Ages, and by the beginning of the 19th century had not been used for many years, and over time much of the materials used in its construction had been recycled.

Worship continued some two miles away at St Mary’s Church, Greasley, but by the 1840s, due to the Industrial Revolution, the population of Kimberley had expanded and was in need of its own church.  

Ordnance Survey map
of Kimberley (1881)
© Crown Copyright and
Database Right 2016.
Ordnance Survey
(Digimap Licence)

At this time the Church Commissioners were in favour of building new churches to meet the needs of the population. It was decided to build the new church, as a chapel of ease to Greasley, on land at Kettle Bank, now known as Church Hill, Kimberley. It was completed in 1847 and consecrated on 18 May as Holy Trinity.

The cost of its construction was reported to be £2,300, of which £400 was contributed by The Incorporated Society for Promoting the Enlargement, Building and Repair of Churches and Chapels (a private and independent national church building society, often referred to as the Church Building Society). The construction company of Robert Barber (Eastwood) designed and executed the building, which was overseen by the Derby architect Henry Isaac Stevens.

On 11 October, 1848 Kimberley was constituted a chapelry district, and in January 1851 it became a rectory on the annexation of the tithe rent charges. It was provided, however, that the ecclesiastical fees of the new parish should be retained by the vicar of the mother church to the end of his incumbency.

Under this arrangement the incumbent of Kimberley was a perpetual curate until the demise of the vicar of Greasley, the Rev. John Hides, in 1866. The fees then became payable to the incumbent of Kimberley, who became vicar. Subsequently an Act was passed which gave the title of rector to any incumbent who should recover or secure some tithes for his benefice.

In 1851 William Clementson returned general congregations of 63 in the morning and 193 in the evening, with 49 and 78 Sunday Scholars respectively in the morning and afternoon. He estimated the general congregation average for the past twelve months as 85 in the morning and ‘about’ 400 in the evening, with 66 and 83 Sunday scholars in the morning and afternoon. The Sunday School was held in the church because there were no parochial schools. According to Clementson ‘there would be a much larger attendance of children had we suitable accommodation’.

In 1851 Kimberley also contained a group of Wesleyan reformers meeting in a Wesleyan chapel (1822), a Methodist New Connexion chapel (built 1830), a Primitive Methodist chapel (1850), and a general Baptist chapel (1844).

When Bishop Hoskyns visited Kimberley on 2 March 1911, 173 children were enrolled on the church school, 212 in the Sunday School, and 57 baptisms had taken place over the previous 12 months. There was also a Mission Hall (dating from pre 1885) which had 101 children on the Sunday School roll, and seven baptisms had taken place over the previous twelve months.

There was a major restoration in 1937 involving changes to fixtures and fittings and the addition of a choir vestry.