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History of Wormshill

Wormshill [pronounced 'wurmz-hill'] comes from the Old English ‘Wōden’ meaning a ‘heathen Germanic god’ with ‘sell’ as a ‘shed, shelter for animals’ or ‘hyll’ for a ‘hill, natural eminence or elevated piece of ground’; therefore probably a ‘shelter for a herd of pigs’ or possibly ‘hill of the god Woden’. The Domesday Book chronicles Wormshill as Godeselle.


Wormshill parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to St Giles. The Saxons first built the church in the early part of the 11th century. In the 13th century, the Normans extended it by lengthening the chancel, adding a north chapel and building the north aisle. Richard Phelps cast and hung a bell in 1718 and another in the following year. In 1879-80, the architect Joseph Clarke heavily restored the Wormshill church, with new lancets on the north side, a new 2-light window at the west end of the north aisle, three new external buttresses and the rebuilding of the west side of the chancel arch. In 1963, Mears and Stainbank recast three bells originally cast by C & G Mears for St Gregory’s, Canterbury, which Whitechapel hung in 1988, together with the 1718 bell in a new frame for six. In 1995, Whitechapel completed the peal of six with two bells cast by Samuel Smith in 1731 for West Bretton, Yorkshire. The right reverend David Say dedicated the bells on 8 October 1995…. more