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Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

River Wharfe and Weir, Otley, West Yorkshire


in the county of West Yorkshire

Wakefield Cathedral, West Yorkshire. Viewed from Westgate


in the county of West Yorkshire

England Articles

Pictures of Repton

in the county of Derbyshire
Repton, Derbyshire

About Repton

Repton is one of England's most ancient towns, it was once the capital of the Saxon Kingdom of Mercia and the church there is the burial ground of Saxon Kings.

This is a scenic small town with some lovely architecture, it lies on the south bank of the River Trent, and is surrounded by hills, the town of Derby lies around eight miles to the south. The church of St.Wynstan dates from AD 750, and is the village's most famous feature. It has a sturdy clock-face tower topped by a graceful soaring spire. Inside the church is a unique crypt - one of the most important pieces of Saxon architecture to survive in England.

For centuries the crypt was a place of pilgrimage; it contains the tombs of King Ethelbald of Mercia, King Wiglaf and his grandson St.Wynstan for whom the church is named. It is believed that a monastery stood on the spot where the church was built. The monastery was sacked by the Danes and never rebuilt. The crypt is a remarkable legacy from that time which may be as far back as AD653 when Christianity first reached Mercia. Apart from the crypt, St. Wynstans church contains many treasures from its historic past and is well worth seeing.

In around 1150 a priory was established, but it fell into ruin after the Dissolution of the monasteries. Out of these ashes Repton School was founded in 1557. The magnificent priory gateway is preserved, as well as the original priory guest hall, which today is used as the school library. Prior Overton's Tower is one of the earliest brick buildings in the town, it dates from 1438. The imposing market cross is thought to have been built on the spot were Christianity was first preached in Repton. There is also a legend telling that in 1848 a man brought his wife to the cross and sold her for a shilling!

With so much to admire and enthuse over, Repton is a lovely place to stroll around. For nature lovers there are good walks in Bretby Woods, and a two mile drive will take you to Bretby Hall, once the home of the Earls of Chesterfield, and place where Benjamin Disraeli was frequently entertained when he was Queen Victoria's Prime Minister. The Hall was used as a hospital for a period of time and is now luxury apartments. The Gothic revival style facade of the house remains worth seeing.

Repton is close to both the River Dove and the Trent & Mersey Canal.

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