Padley chapel is the remains of Padley Manor, originally the private chapel of Padley Hall, it is thought to have been built originally in the 14th and 15th centuries and came to Sir Thomas Fitzherbert on his marriage to Anne Eyre in the mid 16th century.
The Padley Martyrs were found here – two Roman Catholics priests put to death for their faith in 1588.
In the sixteenth century Padley Hall was owned by the Fitzherberts, staunch Roman Catholics – a dangerous faith to practise in Elizabethan England. The Hall was regularly raided for evidence of Catholic worship until, in July 1588, two priests were found hiding within the walls. Nicholas Garlick and Robert Ludlam were found guilty of high treason and, together with Richard Sympson who shared their faith, were hung, drawn and quartered at Derby before the month was out, their butchered remains stuck onto poles on St. Mary’s Bridge. They became known as the ‘Padley Martyrs’.
Sir Thomas spent the rest of his life in the Tower of London and died there in 1591. Padley Manor was confiscated by the Crown.
Although Padley Hall eventually fell into ruin its domestic chapel, originally the upper floor of the gatehouse, remained standing to serve for many years as a farm building. Then in 1933 it was restored as a Roman Catholic chapel.
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