About this church
Hathersage church stands close to the remains of an ancient Danish settlement. The church was begun in 1381 but there had been churches on this site since at least 200 years before that. Most of the present structure dates from the 15th century, when the church was extended by the local squires, the Eyre family of Padley.
In the sanctuary of the church are several notable brasses on the tombs of members of the Eyre family. The best known is the altar tomb of Robert Eyre (died 1459), who fought at Agincourt and built much of the present church, with brasses of him and his wife Joan and of their 14 children.
The main attraction of Hathersage church is undoubtedly the grave of Little John which lies under a yew tree to the south of the church. Tradition has it that Little John was a Hathersage man and that he died in a small cottage near the church, pulled down in the 19th century.
What is certain is that a very tall man is buried here, for the grave was opened in 1782 and the skeleton of a man about 7 feet tall was discovered. For many years an ancient longbow and cap hung in the church, but these were removed in the early 19th century.