In 869AD, Edmund, King of East Anglia, met his death at the hands of the Danes. Legend has it that on refusing to renounce his Christian faith he was tied to a tree and put to death by a volley of arrows. He was said to have so many arrows in him that he "bristled like a hedgehog". His severed head was thrown into the woods and found being guarded by a wolf.
On reuniting the head with its body the two are said to have miraculously joined together leaving only a faint red mark. Around 900AD, Edmund's body was brought to Bedericesworth (Bury St Edmunds) and subsequently housed in a shrine in what developed into a great Benedictine Abbey.
St Edmund's feast day is 20th November, and until replaced by St George in 1350, he was the patron saint of England.
|The Edmund Prayer
with the life and martyrdom of St. Edmund, King of East Anglia,
you inspired generations of pilgrims in the way of love and hope.
Enfold your church in the mystery of your life,
that we, in our own pilgrimage may be apostles of your wounded and risen glory,
who with the Father and the Spirit, are present eternally. Amen
The Church Building
Adelardstreu (now Allestree) is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It is thought that the name probably derives from a tree belonging to a Saxon headman, Adelard. It is possible that the 1000 year old yew tree still standing in the churchyard is the same tree referred to as Adelard's tree.
A church dedicated to St Edmund has stood in the centre of Allestree village since Saxon times. Our logo is formed by his Royal crown and the arrows which slew him above Adelard's Tree.
The south doorway and the lower part of the Church tower date back to the 11th century. The tower itself was added by 1200AD and is the oldest church tower in Derby. Deep grooves on stones near the base show where men of the village sharpened their arrows when archery practice was a compulsory village activity. Victorian alterations and reordering have given us the very attractive small church we have today.