At the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086 Geoffrey Alselin held the manors of Alvaston, then called Aelwoldestun as well as Elvaston, then called Alewoldestune. The Church of St. Michael, Derby included a chapel in Alvaston, which passed into the hands of William Fitzralph who then gifted the church to Darley Abbey. The Frechevilles laid claim to the advowson, and in 1257 an agreement was entered into, between Walter de Walton, Abbot of Darley, and Anker de Frecheville, by which the latter consented to recognise the church of Alvaston. From 1279 the Parishioners of Alvaston and the Abbey at Darley jointly maintained the Church in Alvaston.
In 1440 the monks of Darley petitioned William Heyworth, then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, to unite the Chapelry of Alvaston with St Michael’s Derby because of the small size of the parish and lack of finances. However the Parishioners objected and in 1497 the Bishop of the Diocese, John Arundel, decided that the Chapel should have its own Chaplain. Since 1499 the parishioners have appointed their own vicar, subject of course to the approval of the Bishop of the Diocese. There exists a list of the vicars starting from Thomas Hycchynson in 1535, to the present day.
The original church consisted of a nave, tower and chancel and in 1853 was considered to be too small for the parish since it accommodated only 179 people. It was therefore decided to enlarge the building by adding a new aisle but on inspection it was found that the building was in such a poor condition that the proposed work would be unsafe. The church was therefore closed on 4 February 1855 and was demolished. A new church, the present church of St Michael and All Angels, designed by Stevens was built on the same site It was built to accommodate 373 but has reduced to just over 200. The foundation stone near the pulpit is tribute to the men of vision who had the church rebuilt.
By 1851 the population of Alvaston totalled 504. The parish boundary intertwined with the Chapelry of St.Mary the Virgin, Boulton Lane. Over the years road and housing developments together with a new estate to the south on Boulton Moor have changed the parish boundaries and the nature of the church with the parish now housing over 12,000 people.
As you enter the church grounds you face the tower on the west wall. This is the third tower to stand on this site. The original tower built in the eleventh century had a spire but through earthquake damage it fell in 1775. (Maybe related to a 5.2 earthquake on 19 July 1775 in Swansea). The tower was then rebuilt.
When the church was rebuilt in 1856 at a cost of £2,200. Lord Harrington of Elvaston loaned his gardens at Elvaston Castle for a two day garden party to raise funds for the building of the church. This was done on the condition that the tower should be sixty feet, twenty feet higher than the original one so that he could see it from Elvaston Castle to the east of the church.
There is a list of incumbents of the parish on the south wall with annotations transcribed below:
There was also a framed lithograph sketch of a T Gilbert dated 1850, just before the church was rebuilt. He was perhaps a church benefactor. It has a note written at the base of the painting saying "yours affectionately Samuel Hey". He was curate of the church from 1809 to 1839 before becoming vicar of Ockbrook church.