Parwich & District Local History Society

Newsletter number 21 (September 2005)

Free to members (£1 to non-members)


Bradbourne Mill

Copyright © 2005 Peter Trewhitt

Many will have seen the recent article in the Ashbourne Telegraph on Madge House, in Ashbourne, and on Bradbourne Mill, nearer to home.  This very up beat article reported that both buildings were to be preserved.  If all goes through, Madge House is to be turned into flats.  At the time I did not take in the proposals about Bradbourne Mill, but just thought “Oh, good the mill workings were mentioned, so it means they will not just disappear.”  I had heard something about a possible craft centre, which would allow public access to the mill building.  We did contact the developers, who agreed for us to visit the Mill, once the rotten joists had been made secure.  Indeed when Brian Foden last visited the building some years ago entry was very precarious.  Further we hope to have a talk on Derbyshire water mills in next year’s programme.  And, I forgot about the planning application.

However, a couple of weeks later, Stuart Williams asked if we had looked at the planning applications for the Mill and did the Society have a position on its conversion to residential use.

The complex at Bradbourne Mill Farm consists of the farm house (miller’s cottage), the old mill, the dairy and a range of stables/barn.  The planning application includes an analysis of the historical significance of the mill workings, a financial evaluation of the viability of different  options for the buildings and an evaluation of the possible impact of the development on the environment (especially the endangered water vole).  We have written to the developer asking for copies of the information on the mill workings.  There are some five separate planning applications along with listed building consent forms, so there is rather a large quantity of information to assimilate.  My understanding is as follows: the miller’s cottage is to be extended and have a new stable block erected behind it; the other buildings referred to as ‘redundant barns’ are to be converted to residential use.  The dairy and stable/barn would each form one dwelling, and the mill would be used to create two two-bed-roomed houses.  Some of the mill workings are listed and the lower ground floor would have a glass partition to separate the living accommodation from the workings on that floor.  Externally, I understand the remaining mill wheel is to be preserved and repairs made to the disused mill race.  Additional access and parking area would be created, along with the necessary utilities for the five dwellings.  In addition there is a planning application for the conversion of the field barn halfway up the hill to Bradbourne from the Ashbourne Road.  After discussion with Committee Members and other members of the Society we came to a ‘position’.  Namely that (with some reservation) the proposals in them selves will offer preservation of the external structure and some of the historical features, and go a long way towards respecting the overall appearance of the site.  However we have very real concerns that domestic use is not the best way of preserving the mill building.  The mill is unique in Derbyshire in that it was powered by two off-set water wheels.  Also it is remarkable that all the workings were left in situ when it stopped working, and were still there when Brian last visited.  Further in the context of the medieval water meadow system (see report later in this Issue p. 27-29), which runs from Parwich down to Bradbourne Mill, we have a historically significant area of water management spanning perhaps a thousand years.  Here is some information on the Mill itself:


Alan Gifford (1999) “Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills”

 Midland Wind & Water Mills Group1

Bradbourne Mill (SK 201521)

Copyright © 2005 Alan Gifford

This three storey stone corn mill is still standing on the A5242 road to Bakewell, some four miles north of Ashbourne.  It is just back from the road where it bends, near Tissington Ford.  The mill is built into the hillside and although disused from about 1923, represents an interesting variation on the normal mill encountered in Derbyshire.

The stone building, which carries the date 1726, is shown on a whole range of maps starting with Burdett’s survey of 1767.  The mill is complete with a garner above and had a coal fired kiln alongside, although the ventilation ducts were removed when the building was re-roofed in about 1966. … …

Behind the mill is the dried up mill pond which had been fed by an extensive system of leats, the water supply from the Bradbourne Brook having been cut some years ago.  Water from the pool passed under the path to the miller’s cottage and fed two overshot waterwheels, located on the north side of the building.  These were offset from each other and their iron pentroughs are still in place, as is the framing of an iron waterwheel of about 12 ft in diameter.  The other wheel was said to have been wooden construction, but has been removed.  The tail race runs under the road and emerges close to Tissington Ford.

Inside the mill most of the original machinery was still in place in 1996, although at that date completely submerged under the debris of years.  There are three pairs of millstones still in place, one pair was measured at 54 ins but the type of stone could not be determined.  The vats and associated furniture are still intact.  In the ground floor the iron pit wheels and wallowers are still visible and, whilst one set of stones used a screw tenter adjustment, another had the old type lever and peg system, with multiple staggered holes in the vertical support giving fine adjustment to the separation of the stones.  The remains of a wire machine and stack hoist are also still in place.  The mill last worked in about 1923, probably under the control of Frank Wright Ltd of Ashbourne, although an attempt to get it working again in the 1940s apparently failed.

Simmons reports that in 1815 John Bustons, of Bradbourne Mill, was in prison in Macclesfield jail for debt.  However, he also recorded that a partnership between John Buxton, Thomas Dawes and Walter Buxton was dissolved in 1880 and that John Buxton would carry on the business.  It seems reasonable that the earlier reference to ‘Bustons’ should therefore read ‘Buxton’.  Millers mentioned in Trade Directories include Joseph Jarrett 1835-1876; Joseph Gerrard3 1876; Elijah Hall 1881; Frank Wright Ltd 1891-1912 (also at Ashbourne).

An interesting investigation into timbers associated with the mill dam, about 1 mile upstream, at Springs Bridge (SK 205522) by R Morgan et al was reported in Vol. 100 of the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal.  During land drainage work on the bed of the disused mill dam a number of well preserved but very blackened timbers were discovered.  They appeared to form part of the sluice gate of a breached dam wall and it was considered they could be very ancient.  However examination by radiocarbon dating techniques at Harwell unexpectedly confirmed that the tree from which the timber had been cut had been felled in the winter of 1836-37 and was therefore of relatively modern origin4.

Editor’s notes:

1.           Contact details for The Midland Wind and Water Mills Group, C/o Mr. A C Perryer, Whicot Mill, Bishop Castle, Shropshire, SY9 5EB

2.           In fact the B5056

3.           Is this also the ‘Joseph Jarrett’, who immediately preceded ‘Joseph Gerrard’ at the mill?

4.           The original nineteenth century dating did not apply to all the timbers.  Morgan et al findings were as follows:-

R. Morgan, M. Wildgoose and J. Collis (1980) “Some post-medieval timbers from Bradbourne, Derbyshire” Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 100 p43-48  Work on the milldam and sluice gates behind Bradbourne mill showed the timbers to date from the mid-nineteenth century, though the timber initially appeared much older.  (Note, the trees were some 150 years old when felled).  However a subsequent article pushed the date of some of the timbers back nearly 300 years:

 R. Morgan, M. (1982) “Further information on the Bradbourne Mill Timbers”Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 102 p101 In contrast to the relatively recent dates for the timber reported in the earlier article, this brief note indicates that two of the timbers at least were of much older origin, one piece having a felling date of around AD 1580.

We recommend that readers look at the plans for themselves (at Matlock Town Hall or Ashbourne Council Offices) to make up their own mind, as the Society’s response is a consensus one, and many people will have stronger or milder positions (see also ).   Any comments on the planning application should be made by the 29th September 2005 to Mr. W. Shaw, Planning Services, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Town Hall, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3NN, Tel. 01629 761183.

Below is the Society’s letter to Derbyshire Dales Planning Services in relation to our concerns (we wrote to Mr. Wilson, Head of Planning, as at that time we did not know who the case worker was).  We were deterred from expressing stronger opposition, because we did not feel the Society at present has the resources to be actively involved in establishing a use of the Mill with public access.  We also copied the letter to the Arkwright Society, the Derbyshire Archaeological Society and the Midland Wind & Water Mills Group, who in turn have forwarded it to the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings—Mills Section.

14th Sept. ’05

Mr Paul Wilson,                                                                                                                                 

Head of Planning Services,

Derbyshire Dales District Council


Dear Mr. Wilson,

Re. Various planning applications for redevelopment of Bradbourne Mill

I am writing on behalf of the Parwich & District Local History Society in relation to the proposed redevelopment of the Bradbourne Mill complex.  This fascinating and unique site has housed a corn mill for a considerable period of time.  It primarily consists of the mill cottage (farm house), a barn/stable block, a dairy block and the three storey mill building, though these latter are all referred to as ‘barns’ in the planning application.  The mill closed in the early nineteenth century, but the site continued as a working farm up to this year.  The current early Georgian mill building is unique in that it retains, nearly complete, the mill workings.  Externally features, such as the millrace and millpond, formerly fed by Bradbourne Brook, are also at least partially preserved.  Further increasing the importance of this area is the medieval water meadow system that spans Parwich, Tissington and Bradbourne parishes, and utilises the Parwich and Bletch Brooks, finishing just upstream from where they join the Bradbourne Brook.  This little studied water meadow system forms, with Bradbourne Mill, an area illustrating possibly a thousand years of water management.  Further the associated farmland, because of sympathetic farming, retains an important ecology, especially in the fields across the road from the mill, within the Peak District National Park.

More generally the area has further historical significance.  The trackway over Wigber Low to Kniveton, skirting the site, predates the B5056, with medieval if not prehistoric origins.  Wigber Low itself is a Neolithic mortuary site, with later inserted high status Anglian burials.  The mill complex faces the lost medieval village at Lea Hall, which is linked to the B5056 by Tissington Ford, which in turn attracts a number of visitors in the summer.

We commend the fact that the proposals make every effort to preserve the external characteristics of the buildings and the site as a whole, and agree that the buildings are in need of substantial repair/overhaul.  Further we appreciate that at times conversion of farm buildings to residential use is the only option.  Nevertheless we feel there are some general issues that should be addressed:-

Has sufficient been done to establish all the various farm buildings and the mill are now redundant, given it was until very recently a working farm?

Why is there a need to erect new stables, when it is argued that the existing farm buildings are redundant?  Could not one of the existing farm buildings be used as a stable?

Also when does one make the decision that so few original farm buildings are left intact, that it is necessary to preserve unaltered what is left (especially when this is a complete range of buildings)?

We strongly feel that preserving as much as possible of the mill workings intact, along with the associated external features, should be the first priority, with, in an ideal world, the possibility of public access.  When last visited by members of our Society (some years ago), the mill workings, though in a state of disrepair, were virtually complete.  We appreciate that the proposals for the mill building (labelled Barn A on application 05/00729) include a   genuine attempt to preserve the mill workings, however we question whether this goes far enough:

Presumably the mill stones, axle-trees, hoists and shoots on the first floor are still there, as well as the machinery on, what the plans refer to as, the lower ground floor.  The plans only appear to indicate preservation of the workings on the lower ground floor.

Also the application did not seem to mention preservation the kiln within the mill building.

Further although some restoration of the external features such as the remains of the millrace are included in the plans, we are concerned the plans did not make clear enough the preservation of the relationship between the various features to the mill itself.

Can the long term preservation of these landscape features be assured when they will, if the proposal goes ahead, be within a number of private gardens, with new utilities serving five dwellings, an additional driveway and further parking areas?

Finally we do have very real concerns about the proposed change to residential use of the mill building (labelled Barn A on application 05/00729).  Because of the unique nature of this building with its mill workings in situ, and in the context of the remarkable history and ecology of the area, we question whether residential use is the best way of preserving this building.  Despite the narrowness of the road and the fact that access is on a sharp bend, both of which will have major planning implications, we think alternatives to residential use should be further considered.  We would certainly support a use that allows public access, and feel that the owners and developers could make more effort to involve local groups, such as ourselves, the Arkwright Society, the Derbyshire Archaeological Society and the Midland Wind & Water Mills Group, in exploring alternative uses for this specific building.

If possible we would welcome being kept informed of developments relating to this planning application.  We have also made contact with the developers who have agreed to our Society to visiting the site at such time as the buildings can be made safe.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Trewhitt



“500+ of Allsops in Parwich”

Sorry about the delay with this, but it will be coming soon.  An account of the Allsop family in Parwich from the eleventh century, with family trees going back to the 1500s is nearing completion.  It also contains transcripts of wills from the early 1500s.  We are only doing a small print run on my computer (some 30 copies) so watch out for it.  The estimated cost will be £7-50. 


Stydd Hall & the Preceptory of Yeavely

Copyright © 2005 Peter Trewhitt

During our visit to Stydd Hall (see report later in this Issue p. 25-26) I agreed to chase up any information on the early twentieth century restoration of the chapel ruins, and contacted the Ashbourne Heritage Society and Malcolm Burrows of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society, both of whom put me on to various sources of information relating to the history of the Preceptory.  Further checking my book shelves, I discovered I already had an unread  book devoted to the Knights Hospitaller in Derbyshire.  So here is a summary of the information I have found.

At the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086, Yeavely was made up of two manors both held by one Alfsi.   Shortly before this in 1080 Benedictine monks had established a hospice in Jerusalem  to care for pilgrims who were sick or had been injured.  In 1113 these Hospitaller monks became a distinct order, the Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and some time in the next twenty years or so, with the increasing need to defend themselves and the pilgrims from Muslim attacks, they became a military Order.  Pilgrimages were a boom industry, and the Knights of St. John quickly grew in number and wealth.  In the late twelfth century various bequests of land in Derbyshire were made to the Order, including one of the Yeaveley manors, given by Ralph Foun of Yeaveley, consisting of a hermitage at Stydd within the parish together with lands, woods and mills.  Here the Order established a Preceptory to manage their Derbyshire estates and coordinate local fund raising for their activities in the Holy Land and elsewhere.  In the mid-fourteenth century Stydd housed the preceptor (a professed chaplain of the Order), a confrater (a squire, who could achieve the rank of knight in the order) and a stipendiary chaplain (who would be ordained but was not a knight of the order), as well as domestic and farm servants.  They would also provide hospitality for many ‘supervenientes’ or strangers (generally pilgrims or knights).  Surviving records relate primarily to their economic activity, for example detailing the cost of wine, wax and oil for chapel services.

The Preceptory would have consisted of a chapel, where masses would be said for the souls of their many benefactors; accommodation for the preceptor, his entourage and the ‘guests’; farm buildings dealing with local activity and the produce their other Derbyshire properties; and accommodation for the associated domestic and farm servants.  So although the Preceptory did not house more than a few members of the Order it would have had all the appurtenances of a large manor house.  In 1276 the townsfolk of Ashbourne made representation against the Preceptory, which they felt was encroaching  their rights.

One of the last preceptors was Sir Ambrose Cave in 1535, when the income from the manor of ‘Yeveley Stydde’ was devoted entirely to supporting hospitality, alms for the poor, a chaplain to administer the sacraments, and saying masses for departed benefactors. However they also owned property in some forty other Derbyshire parishes, including Gotehouse, which is thought to be Gotham in Parwich.

The twenty years following the dissolution of the Order in 1540 saw almost as many changes of ownership.  To quote Turbutt (1999): After the order’s suppression the site and demesne of the Yeaveley preceptory was granted by the king by letters patent under the seal of the Court of Augmentations to Thomas Carde of the household ‘of the right honorable Lady Anne of Cleves, gentilman’, who in 1542 disposed of it to Vincent Mundy of       Markeaton.  He in turn appears to have sold it the following year to Charles Blount, fifth Lord Mountjoy of Thurvaston (d. 1544), whose son sold it in 1557 to Ralph Browne.  When the order was re-established by Queen Mary in 1557 new appointments were made to the English offices, and Brother Henry Gerard was made commander of the preceptory of Yeaveley and Barrow.  It is doubtful if he ever regained his rightful property since two years later the Order was again abolished and in 1559 the Yeaveley preceptory is recorded as being sold to Francis Colwich.

Maxwell Craven suggests that, as Francis Colwich died in 1575 and his son, Anthony died five years later, the grandson Thomas is the most likely person to have built the Hall in brick on its present site.  Indeed Francis was taxed on only 4 hearths, suggesting his house was significantly smaller than the present building.  As discussed later (see pp. 25-26) there is some debate as to whether this manor house was built on top of medieval foundations, or was a complete new build, following clearing of the twelfth century remains.  It subsequently passed through various hands and by the nineteenth century it was a farm house rather than a manor house, nevertheless grand enough to have the front completely remodelled in around 1840 in the latest gothic style.  It is likely that there was a significant interior remodelling around this time.  The small two storey extension on the south side      appears in the 1860 painting of the house, suggesting it could have been added during the 1840 alterations.  The house has had only relatively minor alterations since then.

From what we see today, it is hard to define what the Preceptory buildings were like.  There is one set of twelfth century windows incorporated into the house, with report of  another medieval window/doorway on the ground floor having been blocked; the remaining fragment of the chapel wall dates from the same period, as does the surviving font and grave stone.  Cox seems to imply there were more pieces of old masonry on the site in the late eighteen hundreds dating from the fifteenth as well as the twelfth century, but the sketch, in his 1775 survey of Derbyshire Churches suggests the surviving windows of the chapel’s south wall were much as it is today.  The Derbyshire Archaeological Society visited the site not long before the 1911 article in their journal, which contains several photographs,  further suggesting that the remains then were pretty much as they are today.  They were concerned about the unstableness of the portion of chapel wall remaining and about the effects of the ivy covering it.  Also a storm in 1912 brought down some of the masonry from this surviving fragment.  The Society propped up the remains with timber, but the First World War delayed their plans to take more permanent action.  Some twenty years later the timber was becoming rotten, and the Society undertook a more permanent repair.  Their 1933 report suggests that all they did was grout what was there replacing only the few stones that fell in 1912.  Having said this it would seem likely that the tiles, weather proofing the top of the wall, were also introduced at this time.


-Maxwell Craven & Michael Stanley (2001) “The Derbyshire Country House Vol. 2” Landmark, Ashbourne (NB there is a more recent edition)

-J C Cox (1875) “Derbyshire Churches”

-J C Cox (1907) “Memorials of Old Derbyshire”

-J C Cox (1907) “Religious Houses: House of Knights Hospitallers” in “The Victoria History of the County of Derbyshire” Vol. II p. 75-76

-P H Currey (1933) “Stydd Chapel”  Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society Vol. 54 pp. 33-34

-Rev. R L Farmer (1911) “Stydd Preceptory and the Military Religious Orders” Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society Vol. 33 pp. 77-89

-Susan Morris (1978) “The Domesday Survey of Derbyshire” Phillimore & Co, London

-Nicholaus Pevsner & revised by Elizabeth Williamson (1978) “The Buildings of England: Derbyshire” Penguin Books, London

-Gladwyn Turbutt (1999) “The Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem in Derbyshire History” Scarthin Books, Cromford


Some early emigration to North America

Copyright © 2005  Peter Trewhitt

A recent conversation with Sue Honore from Oxfordshire prompted me to review the information we have on emigrations to North America.  Sue had contacted me in relation to the Hawley family, as she was travelling out to the USA to speak to the Hawley Society.  We have sent an outline history of Parwich for her to give to her audience, and she has bought various of our publications and Newsletters to take with her.  We hope to hear more from Sue on the Hawleys when she gets back.

Previously I had received information on Joseph Hawley from an American descendant of his, Jean Ann Wright-Eitel.  Joseph Hawley emigrated to Connecticut in the early sixteen hundreds ultimately settling in Stratford.  He still owned land and buildings in Parwich when he died.  Joseph was obviously successful in the New World with a fleet of five ships trading between Connecticut and the Caribbean.  He also had links with Farmington in Connecticut, living there for a while.  He purchased considerable property in Connecticut.  After his death his eldest son sold the Parwich property to a cousin, Matthew Hawley.  The family has been successful in American and a number of descendants have contacted the Society trying to find out more about their Derbyshire origins.

We know little about the Hawleys in Parwich.  There are some indistinct entries in the early Parwich Parish Registers that may relate to the Hawleys and Brian Foden has found one or two mentions of them in late sixteenth or early seventeenth century Parwich documents, though the name seems to be more common in Wirksworth at this time.  Given the fact that Joseph was a landowner in Parwich why did he want to leave?  Obviously he had drive and ambition, so perhaps he did not fancy the life of a farmer.  Also having money to invest in the Colony would give him a much easier start there.  Alternatively he could have been a Dissenter: many people left to escape the restrictions and financial penalties James I and Charles I placed on those that did not wish to attend the established church.

By coincidence, I have, on my dining room wall, a late seventeenth century map of the British Colonies in North America showing the next settlement east of Stratford at this time to be Milford.  Here we find settled three Allsop siblings.  (see Newsletter No. 19 pp. 5-9) Timothy, George and Elizabeth Allsop were the younger children of the lord of the manor of Alsop-en-le-Dale, the nearest village to Parwich.  The Allsops of Alsop-en-le-Dale had been established in the area for over 400 years at this time.  They left their comfortable home, Alsop Hall, as teenagers or young adults to settle in Milford some time in the 1630s.  Again this raises the question why relatively privileged members of English society should travel to New England.  That they retained some social status can been seen in Elizabeth’s marriage to Richard Baldwin, the founder and governor of Milford, in 1642 or 1643.  We do not know the religious leanings of these siblings though their great grandfather had sheltered the Protestant scholar Thomas Bacon from the Catholic Queen Mary in the 1550s.  The eldest brother, Anthony, did not leave the Alsop estate in good order as it was eventually sold by his creditors some fifty years later.  Whatever their reasons for emigrating, it seems worth exploring further why two families from adjoining Derbyshire communities should settle in adjoining communities in Connecticut at or about the same time.

Also emigrating to Connecticut in the 1630s were some Brownsons.  Three siblings John, Richard and Mary Brownson left Essex to settle initially in Hartford.  My map shows Hartford to be much further in land and to the north of Milford and Stratford, which are near the coast looking south to Long Island.  There is some debate about this family’s connection with Parwich.  The Parwich Brownson family claim descent from an attendant of Mary Queen of Scots who shared her exile in Derbyshire and settled in Parwich after her execution in 1587.  Earlier researchers argue these Hartford Brownsons are the children of Richard Brownson who was born in Parwich but moved to Chelmsford in Essex, whence the siblings and their father Richard emigrated with the dissenting minister the Rev Thomas Hooker, sometime vicar of Chelmsford.  This implies the reason for their move was religious. Unfortunately there are a number of inaccuracies in these accounts.  For example Harriet Bronson Sibley places the Brownsons in Parwich Hall over 100 years before they could have been there and gives the Hall twelve principal bedrooms at a time when the building only had six fireplaces in total.  Indeed even with the twentieth century extensions it could not be said to have twelve principle bedrooms now.  She also gives the family descent from the romantic and aristocratic William Douglas, though he went to France on the execution of Mary Stuart.  An alternative and more likely account has the three siblings as children of Roger Brownson of Earl’s Colne in Essex.  This family was from yeoman stock established in Earl’s Colne for at least three generations before the 1630s, precluding any obvious links with Parwich or noble young Scottish lords.  However before dismissing the Parwich connection completely, it should be noted that this American Brownson family had links with Farmington, Connecticut, as did the Hawleys, suggesting as possible link. Unfortunately my map does not seen to have Farmington marked.

Our next Parwich emigrant seems more clear cut.  Adrian Henstock (“The Early Derbyshire Quakers and their Emigration to America” Derbyshire Miscellany  Vol. 8 pt. 1 Spring 1977) gives a fascinating account of local involvement in the “notable Quaker emigration movement to Pennsylvania (the Quaker State) in the 1680s”.  The sect had spread to Derbyshire by 1647, indeed a Derby magistrate coined the term ‘quakers’ in 1650.  They were soon at odds with clergy and magistrates, as can be seen in Henstock quote from “The Book of Sufferings of Friends in Derbyshire” of one incident that took place in Ashbourne on a Sunday in June 1663:

“There was a meeting appointed at Ashbourn att Widdow Hunt’s house, and ye people of the town did rise with weapons to keepe friends out of town, and some friends having left there horses at Robert Jenkinson’s house att Clifton did come thence afoot, but when they came to ye town’s end ye guard did stop them and asked them wither they was going.  James Harrison answered them, to Widdow Hunt’s house, but they said they must not goe thither, soe they hailed him, and some that were with him to the House of Correction, and some to the stocks, and some to ye town’s hall, and some they drove out of ye town, and some that had horses went to Robert Jenkinson’s house to there horses, and ye rude multitude with one of ye constables followed them (it beinge out of there Constablery and Hundred) with clubs and stones, and did demand the horses, but Robert would not open ye stable door without a warrant.  Then some one or two returning to ye Justices did desire a warrant, which was granted by Edward Manlove and Edward Pegg, it being the first day of ye weeke at there eveninge worshipp, but ye warrant was falsely dated ye day before, then they came with violence and broke ye stable and tooke there horses, and broke Robert’s house, and took hill and halled him before ye aforesaid Justices requiring suretyes or he must be committed to ye Goale, but when that would not prevaile they tooke his word to be forthcoming, but they detained there horses certain weeks and kept many friends prisoner certain dayes, and sent James Harrison with four more to ye County Goale.”

As a result of this at least ten members of Ashbourne Meeting and four of Doveridge were excommunicated at the Bishop’s Court at Wirksworth, coincidentally on the 4th of July.    Following these obstructions to meeting for worship many Quaker families from the East Midlands in the 1680s settled in the area of Pennsylvania appropriately called Upper Darby.  The first list of 1682 includes Henry Gibbins from Parwich.  We have not yet investigated the Gibbons family locally, though they gave their name to Gibbon’s Bank where they farmed, and were still playing a significant role in village life in the nineteenth century

So far this is all we have established about seventeenth century emigration to North America from our area.  The possible links between families came to light as individual American families have connected the Society in the course of the explorations of their own genealogies, so it is possible more will turn as we learn more about the history of local families.  Also it would be interesting to hear of any other more recent emigrations such as the Mason family in 1862 or 63.  I also have a vague recollection that there was a Blackwell who emigrated to American, but don’t seem to have kept any notes.  Further I will search my old emails to identify other queries about Parwich families from overseas descendants.   Nevertheless if you know of anyone else do get in touch.


Researching the history of Parwich families?

We would like to hear from anyone researching the history of any local families.  We are continuing the ‘A to Z of Nineteenth       Century Parwich Families’ in the Newsletter, though as readers will see we are only on the ‘B’s so far.  Having said that we have run a number of articles out of sequence on individual families written by people researching those families.  Further we wish to develop on our website a list of researchers and a notice board for queries.  Do get in touch in if you wish to be mentioned on the website or have any information on a Parwich, Alsop, Ballidon, Pikehall, etc. family you wish to share.

Contact the Website Editor



Medieval Pottery Finds at Parwich Church and Dam Farm

Copyright © 2005 Ian Pitts

Earlier this year small quantities of medieval pottery were unearthed at St. Peter’s and at Dam Farm nearby.  The Regional Pottery Expert, who was available at the University of  Sheffield Archaeology Department at the time, inspected the finds.

In the medieval period pottery was mass-produced in regional centres such as Derby.  Each centre would produce characteristic styles and their pottery would be distributed over the surrounding area.  Over time archaeological excavation enables pottery to be grouped into classes according to its appearance, fabric and age.  The pottery itself then becomes a reliable method of dating other material, including unclassified types of pottery, found in the same archaeological context.  

Unfortunately, Parwich sits in a bit of a “pottery void”.  There has been comparatively little work on pottery produced from Derby and few excavations in the Parwich vicinity.  There are, therefore, few established pottery classes against which to compare finds from our locality.  Whilst the Regional Pottery Expert was able to confirm the origin of the Parwich finds as medieval, in many cases he was unable to narrow the dates any further.

The material from the church was discovered in the extension to the churchyard near the stream.  Material from 3 vessels was found together.  A large cooking pot with a base of some 15” in diameter, part of a jug with some glazing and a third vessel of unknown use.  It was thought this pottery was most likely to originate from the 12th to 13th centuries.

The pottery from Dam Farm was found spread over a wide area of the rear garden and was unearthed from relatively little digging.  In contrast the digging of a large border in the front (south) garden produced some 15th to 16th century material but nothing earlier.  This may represent the disturbance of material deposited at the back of Dam Farm, possibly a midden or middens, which were subsequently removed and spread over the garden as part of the landscaping in 2000. Sites of medieval occupation typically yield vast quantities of pottery.  

Alternatively, it may represent the normal build up of material over farmland.  Pottery was very cheap and plentiful in the medieval period.  Broken items could be thrown into the compost heap and would subsequently end up on the fields with the compost.

A tentative classification and summary of the pottery is as follows:-

6 Nottingham-Derby Ware, possibly from Birley Hill near Derby

6 typical of sandy ware, no origin established

2 Brackenfield Ware, near Alfreton, possibly late 13th / early 14th century

2 unidentified

1 typical of oxidised sandy ware, no origin established

1 typical of gritty ware, no origin established

There may have been a farmstead on the Dam Farm site in the medieval period and the pottery found there almost certainly represents a cross section of the early to late medieval period.  However, insufficient material has been found to come to any particular conclusions about activity at either of the two sites.

The author is happy to receive pottery finds from Parwich or the surrounding area for identification purposes (contact Dam Farm, The Green, Parwich).


Deeds of Shaw Lane Cottage

Copyright © 2005 Richard & Jo-anne Jewitt

Shaw Lane Cottage (also 5 Shaw Lane) and Shaw Lane House (previously known as Village Farm) are thought to have taken their name from the Shaw family who lived in Parwich, in the 1800s at several locations including Village Farm.  This range of buildings, possibly a row of cottages, is amongst the oldest in the village.  Cruck beams from the previous timber-framed building still remain in Shaw Lane House, and the style of the mullion windows is consistent with the walls being re-built in stone in the sixteenth century.  When digging out the soil banked against the back wall of the Cottage last year a further such sixteenth century window was revealed.  The surviving deeds for the Cottage only go back to the early twentieth century.

Mrs Susan Lewis inherited a share of the Parwich estate from her uncle, Sir William Evans.  Before her death in 1914 she lived at the Hall, three of her children also lived in the village.  Her eldest son, the Rev. Claud Lewis, was Vicar of Parwich and also lived at the Hall.  Another of her sons Gerald Lewis owned the Creamery at Knob Hall and the market garden in Monsdale Lane; he lived with his sister Lucy Ward Lewis at Hallcliffe.  Gerald also owned the croft behind Shaw Lane Cottage, which he transferred to the Church to house the Parwich Church Institute.  This corrugated iron building, erected around the end of the First World War, was later replaced by the Memorial Hall.  Lucy owned Hallcliffe, where she lived, and, albeit briefly, Shaw Lane Cottage.

Here are the surviving deeds for Shaw Lane Cottage:-

1924 Abstract of the Title of Miss Lucy Ward Lewis to a freehold messuage and premises situate at Parwich in the County of Derby


6th March 1916 Stamp £6

By Indenture of this date made between The Revd. Claud Edmund Lewis of the hall Parwich in the county of Derby Clerk in Holy Orders (thereinar called “the Vendor”) of the one part and Lucy Ward Lewis of Parwich aforesaid Spinster (thereinafter called “the Purchaser”) of the other part

Reciting seisin of the Vendor and contract for sale.

It is witnessed that in conson of the sum of £560 paid by the Purchaser to the Vendor (the rect. etc.)  She the Vendor as Beneficial Owner Did thereby grant and convey unto the Purchaser her heirs and assigns (inter alia)

Secondly all that messuage or dwellinghouse with the outbuildings yard garden and appurtenances thereto belonging situate at Parwich aforesaid and containing in the whole seven perches or thereabouts.  All which said secondly described hereditaments were more particularly delineated on the plan drawn upon abstracting presents and were thereon coloured green and were then in the occupation of Joseph Roberts

To hold the whole of the said hereditaments thereinfore 1stly 2ndly and 3rdly described and thereby conveyed unto and

To the use of the Purchaser her heirs and assigns in fee simple

Declaration that the said plan was merely to assist and explain the descriptions thereinbefore contained and not to govern controll restrict or enlarge the same in the event of any variance or discrepancy between the said plan and the said descriptions

Acknowledgement by the Vendor of the right of the Purchaser to the production of the documents mentioned in the Schedule thereunder written and to the delivery of copies thereof and undertaking for safe custody thereof

The Schedule above referred to

26th Octr. 1904. Statutory Declaration of Thomas Twigge.

17th Novr. 1904 Deed of Partition made between Francis Curtis of the 1st part Susan Lewis of the 2nd part Edmund Carr and Herbert Ives Stileman of the 3rd part and James Messer Sturgess of the 4th part

18th Novr. 1914 Indenture made between said Susan Lewis of the one part and the Vendor of the other.

11th Feb. 1916   Reconveyance made between Reversionary Interest Society of one pt & Vendor of other pt. 

Executed by said Claud E Lewis and attested


This document is a copy made in 1924 of the original 1916 indenture.  Despite the  impenetrable language it appears that the Rev. Claud sold his sister Lucy this property (boundaries on plan are the same as the current boundaries) for £560 in March 1916.  At this time Joseph Roberts was tenanting the property.  The schedule of other documents, no longer extant, seem to imply that Thomas Twigge had had some interest in the property     previously, but that at least in November 1904 it was in joint ownership of the sisters Susan Lewis and Francis Curtis.  It is likely that it was part of their joint inheritance from Sir William Evans.  In 1904 they seem to have divided the estate, with Shaw Lane Cottage going to Susan Lewis.  Susan Lewis in turn passed the property to her son, the Rev. Claud.  It is likely this sale to Lucy in 1916, took place when the Rev. Claud decided to move away from Parwich and sell up his interest in the estate, though he did not sell his final property here until a few years later.

18th March 1924 Miss Lucy Ward Lewis to James A Weston  Conveyance of a freehold messuage and premises situate at Parwich in the County of Derby

This Indenture made the eighteenth day of March one thousand nine hundred and twenty four.  Between Lucy Ward Lewis of Hallcliffe Parwich in the County of Derby Spinster (hereinafter called “the Vendor”) of the one part and James Albert Weston of Parwich aforesaid Quarryman (hereinafter called “the Purchaser”) of the other part.  Whereas the Vendor is at the date and execution of these presents & lawfully seised of and beneficially entitled to the messuage and premises hereinafter expressed to be hereby conveyed and hereinafter described for an estate of inheritance in fee simple in possession free from encumbrances and has contracted with the Purchaser for the absolute sale to him of the same hereditaments for a like estate for the sum of one hundred and ten pounds.  Now this Indenture witnesseth that in pursuance of the said contract and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and ten pounds now paid by the Purchaser to the Vendor the receipt of which sum she doth hereby acknowledge She the Vendor as Beneficial Owner doth hereby grant and convey unto the Purchaser and his heirs All that messuage or dwellinghouse with the outbuildings yard garden and appurtenances thereto belonging situate at Parwich aforesaid and containing in the whole seven perches or thereabouts.  All which hereditaments are (by way of & identification only) more particularly delineated on the plan drawn upon these presents and are thereupon coloured red and were formerly in the occupation of George Slater but are now occupied by the Purchaser and were (together with other hereditaments) conveyed unto and to the use of the Purchaser in fee simple by an Indenture dated the sixth day of March one thousand nine hundred and sixteen and made between the Reverend Claud Edmund Lewis of the one part and the Vendor of the other part.  To hold the hereby conveyed hereditaments unto and to the use of the Purchaser in fee simple and the vendor doth hereby acknowledge the right of the Purchaser to the production of the said Indenture of the sixth day of March one thousand ninehundred and sixteen (which is retained by her) and to the delivery of copies thereof and hereby undertakes the safe custody thereof and it is hereby certified and declared that the transaction hereby effected does not form part of a larger transaction or series of transactions in respect of which the amount or the aggregate amount or the value of the consideration exceeds five hundred pounds.  In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first before written.

Signed Sealed and Delivered by the before named Lucy Ward Lewis in the presence of Gerald W Lewis, Hallcliffe, Parwich, Nr Ashbourne, Gentleman.

We have again included this document in full because of the splendid language used.  Again the attached plan is the same as the current extent of the property, though Shaw Lane is shown as ‘Alsop Road’, ‘Main Street’ is also marked and the Church Green is shown as a series of triangular plots crossed by paths/roads.  Sometime after Lucy’s 1916 purchase of the property, George Slater became tenant, but he was then replaced by James Weston, quarryman.  James Weston, a sitting tenant, bought the cottage for £110 in 1924. Presumably Lucy was selling up prior to her and her brother Gerald’s move to Guernsey later that year, where he was to try commercial flower growing.  This marked the end of the Evans-Curtis-Lewis connection with the village.  It is interesting to note the dramatic drop in property value in only eight years.  Was this due to the effect of the War, or had the Rev. Claud overcharged his sister in 1916?

1st March 1928 Mr James A Weston to William Hadfield Conveyance of a freehold messuage and property situate at Parwich in the County of Derby

This Conveyance made the first day of March one thousand nine hundred and twenty eight Between James Albert Weston of Parwich in the County of Derby Quarryman … and William Hadfield of 50 Pigott Street Greenheys in the City of Manchester Retired Police Constable … … … in consideration for the sum of one hundred and ten pounds … … … and was formerly in the occupation of George Slater but is now occupied by the Vendor … … …

Signed sealed and delivered by the before named James Albert Weston in the presence of Alice Hadfield, 50 Pigott Street, Greenheys, Manchester, Commercial Clerk

And by the said William Hadfield in the presence of Thos. H…? Managing Clerk with …?

James Weston, still living in Shaw Lane Cottage, sells the freehold to William Hadfield, a retired policeman living in Manchester.  It is sold at the same price, £110, as four years  previously.  Was he hard up, or did he need the money for some other venture.  Presumably William Hadfield bought the property as an investment.  It is likely that he was related to the Parwich Hadfields, which included a number of Williams (see Newsletter No. 20 May 2005 pp. 12-13), hence his interest in investing here.

1942 Abstract of the Title of the Pers. Reps. Of the late William Hadfield to a freehold messuage and premises situate at Parwich in the County of Derby

… … … Copy of above Indentures followed by

15th December 1940      Death of said William Hadfield

31st January 1941          Letters of Administration to the estate of the said William Hadfield were granted to Elizabeth Hadfield of 50 Pigott Street Manchester in the County of Lancaster the lawful widow and relict on this date.

5th February 1942 The Personal representative of the late William Hadfield to Mr. Albert Beresford Conveyance of a Cottage and garden situate at Parwich in the County of Derby

… Elizabeth Hadfield of Number 50 Pigott Street Greenheys in the city of Manchester Widow ( … “the Vendor”) on the one part and Albert Beresford Of Shaw Lane Parwich in the County of Derby Quarryman ( … “the Purchaser”) of the other part. … … … William Hadfield (hereinafter called “the Intestate”) … … … The Vendor has agreed to sell the Purchaser the said property for an estate in fee simple in possession free from incumbrances at the price of One hundred and fifty pounds. … … …

Signed Sealed and Delivered by the said Elizabeth Hadfield in the presence of T Brooks, 63 Union St, Greenheys M/C 15, Grocer etc.

William Hadfield appears to have died in testate and the Parwich property has passed to his widow Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Hadfield has in turn sold the property to Albert Beresford, quarryman, who appears to be the tenant at Shaw Lane Cottage. The sale price was £150, not a large capital growth in 18 years by modern standards.

Dated 5th February 1970 re Albert Berisford deceased Assent relating to the vesting in Mrs Lucy Kinder of a messuage dwellinghouse and premises situate in Shaw Lane Parwich in the County of Derby

By this assent made the fifth day of February one thousand nine hundred and seventy I Samuel Flower of the Orchards Parwich in the County of Derby Electrician the Executor of Albert Berisford otherwise called Albert Beresford (hereinafter called “the Testator”) late of Shaw Lane Parwich aforesaid Retired Ambulance Driver who died on the Seventeenth day of June One thousand nine hundred and sixty nine and whose will dated the twelfth day of May One thousand nine hundred and sixty nine was proved by me … … … vesting in Lucy Kinder of Japonica House Parwich aforesaid wife of Thomas Kinder all that property described in the Schedule hereto … … …

HM Land registry Form 19 (Rule 72)

Property: The Cottage situate on Shaw Lane Parwich Near Ashbourne Derbyshire DE6 1QJ

Date: 31st January 1995

We Lancer John Kinder of … Birmingham, Gillian Dawn Harper of … Birmingham and Ian        Millward of … Hognaston the Executors of Lucy Kinder late of The Cottage Shaw Lane Parwich aforesaid deceased who died on the 25th April 1994 … … ... hereby transfer to …

Many people will remember Albert Beresford, for a number of years he was behind the bar at the Parwich Legion (see also Newsletter No. 5 May 2001 pp. 1-3), drove an ambulance, and also he had a small barber’s shop here.  He left the Cottage to his niece, Lucy Kinder who subsequently moved here with her family.  It was sold to the present owners not long after her death 1994, though it is often still referred to locally as Mrs. Kinder’s Cottage.


Parwich Land holdings: two nineteenth century extracts

Copyright © 2005  Malcolm Burrows


Malcolm Burrows of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society has sent various pieces of information to the Society over the last year.  Here are two extracts relating to Parwich land holdings.  He found the item from the Derby & Chesterfield Report when looking through a bound run of the paper that had recently come into his possession.  The second piece of information came from the Charity Commissioners Report for 1827. Editor

Derby & Chesterfield Reporter July 29th 1830

Freehold Estate at Parwich

To be sold at the house of Mr Wood the Green Man Inn Ashbourne on 21 Aug

(By order of the Trustees for sale acting under the will of the late John Alsopp Esq.)

Very desirable freehold estates, Land Tax redeemed comprising 121A 1R 35P with suitable farmhouses & buildings thereon


  Name of fields Quant.     Occupier
    A R


1. Moor Close with buildings thereon 51 2 1  
2. Far Upper Piece 5 0 31 Wm. Alsopp
  Far Lower Piece 3 3 3  
  Gotham Gate Piece  7 0 9  
  Top of Gotham Gate Piece 7 0 8  
  Far Bank Side 2 2 17  
  Top of Bank Side 4 3 26  
  Barn Meadow 4 3 38  
  Barn Meadow Lane, with Barn 0 0 29  
  Upper Meer Close 2 2 13  
  Nether Meer Close



  Meadow 4 3 27  
  Near Bank Side 2 2 21  
  Top of Bank Side 3 2 6  
    52 1 9 Thos. Gould

This Lot and Lots 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 with other lands are sold subject to a lease thereof for the lives of Mr Thos Gould of Hawkslow near Parwich aged about 68 & his brother John Gould of Ballidon aged about 59.


3. Ballands


3 36 Thos. Gould


4. Wheatsway Pingle 0 2 9  
  Lower Wheatsway with building 1 3 22  
  Upper Wheatsway 3 2 0  
    5 3 31 Thos. Gould
5. Short Rakes 2 1 30  
  Settles with buildings 3 3 34  
    6 1 24 Thos. Gould
6. Staines Croft with new house  out buildings & garden 2 3 39 Thos. Gould
7. Dwelling House & garden adjoining Staines Croft 0 0 25 Thos. Gould



8. Homestead comprising farmhouse, outbuildings, orchard, yard & garden 0 1 0 Thos. Gould
9. A Fee Farm Rent of 5s 11d yearly issuing out of certain lands in Parwich, heretofore the inheritance of William Beresford deceased.        


1827 Charity Commissioners Report: Ashbourne

Owfields Almshouses:

Nicholas Spalden by his will dated 16/4/1710 gave to Ashbourne Grammar School all his lands at Parwich in trust to distribute the profits thereof equally among the poor inhabiting in the 8 old almshouses in Ashbourne.  The lands in Parwich consist of 3 closes called the THORNS containing 13a 0r 34p now (1827) in the occupation of Wm Ellis.  Good stone building to be erected on the land sufficient for the tying up of cattle under the direction of Mr. Isaac Saint of Parwich.  (Editor’s note: when the current owners bought the Thorns, to build the house of the same name, it still consisted of three fields and a stone building.  This building still stands in the yard beyond the house.)


Some more extracts relating to Alsop-en-le-Dale

Domesday Book 1086

Parwich … attached to this manor are 3 outliers, Alsop (Elleshope), Hanson (Hanzedone) and Cold Eaton (Eitune)

Oxford Dictionary of English Places Names A D Mills 1998

Alsop en le Dale Derbys. Elleshope 1085, Alsope in le Dale 1535. ‘Valley of a man called Aelle’ Old English personal name + hop.  Later affix means in the valley.

The Buildings of Derbyshire N Pevsner 1953

St. Micheal.  Norman nave with a south doorway with an unusual variety of zigzag (double zigzag) in the voussoirs.  Norman also the imposts of the chancel arch.  The west tower is imitation Norman of 1882-3 by Joseph Allen and Mordecai Fox.

Alsop Hall. C17 pre-classical, with asymmetrical front, much renewed.  The three-storey gabled central block has mullioned windows meeting at the corners.

Anglican Churches of Derbyshire I A H Combes 2004

Alsop-en-le-Dale, St. Michael and All Angels.  Norman and neo-Norman.  The Alsop-en-le-Dale chapel, one of the chapelries of Ashbourne, was founded in the 12th century and still retains its Norman nave and doorway, as well as a font of the same period.  The tower, however, is imitation Norman and was added in 1882-3 by F J Robinson.  The Parliamentary Commissioners in 1650 recommended that the chapel be disused and united to Parwich, but the chapel later became a parish church for Alsop-en-le-Dale.


Richard K. W. Hill & Angela Shackleton Hill (1988) “South Peak Archaeological Survey 1986-1988”

Parish overview – Eaton and Alsop

This parish forms the north-west corner of the survey area.  To the north lies Hartington Nether Quarter, whilst to the west its border is the county boundary with Staffordshire which lies along the River Dove and here separates the parish from Alstonefield.  Geologically it lies entirely on the Lower Carboniferous limestone, rising to a maximum height of 360 metres in the vicinity of The Liffs and Johnson’s Knoll, on the border with Hartington Nether Quarter.  As a result of the geology it has no natural surface water above the level of the Dove.

The A515 bisects the parish and it is met by three minor routes.  In the south of the parish Dam Lane runs east through Alsop en le Dale to Parwich, while in the north Liffs Road runs northward past The Liffs in the direction of Biggin.  A short distance south of Liffs Road, a no through road passes east to Alsop Moor Cottages, Crosslowbank Farm and Oxdales Farm.  Of unmetalled routes there are few and these mostly lead to farms.  From documents, however, we know of a number of old routes, some of which can still be traced.  The Kingsway and le Ruggewaye, possibly translating as the Ridgeway, cannot be positively identified, but Eyton Kyrkeway recorded in the reign of Henry IV (1399-1413) probably leads from the now abandoned settlement at Coldeaton to the church at Alsop en le Dale.  Clear traces of a path from Cold Eaton to Nettley Knowe and thence probably to Alsop can be seen rising out of the dry dale from Coldeaton Bridge to Lees Barn as a well-defined  zig-zag track, and this may preserve the line of the Kyrkeway.  The aforementioned dry dale also preserves the line of a packhorse route from Alstonefield.  Another route recorded in Henry IV’s reign is Lamestiddesway which possibly indicates a route down which ewes were brought in lambing season, perhaps to special lambing pens, though no obvious enclosures have been noted by the survey.  The Alsopwaye, on the other hand, may still be recognised in the line of existing footpaths from Newton Grange to Alsop en le Dale which used to be connected by this route in the fourteenth century.

The parish takes its name from the settlements of (Cold) Eaton and Alsop en le Dale, both of which appear in Domesday as outliers of Parwich.  Coldeaton was abandoned some time after 1334 but extensive earthworks remain in the vicinity of Dove Top and Coldeaton Farms.  In the returns of that year it is listed as having a high tax quota, suggesting its population at that time was healthy enough.  This, however, seems to be all the documentary evidence available, and when it was deserted is at present unknown.  Alsop en le Dale, on the other hand, is still extant though with some evidence of possible shrinkage.  In the fields on the south side of Dam Lane, some two hundred yards east of the village, the survey noted possible traces of platforms and tracks which require a closer look.  The parish boundary with Newton Grange runs through this field and along its line a bank can be traced running westwards into the adjacent fields as far as Stonepit Plantation, by the Tissington Trail.  It is also possible that the Alsopwaye passed through this field to join Dam Lane.

It should be noted, however, that the survey of this parish was greatly hampered by the length of the grass.  The archaeological record, therefore, is almost certainly incomplete.  For example, one would expect to find extensive evidence of ridge and furrow about both Eaton and Alsop.  However, this has not been the case.  Traces do remain but they tend to be faint, and it is to be expected that other poorly preserved remains were not detected.  In addition to this, the survey was not permitted access to Crosslowbank Farm which forms a sizeable portion of the area north of Alsop.  Any conclusions drawn from the survey’s work, therefore, can only be tentative.  Having said this, however, the field boundaries round both eponymous settlements reveal no tell-tale curve of ridge and furrow, therefore, it is likely ploughing had ceased some time before enclosure.  The apparent faintness of the remains, therefore, may be in accordance with the lifespan of open-field agriculture in the vicinity of both villages.  This, and possibly the route named Lamestiddesway noted above, may argue for shifted settlement out of Eaton and down to Alsop following a change (probably enforced) from arable to a sheep-based economy.

Settlement evidence in general dates back to the Bronze Age, with finds from a number of barrows such as Greenlow, Crooslow and Kettley Knowe.  The first of these has also produced a scatter of Roman pottery, a fact that will be returned to below.  Two Anglian burials have also been found, one at Stoney Low, adjacent to Cold Eaton and the other on the hillside above Alsop.  A third unlocated site, excavated by Carrington in 1851, also produced possible Anglian remains.  There is also evidence from a manuscript of 1306, at a time when Coldeaton was thriving, of a medieval hamlet on the site of the present Alsop Moor Cottages.  There are no recorded remains of this and the survey found no trace, though this may be due to the inaccuracies of recording due to long grass.

In more recent times there has been considerable industrial activity, particularly limestone quarrying.  A short distance north of Oxdales Farm is the disused Alsop Moor Limeworks, opened in the 1860s, in the vicinity of which were recorded a number of derelict limekilns.  There has also been leadmining in the activity in the parish and disused shafts have been located on several sites.  The London and North Western Railway, from Buxton to Ashbourne, now the Tissington Trail, winds northwards through the centre of the parish.  The limeworks may have benefited from this line, but built in the 1890s it was primarily a passenger route having missed the heyday of lead and lime production.

Of particular interest is the field name Big Burroughs, occurring in Alsop en le Dale.  No features have been recorded in this field, but in the Burton Register of 1490 it is recorded as Burrowes.  It will be noted in the Parwich overview how the burr-element in names has provable associates with Roman sites, as in The Burrs, Chelmorton, Brushfield Hough overlooking Burfoot and Borough Fields, Wetton.  It is therefore significant that Roman pottery scatters have been found around Greenlow at the head of Alsop Dale and that a Roman pot was found at Alsop Moor Cottages.  The latter, although out of context, was probably found locally.  In addition, an aerial photograph has shown a possible trackway and earthworks on Church Farm adjacent to big Burroughs.  This has been interpreted as possible signs of  village contraction, but this may not be the case since possible ‘celtic’ fields are recorded in the county SMR as lying a short distance to the east.  The authors therefore suggest that Alsop en le Dale may be the site of another Romano-British settlement, particularly as the above site faces east above the valley floor; an aspect typical of known Derbyshire Roman sites.  Moreover, its spacing of approximately a mile and a half from the site at Parwich, which is a similar distance from the Roystone Grange settlement, fits into a pattern which seems to be emerging from the survey’s findings.  The presence of leadworking in the vicinity and a number of uninvestigated enclosures appearing on aerial photographs adds to the possibility, and the site begs closer inspection.  It may even be that the Alsop of the late Saxon period and Medieval times did not lie in the dale but above, on the Alsop Moor Cottages site. The affix en le Dale is not noted before 1381.  Possibly it was at this time that the Coldeaton population was shifted and went, together with the inhabitants of Alsop Moor, down into the Dale.

“The Rolls of the 1281 Derbyshire Eyre” edited by Aileen Hopkinson

142 Henry son of Roger de Mapleton claims against John Hendeman of Eyton a messuage (site of a dwelling house and its appurtenances) and a quarter virgate (although it varied from place to place a virgate was usually about 30 acres) of land in Cold Eyton as his by writ of aiel (where a stranger has dispossessed an heir of lands of which his grandfather had died possessed).  John has come and elsewhere vouched to warranty Roger de Mersington who now comes by summons and warrants him.  He further vouches Henry son of William de Stansop whom he is to have at Lincoln at the quindene of Trinity (22 June 1281) by aid of the court.  He is to be summoned in the county of Stafford.

169 Letitia widow of Alexander le Mercer of Esseburn claims against Richard de Morleye and Joan his wife a messuage, 50 acres of land and an acre of meadow in Alsop as her right and marriage portion by writ of entry. Richard and Joan come and concering one half, vouch Alan de Waldechef and Lucy his wife to warranty.  Concerning the other they vouch John de la Plaunche and Ellen his wife.  They are to have them at  Lincoln at the quindene of Trinity (22 June 1281).  Alan and Lucy are to be summoned in this county and John and Ellen in the county of Lincoln.

477 Robert son of Aylward de Alsop wounded Roger Hayward of Alsop in the head with an axe so that he died the third day after.  Robert fled at once and is suspected, so he is to be exacted and outlawed.  His chattels 7s, for which the sheriff is to answer (at this time although separate counties the Sheriff of Nottingham was responsible for both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire).  The twelve jurors are in mercy (fined) for concealing part of the chattels in their presentment.  The vil of Knyveton is in mercy for not attending the inquest.

478 Unknown evil-doers by night burgled the sheepfold of Cronkendon and killed William Shepherd whom they found there.  They fled at once.  The first finder died.  No Englishry.  Judgement: murder on the wapentake (This law designed to protect the Norman interest meant that if a murder victim could not be proved to be English, i.e. not Norman, then the Wapentake was also fined for his death.  In this area we are in Wirkeswirth Hundred or Wirkeswirth Wapentake, which is analogous to a contemporary district council).  The jurors later attested that a certain Gotte de Crudecote and Roger son of Adam de Crudecote absconded on account of the death and are suspected, so they are to be exacted and outlawed.  Roger’s chattels 5s, for which the sheriff is to answer.  Gotte had no chattels.  The vils of  Ireton, Bondesdale, Alsope and Crudecote are in mercy for valuing the chattels falsely.  (The village of Alsop was fined 13s 4d for not sending representatives to the inquest.)

Derbyshire Hearth Tax Assessments 1662-70 Edited by David Edwards

Eaton & Alsop





Antho. Allsop Esq.


 (NB Parwich Hall had only 6 hearths)


Henrie Mellor




George Milward




Will. Twycrose




Raphe Johnson




Tho. Hood




Henrie Grace




Antho. Johnson




Antho. Johnson sen. 




Tho. Coates




George Cleaton




John Cleaton




Arthur Mee’s Derbyshire 1937

Alsop-en-le-Dale.  Set in lovely country, a mile from the river Dove and the Staffordshire border, is this cluster of homes, an ancient chapel, and a great house with windows and gables telling us it is from the 16th century.

To this secluded spot a wanderer found his way 400 years ago.  He was Thomas Becon, chaplain to Cranmer and Protector Somerset, a preacher who preached himself from Canterbury Cathedral into the tower.  Free once more, he sought obscurity in travel and found shelter here for a year with John Alsop, writing of his welcome:  “Coming into a little village called Alsop-en-le-Dale I chanced upon a certain gentleman named Alsop, lord of the village, a man not only ancient in years but also ripe in the  knowledge of Christ’s doctrine.  After we had saluted one another, and taken a sufficient   repast, he showed me certain books which he called his jewels.  I found there very good wits and apt unto learning.”

The Alsops were lords of the manor for 500 years till 1688, and 200 years later their descendants were again in the old home.

The tiny chapel with a nineteenth century tower has a Norman doorway with unusual moldings like two rows of zigzags.  There is a little Norman window in the south wall.  The sides of the pointed chancel arch, and the crudely-shaped piscina niche, are perhaps Norman too.

This series of extracts is to be continued in the next issue with the Alsop Charters mainly from the thirteenth and fourteenth century.  Also any other information is welcome.  I see the role of the Newsletter, as well publishing new articles/research and keeping everyone in contact with the Society, to bring together the scattered sources of information on our area, so that the back copies can become a single reference source for further study.



An Evening Tour of Elton on 8th June led by Lynn Burnet of the Elton Local History Group

Copyright © 2005  Peter Trewhitt

Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.


Derbyshire Archaeological Society—Architectural Section’s visit to Parwich on 10th June led by Brian Foden and Peter Trewhitt

Copyright © 2005  Peter Trewhitt

Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.


An Evening Tour of Parwich on the 11th July led by Rob Francis and Peter Trewhitt

Copyright © 2005  Peter Trewhitt

Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.


Visit to Stydd Hall, Yeaveley on Sunday 31st July

Copyright © 2005  Peter Trewhitt

Images copyright © 2005  Michael Radcliffe

Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.

Remains of chapel wall Stydd Hall from side Stydd Hall from front


An evening walk exploring Parwich Water Meadows (17th August 2005) led by Brian Foden

Copyright © 2005  Peter Trewhitt

Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.

List of Members Research Interests


At the AGM it was suggested that we compile a list of people with local research interests, so here is an update (comments welcome):


Rosie Ball                   Lea Hall (see )

Brian Foden                General Parwich History, Local Landscape History and Trackways, Field Names and Land Holding

Rob Francis                General Parwich History, Local Archaeology and Pre-history

David Evans               Medicine and Doctors in Parwich

John Peel                    Mining (locally and Derbyshire wide)

Ian Pitts                      Pottery (link to Regional Pottery Expert)

Gillian Radcliffe        General Parwich History, currently collecting information on Parwich artists

Brian Rich                  Landscape History of Derbyshire & Staffordshire

Peter Trewhitt           General Parwich History, Parwich Genealogy and Family History

Peter Young               Geology

Note: We now have a large number of contacts with interests in family history and genealogy, and will include a list in a future issue and on the web-site.  Please contact the Editor to ensure you are included on this list and/or the family history list as appropriate.



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