The Shirley Village Archive

Located in the ceremonial county of Derbyshire, Shirley is 4½ miles SE by S from Ashbourne. The name comes from either Scyrle or Sirelea meaning a clear place or pasture.

The 14th century church dedicated to St. Michael had the north aisle and tower built in 1842 but the poorly constructed tower had to be rebuilt in 1861. A tympanum stone, embedded in a wall suggests an earlier building. In 2012 the south aisle was refurbished and can be used for community events.

Prior to the Norman conquest, Shirley was held by Sewallis but was granted to Henry de Ferrers by King William.

Sewallis's son Fulcher fitz Sewallis was the first to hold land at Shirley and his son, Sewallis de Shirley was the first to use the name Shirley. Between 1220 and 1254 the village was the principal seat of the Shirley family but by 1468 they had decamped to Staunton Harold.

Although inextricably linked, the Shirley village archive is about the village of Shirley rather than just the family. The Shirley Asscociation specialise in that.

The site attempts to record the history of the village: the people who lived here, their households and the buildings they lived in. Finally there's their grave.

There's a fair amount of supporting documentation both in the archive or linked to on the web. To see all the various categories, click the List link at the top of the page. You can also do keyword searches of the archive.

The archive is in its early stages with collecting information being the main, and dull, activity. Once done, I'll start linking it all together.

I can be reached at and I'm interested in any information you may have about the village. I don't do any commissioned research unless you have ridiculously large amounts of money to give me.

The site doesn't use cookies but I do record your IP address and the pages you visit and other non-personally identifiable information. It is held in the UK and not passed on to anyone else.

Latest News

On the 6th inst., at Teignmouth, HONORA CATHERINE only daughter of the Rev. EARDLEY W. MICHELL, vicar of Shirley, Derbyshire, aged 22.

"Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries." Derby Mercury 12 Oct. 1864. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 20 May 2016. URL Document Number: GALE|BA3200034452 (subscription required)

Derby Mercury, 12 Oct 1864

NOTICE is hereby given that on THURSDAY, JULY 11th, 1929, the Road leading from Shirley to Rodsley will be CLOSED TO ALL HEAVY TRAFFIC until further notice.
A temporary road for light and local traffic will be provided whilst the work is in progress..
By Order,
King Edward Street, Ashbourne, July 9th, 1929.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 12 July 1929

The death took place on Wednesday night at the Ashbourne Cottage Hospital of Mr. Ray Davies son of ex-Police Superintendent Davies. The deceased, who was about 30 years of age, occupied Shirley Mill Farm. Last week he was taken ill with pneumonia and was removed to tho hospital.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Daily Telegraph - 6 October 1927