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 archivist@shirleyarchive.org.uk 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

GAME TRESPASS.— Mr Robert Quinn O'Callaghan, surgeon, was charged with trespassing in pursuit of game at Shirley, on the 6th inst. Mr Brittlebank appeared for the defendant. Mr Robert Cresswell, farmer, Shirley, proved that he saw the defendant and another man with a dog and a gun upon his land. They went through five of his fields, in which there was no public road. They walked by the fences and round a field, and in the last field passed a gate leading into Mr. Bonsall's field, but got over the hedge into that field further on. Witness was cross-examined by Mr. Brittlebank, who then addressed the bench, but called no witnesses. The Magistrates considered the case proved, and imposed a fine of 10s and costs, which he said the defendant should pay under protest. He also said that he should appeal.
ANOTHER FIRE AT SHIRLEY.— A youth named James Ault was brought up in custody on suspicion of setting fire to a stack of straw belonging to Mr. P. J. Lemon at Shirley. The evidence was not sufficient to support a charge of arson and the prisoner was liberated. This is the third fire that has occurred at Shirley within the last few months.

"District News." Derby Mercury 17 Dec. 1879. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 11 May 2016. URL http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/3NV7u2 Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3202778033

Derby Mercury, December 17, 1879

Francis Wright, Esq., of Osmaston Manor, with his accustomed liberality, distributed to upwards of one hundred poor families at Osmaston and the adjacent village of Shirley, a bountiful supply of beef on new year's day.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 8 January 1851

PETTY SESSIONS, March 16.
[Before J. Wright and R. H. Frank, Esqrs.]
Thomas Strong, of Shirley, was fined 10s. and costs for having in his possession, on the 9th inst., a weighing machine which was found to be incorrect and unjust by the Inspector of Weights and Measures.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 20 March 1872