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

(10 minutes walk from Derby to Ashbourne 'bus service, 4 miles from Ashbourne Station and 9 miles from Derby.)
W. S. BAGSHAW & SONS have received instructions from the Executors of the late Mr. Peter Bourne (who are giving up farming), to SELL by AUCTION (entirely without reserve), on
The whole of the truly valuable live and dead farming stock, comprising:—
103BEASTS, viz.: 48 superior dairy cows and heifers (the majority of which are close at profit or newly calved), 4 choice in-calf heifers, due April, fresh barren heifer, grand registered roan shorthorn bull, "Holme Dukedom," Vol. 66 by "Spency Butterfly Boy" 145626, roan stock bull 2 years old, 14 choice coloury in-calf heifers, 2 coloury barren heifers, 4 choice coloury eighteen-month-old heifers, 10 grand coloury yearling heifers by a pedigree bull, 3 grand reared heifer calves, 4 choice coloury autumn reared heifer calves, 6 rearing heifer calves, 6 young calves.
9HORSES AND COLTS, including: 4 capital registered shire mares (of the most fashionable breeding), all quiet and good workers (two of which are believed safe in foal to "Monks Green Forward" and "Honey Hill King"), Brown gelding 5 years old, quiet and capital worker, 3 yearlings and 2 years' old colts and geldings, Dun pony mare, 8 years old, 13.2 h.h., quiet to ride and drive, pass all traffic and can be well recommended.
15LARGE WHITE PIGS, viz.: 4 large white in-pig gilts (due to farrow in February and March), large white sow, and 20 followers.
A large and extensive assortment of modern farm IMPLEMENTS, TACKLE and DAIRY UTENSILS.
Luncheon will be provided on the usual terms.
A motor char-a-banc will leave the Green Man Hotel, Ashbourne, at 10.45 prompt to convey intending customers to the sale.
Full particulars in detailed catalogues.
Sale to commence at eleven o'clock.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 25 February 1921

Mr. Editor,— A short time ago you drew the attention of your readers cases of rabies that had occurred in this neighbourhood. Now I can add the fearful list. Mr. Hodgkinson, of Kniveton, has lost another valuable heifer, making in all three. Mr. Litchfield, of Shirley Common, has a dog which has become rabid, and bitten one of his own horses in four places, as he was chained to the kennel. I have applied the usual remedies to the wounds. Last Thursday another mad dog appeared at Osmaston, and was shot the keeper of F. Wright, Ksq., but not before it had bitten a person.
In our own town, Mr. W. Howard has lost his old blind pony. I have not seen him, but understand the symptoms were those of rabies. Mrs. Mellor, of the Cross Keys, in Compton, Ashbourne, has cow now decidedly rabid, approaching the last stage; and I have heard of another cow in the neighbourhood that is dead of brain fever, it is said, but which I hope will not prove have been rabid. Beside the above list, I have known of five other dogs which have been rabid in the neighbourhood, some of them having been at large before being destroyed. In my opinion it will not bo safe for the inhabitants and cattle of this neighbourhood if any dogs are allowed to loose without muzzle, for some months to come.
I remain, sir, yours. &c.,
W. Cox, M.R.C.V.S.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 12 December 1856

WAGGONER, also cowman, wanted March 25th for Shirley Hall Farm; live in, good wages.— J. P. Bingham, Denby, Derby.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 21 January 1921