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

Sept. 4th, at the British Ambassador's, Paris, the Rev. W. Augustus Shirley, of Shirley, in the county of Derby, Fellow of New College, Oxford, to Maria, only daughter of the late W. Waddington, Esq. of St. Remy, in Normandy.

"Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries." Standard 18 Sept. 1827: [1]. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 15 June 2016. URL Document Number: GALE|R3212759744

The Standard, September 18, 1827

A CAPITAL WATER CORN-MILL with the MACHINERY thereto belonging; situate at Shirley in the County of Derby; and known by the name of Shirley Mill.
Also, a MESSUAGE, farm-house, or tenement, with convenient outbuildings, & other appurtenances, & the several closes, pieces or parcels of land adjoining thereto; called by the names of the Mill Meadow, the Nether Ley, the Cote Close, the Upper Croft, the upper Ley and Rigley's Orchard; containing by admeasurement twenty three acres, or thereabouts, all situate in Shirley aforesaid; and now in the possession of Mr. Joshua Caldwell.
N.B. This estate is well worth the attention of any person desirous of establishing a manufactory where a powerful stream of water is particularly required, and is situate miles from Derby, three from Ashborne and within half a mile of the direct turnpike road leading from London to Manchester
For particulars of this estate, and treat for the same, apply at the office of Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, attorney at law, Derby.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 17 July 1794

4½ miles from Ashbourne Station, N.S. and L. and N.W. Railways. 9 miles from Derby.
MESSRS. CUMBERLAND, BROWNSON AND PAGE are favoured with instructions from Mr. G. D. Lucas (who is retiring), to SELL by AUCTION, on Thursday, February 16th, 1905:—
70 Beast,6 Horses,4 Berkshire Pigs,
GOAT, POULTRY, IMPLEMENTS, HORSE TACKLE, DAIRY UTENSILS, a portion of household FURNITURE, and other effects.
Luncheon at 10 o'clock, at 1s. 3d. per head, returnable to purchasers of £2 and upwards on day of sale only.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 3 February 1905