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

"Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries." Derby Mercury 20 Jan. 1864. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 4 May 2016. URL Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3200032965
Derby Mercury , January 20, 1864, Issue 6878.

Very Useful Dairy Cows, Cart Mares, Hay and Clover, and Farming Implements,

Upon the premises of Mr. John Jackson, at Shirley, near Ashborne in the county of Derby, on Wednesday, the 10th day of February, 1813 (free from auction duty.)
ALL the Live and Dead Farming Stock Belonging the said Mr. Jackson; Consisting of ten good dairy cows, one barren cow, three incalved heifers, one incalved stirk, two barren stirks, and four calves, two black cart mares both in foal, one large stack of hay, one large stack of excellent clover and rye grass, two lots of manure, six inch cart and shelvings, narrow wheel ditto & ditto, wheel plough, pair of harrows, cart gearing for three horses, 10 sacks, with a considerable assortment of other useful farming implements.
Catalogues may be had at the principal inns at Ashborne; upon the premises at Shirley; and of the Auctioneer, at Wirksworth.
The sale will begin exactly at Ten o'clock in the Morning.

"Advertisements & Notices." Derby Mercury 4 Feb. 1813. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 16 May 2016. URL Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3202731162

Derby Mercury, February 4, 1813

At Shirley, in this county, on the 1st instant, by the Rev. W. H. Twemlow, Mr William Maskery, builder and timber merchant, to Miss Mary Hallsworth, both of that place.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 14 November 1838