Shirley Village lies 4½ miles SW of Ashbourne in Derbyshire. From Saxon times its history is one of a small rural backwater where farming, the church and the inn play major roles.
Granted to Henry de Ferrers after the Norman conquest, “Shirley”was adopted as the family name and can be explored further at the Shirley Association web site.
Through their large land ownership and patronage of the benefice the Shirley family had a major influence on the village. Several Shirleys and their spouses have been vicars of the parish. The Rev. Walter Shirley, former vicar and archdeacon of Derby, was appointed Bishop of Sodor and Man.
The jobs created when Osmaston Manor was built caused the population to peak at nearly 400 in the 1850s but is now around 250. Agriculture was the main activity and, with a cheese factory in Brailsford and cheese fairs in Ashbourne, cheese making was probably quite common. Joe Wibberley had five hundredweights (254kg.) of it when he sold up in 1875.
The archive is a personal project to provide a single source of information about the village's history. If you have anything to contribute please contact me at . Please note that I don't do commissioned research and that everything I have about the village is on this site.
The archive is split into seven different categories which can be viewed by clicking on a heading below. As a couple of them contain more than a thousand items they can be difficult to view on mobile devices so try using the search function by clicking on the hamburger (top right).
- Buildings include dwellings, churches, places of work and agricultural buildings such as cowsheds.
- Documents include text, scans, images, photographs and internet URLs.
- Households are the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organised and carried out.
- Memorials are typically a tombstones in the burial ground. They also include plaques and memorials in the church.
- People who have lived in or had an influence on the village.
- Rights of way, lanes or roads in the parish.
- Structures (and artefacts) are anything left from the above. Structures include things like the Saxon cross in the burial ground or the telephone box. Artefacts include the 14c tile discovered during the recent improvements to the church.