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

Note. — The Letters M. J. and C. denote the occupiers, Machin, Jackson and Chawner.
LOT 1.
M38The Messuage or Dwelling House,
with Outbuildings, Garden and Fold
M40Calf Croft027
M41Well Croft2327
M1Upper Five Acres523
M2Lower ditto428
M3Upper Seven Acres709
M4Lower ditto7030
M5Long Close3115
M6Middle Close4324
M7Over Close5115
J9Big Lime Holes4115
J10Thorn Tree Eaves416
J11Oak Tree Eaves343
J12Sallow Tree Close4222
M17Upper Close517
J18Lime Pit Close2138
J19Over Close1333
J20Brick Kiln Close5117
LOT 2.
J21Hunt Flatt512
J22Over Park Close2235
J23Hollow Park Close3024
J24Over Cow Close3323
J25Over Cockshut Close218
J26Hunt Flatt Copstone120
J27Middle Copstone239
J28Near Copstone3216
J29Bow Lane Close2013
J30Middle Close3023
J31Broom Close or Nether Copstone1337
J32Lower Cockshut Close4311
J33Nether Cow Close4114
J34Near Carr Bottoms222
J35Far ditto2025
LOT 3.
M36Wet Flatt219
M37Gill Hill1216
LOT 4.
M42Dollar Croft3121
M43Six Lands1333
LOT 5.
M44Upper Field1317
LOT 6.
LOT 7.
47Cooch Meadow8219
LOT 8.
C48Gelstead Acre1123
M49Field Piece1034
M50Top of the Field0316
LOT 9.
M52Smithy Croft0225
LOT 10.
M53Red Close and Road204
M54Castleway Flat5322
LOT 11.
M55Mill Lane Close4220
LOT 12.
M56The Bent3113
LOT 13.
M57Red Marsh Acre113


"Advertisements & Notices." Derby Mercury 10 Sept. 1812. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.
Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3202730949

Derby Mercury, September 10, 1812, Issue 4191.

[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

[Before Sir Wm. FitzHerbert, Bart., Colonel Wilkie, and S. W. Clowes and G. M. Dixon, Esqrs.]
DRUNKENESS AT SHIRLEY.— William Normanshaw was fined 10s. and costs for being drunk and disorderly at Shirley, early on Christmas morning.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 11 January 1882