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

JAMES TURNER, Auctioneer and Valuer, respectfully announces to the Public, that he is favoured with instructions from Mr. JOHN HILL, (who is retiring from Farming Business) to SELL by AUCTION, on the Premises, at Shirley Brook. Farm, on. MONDAY April 1st, 1861, the whole of his useful LIVE and DEAD FARMING STOCK, Carriages, Implements, Dairy Utensils, &c., &c. Sale to commence at Eleven o'clock. E. H Dalbury, near Derby.

"Advertisements & Notices." Derby Mercury 27 Mar. 1861. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 30 Apr. 2016. URL Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3200027054

Derby Mercury, March 27, 1861, Issue 6731.

THE dangers of unsuspectingly drinking lead impregnated water drawn from pumps were emphasised by Derby Borough Coroner (Mr. Bendle W. Moore) inquest at Derbyshire Infirmary to-day on Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Taylor (57), of Shirley, near who was stated to have died from nephritis, accelerated by lead poisoning.
A verdict of Accidental death was returned.
Samuel S. Taylor said his wife was taken ill in February and Dr. Hollick, who was called in, suspectcd lead poisoning. She was removed to the Infirmary on March Bth and died on May 4th.
Mr. Taylor said they got their drinking water at home from a pump. After his wife became ill he had an analysis of the water made, and it was shown to contain one-thirtieth a grain lead a gallon
The pump, which had lead fittings, was cleaned out, and another analysis taken. This still showed one-twentieth of a grain. They had not used the water since the first analysis.
In answer to the Coroner, Mr. Taylor said there was no trace of lead that he knew of the strata in the district. The barrel the pump was, .however, made of lead.
The Coroner: The theory that the pump contaminated the water?— Mr. Taylor: Yes.
Dr. Lyne, house surgeon, said Mrs. Taylor died of nephritis, which was accelerated chronic lead poisoning. It only shows how careful people should be," said the Coroner, "to have pumps periodically examined to see that the water is perfectly pure."

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Daily Telegraph - 10 May 1932

Saturday last, at All Saints Church, in this town, by the Rev. Charles Hope, Mr. James Ford, to Elizabeth, second daughter of the late Mr. Francis Mason, of Shirley in this county.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 12 July 1826