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

MUNTON.—On February at Shirley, and late of Derby, Ruth Emily Munton, aged 77 years, funeral on Friday, Nottingham road Cemetery, at 1.30 p.m. Flowers to the Derby and District Funeral Co.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Daily Telegraph - 3 February 1932

Shirley Common.— An inquest was held, on the 23rd inst., at John Mason's cottage, Shirley Common, before Mr. Sale, coroner, on the body of William Morley, aged 18 years, who met his death, on Saturday afternoon last, Shirley Common brick yard, by the fall of quantity of clay from the top of the clay pit. Morley was loading cart at the time the clay fell upon him, and be died in half an hour after the accident. Mr. Skevington, of Ashborne, surgeon, was called in after death. Verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 26 September 1862

All persons having any Claims or Demands against the estate of Mr. Peter Bourne, late of Shirley Hall, Brailsford, in the County of Derby, farmer, who died on the 11th day of April, 1918, are requested to send particulars forthwith to us, the undersigned solicitors for the administratrix.
     Dated this 16th day of April, 1918.
          EDDOWES & SIMM
The chairman said they were very sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Peter Bourne, who until a short time ago was the representative on the council for the parish of Shirley, and they welcomed Mr. J. W. Brown, who, he hoped, would prove a useful member as his predecessor had done.
Mr. Brown said it would be his endeavour to do his duty in the important position to which he had been appointed.
The usual return relating to the wages of agricultural labourers was asked for, and it was agreed that the clerk should be instructed to report to the Board of Trade that the average wages for the district were from 30s. to 32s. per week, as compared with 25s. to 27s. per week last year.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 26 April 1918