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

[Before Col. Wilkie and H. C. Okeover, Esq.]
Alfred Morley, of Shirley, was fined 10s. and costs for being drunk and disorderly in Hollington-lane on the 16th May.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 6 June 1883

[Before the MAYOR, J. Bailey, and J. W. Newbold, Esqrs.]
DRUNKENNESS.— William Mason was charged with being drunk in charge of a horse and cart on the Ashbourne-road late on the previous night. Police constable Foley said the man was swaying on his seat, and not at all fit to be in charge of a horse. Prisoner, who comes from Shirley, was fined 5s. and costs.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 8 May 1889

The Plateau, Shirley, have for sale 20 pure R.I.R March-hatched pullets, 5/6 each. Ashbourne 'bus stops at entrance.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Daily Telegraph - 9 December 1931