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

On the 4th instant, aged 2 years and two months, William, the beloved and only son of Mr. Wm. Gilman of Shirley Mill.

"Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries." Derby Mercury 10 Mar. 1852. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 19 Apr. 2016. URL Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3200008402

Derby Mercury, March 10, 1852

ON SALE, a Light Chesnut MARE, about 15 hands high, going 4 years old, of first-rate action, and nearly thorough blood.—Price £40.—Mr. Walker, of Shirley Lodge Farm, near Ashbonrne, will show her any person on application.—Apply, by letter, A. 8., Post Office Ashbourne.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 25 September 1863

B. JOHNSON has received instructions to SELL by AUCTION, without reserve on the premises as above, on SATURDAY next, September 6th, the whole of the Superior HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE and EFFECTS, viz:—
DINING and SITTING ROOMS.— Turkey carpet, walnut folding table, Chesterfield sofa, oak table, 2 wicker arm chairs, fender and brasses, overmantle, copper coal hod, rugs, vases, pictures, books, walnut stand, feather cushion, pictures, cutlery, 2 walnut tables, book rack, brackets, Chippendale revolving book case, carpets, tea, and dinner services, jugs, crockery, cooking utensils, linoleum, etc., etc.
CONTENTS of 3 BEDROOMS.— 3ft. 6in. bedstead, hair mattress, feather pillows and bolsters, satin walnut chest, wash stand, ottoman, toilet service, medicine cupboard, writing desk, pictures, 6-chamber revolver, wash stand, chairs, bed linen, chest of 5 drawers, rugs, carpets, etc., etc.
Sale at 2 o'clock sharp.
Goods on view morning of sale.
Cash at fall of hammer.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 5 September 1902