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

WALKER — Nov. 18th, 1874, at his residence, Adelphi, Tasmania, Mr. Joseph Walker, son of the late Mr. J. Walker, formerly of Shirley Lodge, in this county, in the 58th year of his age; deeply lamented by his family and friends.

"Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries." Derby Mercury 10 Feb. 1875. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 7 May 2016. URL Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3202767260

Derby Mercury, February 10, 1875

GOODALL— At Shirley, on Saturday, the 8th inst., Hannah, the relict of the late Robert Goodall, late of Hinkley, Leicestershire.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 14 April 1865

[Before his honour Judge Woodforde]
JOHN COOPER v. FREDERICK WIBBERLEY.— Plaintiff in sought recover 1l. 15s. for breach of warranty on the sale of a cow. Plaintiff, a cattle dealer at Rodsley, purchased a calving cow from defendant, a farmer, at Shirley, in December, 1881, for 15l., and afterwards sold it for 16l., and stated that the defendant warranted the cow to calve in January, but it did not calve until March, therefore he claimed seven weeks overdue at 5s. per week. Defendant denied the warranty.— His Honour, in the absence of any evidence of the warranty, nonsuited the plaintiff.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Mercury - 17 February 1886