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

SHIRLEY NATIONAL SCHOOL,—The annual examination at this school took place on Monday evening last, and was conducted by the Venerable the Archdeacon of Derby. The subjects of examination were, reading, spelling, scripture history, English history, arithmetic, and geography. A considerable number of the neighbouring ladies and gentlemen attended to witness the Course of examination, and the parents of many of the children were also present. The Venerable Archdeacon, and the company, expressed their great satisfaction with the state of the School, and the attainments of the pupils.

"RUMOURED APPEARANCE OF THE ASIATIC CHOLERA." Derby Mercury 24 June 1846. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. URL Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3200001840

Derby Mercury, June 24, 1846

The Rev. Richard Edward Coates, who has been Vicar of Shirley since 1913, has resigned the living on considerations of health. Mr. Coates studied for Holy Orders at St. John's Theological College, Manitoba, Canada, and was ordained a deacon in 1892, and a priest a year later, at Rupert's Land, Canada. From 1892 until 1909 he was engaged in mission work at Scenterbury, Manitoba, and before going to Shirley was for three years curate of Whittington. A successor to Mr. Coates has not yet been appointed.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derby Daily Telegraph - 12 October 1937

(10 minutes walk from Derby to Ashbourne 'bus service, 4 miles from Ashbourne Station and 9 miles from Derby.)
W. S. BAGSHAW & SONS have received instructions from the Executors of the late Mr. Peter Bourne (who are giving up farming), to SELL by AUCTION (entirely without reserve), on
The whole of the truly valuable live and dead farming stock, comprising:—
103BEASTS, viz.: 48 superior dairy cows and heifers (the majority of which are close at profit or newly calved), 4 choice in-calf heifers, due April, fresh barren heifer, grand registered roan shorthorn bull, "Holme Dukedom," Vol. 66 by "Spency Butterfly Boy" 145626, roan stock bull 2 years old, 14 choice coloury in-calf heifers, 2 coloury barren heifers, 4 choice coloury eighteen-month-old heifers, 10 grand coloury yearling heifers by a pedigree bull, 3 grand reared heifer calves, 4 choice coloury autumn reared heifer calves, 6 rearing heifer calves, 6 young calves.
9HORSES AND COLTS, including: 4 capital registered shire mares (of the most fashionable breeding), all quiet and good workers (two of which are believed safe in foal to "Monks Green Forward" and "Honey Hill King"), Brown gelding 5 years old, quiet and capital worker, 3 yearlings and 2 years' old colts and geldings, Dun pony mare, 8 years old, 13.2 h.h., quiet to ride and drive, pass all traffic and can be well recommended.
15LARGE WHITE PIGS, viz.: 4 large white in-pig gilts (due to farrow in February and March), large white sow, and 20 followers.
A large and extensive assortment of modern farm IMPLEMENTS, TACKLE and DAIRY UTENSILS.
Luncheon will be provided on the usual terms.
A motor char-a-banc will leave the Green Man Hotel, Ashbourne, at 10.45 prompt to convey intending customers to the sale.
Full particulars in detailed catalogues.
Sale to commence at eleven o'clock.

© British Newspaper Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 25 February 1921