A Topographical Dictionary of England (Document)
SHIRLEY (St. Michael), a parish, in the hundred of Appletree, S. division of the county of Derby, 4¼ miles (S. E. by S.) from Ashbourn, on the road to Derby; containing, with the townships of Stydd and Yeaveley, 599 inhabitants. Shirley is so called from the Saxon, signifying "a clear place or pasture;" and gives name to a family which has for ages been considered one of the most honourable in the county. Part of the lands still belong to the Shirleys, who are now represented by Earl Ferrers. The parish comprises 1598a. 3r. 29p. of land, mostly pasture. The ancient Hall, now converted into a farmhouse, still retains features of its original character; and the moat by which it was surrounded is yet remaining. The park, recently purchased by Francis Wright, Esq., exhibits very beautiful woodland scenery. The living is a discharged vicarage endowed with the rectorial tithes, with the chapelry of Yeaveley, and valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; patron, Earl Ferrers. The tithes have been commuted for £153. 17., and the glebe comprises 9 acres, with a parsonage-house, built in 1827, by the late vicar, the Rev. Walter Augustus Shirley, archdeacon of Derby, afterwards bishop of Sodor and Man, who died in 1847. The church is a small building with a tower; the body is of the 14th or 15th century: a north aisle was added in 1843, at a cost of about £800. In the churchyard is a remarkable yew-tree. A schoolhouse has been lately built.