Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 18 December 1903
A fire broke out early on Sunday morning at Shirley Park Farmstead, in the occupation of Mr. William Millward, and belonging to the estate of Sir Peter Walker. The fire seems to have originated in the loft above the cowsheds, and it is surmised that someone must have been sleeping there, the cause of the fire being unknown. The floor of the loft being of concrete, the fire did not proceed rapidly downwards, otherwise the cows would have been burnt; as it was they were got away safely, the loss being confined to some unthrashed oats, fowls and implements. The falling of the roof and the lowing of the cattle fortunately aroused the inmates, and the wind was in the direction to carry the flames away from the two houses near, fortunately they escaped without damage. Assistance was readily given by residents, and the Ashbourne Fire Brigade, under Captain Murray, was soon in attendance, so the fire was soon subdued, but not till the building was gutted.