Parwich & District Local History Society

Newsletter number 3 (October 2000)

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Parwich Parish in the 1840s: some statistics

Copyright © 2000 Peter Trewhitt

In 1841 the first Government Census took place that listed each individual in each Parish. The Deeds/Buildings Sub-group of the Society has been looking at the Censuses for the Nineteenth Century as part of their collection of information on the history and development of the houses in Parwich. Also in 1843 there was a Tithe Map prepared for Parwich. Tithes were money each person paid towards the upkeep of the parish priest, etc. (though only part of the tithes ended up in the church coffers or with the priest in most parishes by this date), and the Tithe Map is a list of everyone who owned or was tenant of land or houses in a parish. Brian Foden has been analysing the 1843 Tithe Map for Parwich. By combining information from both the Census and the Tithe Map we can find out a lot about the parish in the early 1840s.

There were some 531 people in the parish on the night of the Census. Two of these were visitors, Mary Taylor and her infant child staying with the Kirkhams at Blanche Meadow. It is not clear how many people who were normally resident in Parwich were away that night.


Under 5 years

5 to 10 years

10 to 20 years

20 to 40 years

40 to 60 years

60 years and over


73 (14%)

67 (13%)

103 (19%)

153 (29%)

89 (17%)

45 (8%)

Table 1. Age distribution of the population in Parwich in 1841 (figures in brackets represent percentage of the total population)

At least one person was away: Isaac Greaves the Landlord of the Wheatsheaf. Never-the-less we can say there was around 530 people living in the parish in 1841, which is not very different to the present (approximately 520 today). Also there were some 109 households, which means there was an average of 5 people per household. There were only 3 one-person and some 12 two-person households. The majority of one and two person households contained people aged over 60. This contrasts with the largest household which was Hawkslow Farm inhabited by Thomas Gould (Farmer) his wife, their 4 children and 5 servants. It is probable that the servants were farm workers rather than employed about the house.

There are more houses today (202 today, excluding holiday cottages), and fewer people per household (average of 2.5 people per household). This is in part due to lack of servants now. In 1841 if we exclude servants the average household is 4 people. The difference in household size may be due not so much to fewer children now, as to more people living one and two people households. In 1841 fewer people chose to, or could afford to live by themselves or as a couple.

The age distribution of the population is shown in the table 1.

At the time the 1841 Census was udertaken, the youngest child in the parish was Eliza Smith, 3 days old and living at Orchard View, and the oldest person was John Millward a 90 year old agricultural labourer, living in Creamery Lane. There is the mixture in ages that we still have today in the village with no age group dominating excessively, though the shorter average life expectancy can be seen in the smaller numbers of people aged between 40 and 60 and aged over 60.

The 1841 Census tells us whether or not each person was born in Derbyshire, but unlike the later Censuses does not give a place of birth. Some 40 individuals were born outside Derbyshire, which is approximately 8% of the population. From later Censuses we see that the person who had come the furthest was Mrs. Harriet Sin, wife of the Vicar, living at the Hall, who was born in Cape Town. Also from the later Census we see that many of the residents born in Derbyshire were from neighbouring towns and villages. The list below gives the surnames on the Census (the figure in brackets is the number of individuals with that name).Apologies to readers of our first Newsletter in which I quoted a much shorter list of surnames. This was based on the then copy of the 1841 Census in Matlock Local Studies Library, which was incomplete. They now have a complete copy on microfilm.

It is perhaps surprising the number of surnames we find, especially surnames occurring only once (40%) or twice (10%). The majority of those with a surname occurring only once or twice are servants. This perhaps suggests that there was a lot of moving for work. But also as expected a relatively small number of presumably interrelated families with names that are connected with Parwich back to the sixteenth century and earlier form the majority of the population. Some 15 surnames form 54% of the population.

Parwich Surnames in 1841

Adams (1) Burton (1) Evans (17) Hitchcock (1) Naiding (1) Smedley (1)
Aiden (3) Caldwell (1) Fernihough (4) Hopkins (2) Needham (1) Smith (9)
Allen (2) Carding (1) Flint (1) Ironmonger (2) Norton (1) Steeple (4)
Alsop (18) Chadwick (7) Frith (12) Jackson (1) Parker (1) Stone (2)
Austin (2) Cordon (1) Frost (1) Jerome (3) Plesey (1) Sutton (4)
Ayre (2) Cotton (5) Gibbon (5) Johnson (21) Poiser (1) Swindell (35)
Battesly (5) Crichlow (3) Gould (10) Keeling (26) Prince (7) Taylor (2)
Beardsley (1) Dab? (1) Greatorex (8) Kirkham (30) Richard (25) Twigge (24)
Benett (1) Dakin (4) Greaves (4) Lees (18) Riley (4) Wain (7)
Beresford (2) Daniel (1) Hadfield (10) Longden (1) Roe (12) Watson (6)
Blackwell (1) Dutton (1) Hall (7) Madkin (1) Saint (6) Webster (25)
Bonsall (1) Edge (6) Hambleton (1) Marsh (1) Shaw (6) Wheeldon (1)
Bottom (6) Ellis (16) Hanch (1) Mather (4) Sin (2) Wood (1)
Brindley (5) Ensor (1) Harris (1) Mellor (2) Slackburn (1) Wright (9)
Brownson (10) Etherington (7) Hill (4) Mycock (3) Slater (1) Yates (4)
Bullock (1)

There are some problems interpreting the occupation of everyone on the Census, as generally only the occupation of the head of a household and the servants are given. There are, for example, a number of farming households where there are adult children with no listed occupation. In these situations it must be highly likely that these children are employed on the farm. Using the occupations given on the Census we get the list shown in Table 2 (overleaf).

The pattern of employment must be very different from what it is today. The largest single occupation is ‘servant’, but it is likely that as most of the servants are employed in farming households that their work primarily relates to the farm rather than housework. The Vicar living in the hall only employs three servants, where many farmers employ three or four servants. For the under twenties being a servant is the most common form of employment, unless as suggested above you were working for your parents. Children were starting work as servants as young as 9 and 10.

Taking farm servants into account, agriculture is by far the largest source of employment, involving more than 50% of the workforce directly. One wonders now what percentage of the workforce is directly employed in farming.

The occupation that I was not expecting was ‘chair bottomer’, would this be making straw seats on wooden chair frames? This seems very specialised for a smallish village. The Crown and the Wheatsheaf both have publicans listed, but the Sycamore has a brewer and a valuor listed but no publican. There is a mystery in that I have no idea what a ‘JI’ is: this seems to be what is listed under occupation for James Webster living at The Mount, with his father who was a butcher.

Table 2. Number and age of people under each employment type listed in 1841 Census



Age range

Average Age

Male Servant


9 to 55


Female Servant


10 to 55




50 to 60


Agricultural Labourer


20 to 90




22 to 78


Farming Bailiff



Farmer & Grocer



Farrier & Grocer



Grocer (see above)





35 to 38







30 to 51


Cordwainer (Shoe maker)


30 to 50


Apprentice Shoe maker






Apprentice Tailor



Dress maker


24 to 25


Stay maker



Straw hat maker





35 to 66


Thread maker



Twine maker






Chair bottomer





29 to 67


Stone mason


25 to 50




26 to 30




26 to 78





Bankers Clerk











50 to 55







30 to 71


Poor woman


65 to 70




30 to 73









Copyright © 2000 Brian Foden

In reply to J.M.G.’s query in the last edition of the News Letter, regarding the date stone bearing the inscription B.A.B. 1765 to be seen carved on the lintel above the door of the small barn in Ball Croft.

It became the fashion during the second half of the 16th century for gentlemen and yeomen farmers to carve a date on the stone above the door lintel or even above the fireplace. The date was often combined with the initials of the forenames of husband and wife followed by the surname initial. The date stone usually commemorates the completion of a new building, but may also refer to an extension or refurbishment, a good example of the latter can be seen at the rear of Knob Hall.

So who was B.A.B and why bother with a date stone for such an insignificant building? The church records for this period show only one entry for anyone with the initials B.B. this being Benjamin Bowler. A later entry shows that Benjamin married Alice Adams on the 6th of November 1754, giving the initials B.A.B. (Benjamin and Alice Bowler).

The Tithe Map of 1843, the earliest surviving map of the village, shows not a small barn on the site but a substantial dwelling house (604). It was owned by William Evans esquire who had bought the manor of Parwich from the Levinge family in 1815. The tithe apportionment shows that the house was occupied by William Hall and another, and is described as a house and three gardens with an area of 16 perches. William Hall was the son of Joseph and Mary Hall (nee Staley) and was baptised in Parwich church on the 29th of June 1802 and married


Mary daughter of Thomas and Martha Kirkham of the Sycamore Inn on the 5th of August 1821. The census returns of 1841 tell us that William was a weaver by trade and lived in the house with his wife Mary and daughter Sarah aged ten. It is possible that William would work from home and that the building contained a workshop for his loom.

The building is shown as a house on the first edition of the Ordinance Survey map of 1880, but on the 1913 Estate map it is appears as a small barn, It would seem the house was demolished some time between 1880 and 1913 and replaced with the present building perhaps reusing some of the original materials, including the date stone. Two of the three gardens mentioned in the Tithe apportionment can be seen as level areas to the north and west but the third is now covered in spoil from the workings on Dodds Hill.




1656 – 1724

Copyright © 2000 Brian Foden

Richard Levinge was the second son of Richard Levinge of Parwich and great grandson of Thomas Levinge 1564-1640 of Baddersley Ensor and Sturson. It was Thomas who had bought the manor of Parwich from Sir Edward Cokayne of Ashbourne in about the year 1600. Richard was born and baptised in Leek Staffordshire in May 1656, probably at Park Hall the family home of his mother Anne Parker. It was Richards elder brother Thomas who succeeded to the estate of Parwich after the death of his father in 1667, but all did not go well for him, by 1675 he was in the Kings Bench as a debtor and pleaded with his brother Richard and his mother Anne to pay his debts and gain his release from prison. This was agreed by Richard on condition that Thomas passed on the Estate at Parwich to him and his heirs for an annuity of fifty pounds per annum. Thomas later married Jane daughter of William Winters of Breconshire, his wife and children all died in his lifetime and he retired to the Continent and died in Rome in 1684.

Richard married twice, first to Mary daughter of Sir Garwin Corbyn in 1680. They had four sons and three daughters. Richard, the eldest son succeeded his father and married Isabella daughter of Sir Arthur Rawden. Charles, who succeeded his brother Richard. John, Captain of Dragoons, unmarried, died 1738. Mary, born and baptised in Parwich, she married Washington Shirley 2nd Earl Ferrers. Dorothea, who married Charles Cobbe, Archbishop of Dublin. Grace who married William Kennedy of Mullow County Longford and Corbin who was born in Parwich in 1697 and died in infancy the next year. Richard remarried in 1718 to Mary daughter of Robert Johnson; Baron of the Irish Exchequer and by her had a further son Richard.

Richard became an eminent lawyer and Parliamentarian both in England and later in Ireland where he acquired large estates in County Westmeath including Knockdrin Castle, which became the family seat. He still held the Manor of Parwich and this was added to by land purchase and enclosure both by himself and later generations of the Levinge family and by the time the estate was sold by Sir Richard Levinge the 6th Baronet in 1814 to William Evans it contained 1600 acres.

In September 1671 Richard entered the Inner Temple as a student and was called to the Bar in November 1678. He became Recorder for Chester in 1687 and was Member of Parliament there from 1690 to 1692. From 1690 to 1694 he was Solicitor General for Ireland and was knighted in 1692. This is the year he was elected MP for both Belfast and Blessington choosing to sit for Blessington in the Irish House of Commons where he was chosen as Speaker of the Assembly and remained in office until the dissolution of 1695. In 1695 he was elected MP for Longford and elected again in 1703. On April 13th 1704 he was created Baronet and appointed Solicitor General once more. In 1706 he became a bencher of the Inner Temple and the next year elected MP for Derby in the English Parliament and Attorney General for Ireland. By 1717 he was back in Ireland and sat as MP for Kilkenny, becoming Lord Chief Justice of the Irish Court of Common Pleas in 1720 until his death in 1724.

In 1700 Richard Levinge was one of the seven commissioners appointed by the House of Commons to take into account the Irish estates forfeited to the Crown. The facts that the inquiry brought to light were startling. The Law officers of the Crown, even the Lords Justices and the King himself, had feathered their own nests out of the spoils. These spoils were estimated to be in the region of 1,700,000 acres of land. One of the Commissioners, John Trenchard, exposed the scandal to Parliament, but Levinge knowing his own hands were not clean in the grabbing of the estates denounced Trenchard to the King. Levinge was summoned before Parliament and was imprisoned in the Tower of London from the 16th of January to the 11th of April 1700. By 1702 Queen Anne was on the throne and Sir Richard was deemed to be the most the most suitable of men and was re-elected MP for Longford in Ireland.


-Historical notices of the Levinge family. Sir Richard Charles Augustus Levinge 1853.  British Library.

-Lysons History of Derbyshire. 1811. Vol 2. Page 14.

-Parwich Enclosure Award. 1788. DRO.

-Burks Landed Gentry. 1894. Edition.

-The Levinge Papers. Historical Manuscripts Commission. Chancery Lane London.

-Sale catalogue. Parwich Manor 1814. DRO.

-Old Halls, Manors & Families of Derbyshire. Tilley. 1893.

-A History of the ancient Parish of Leek. John Sleigh. 1862.

-Parish Records, Parwich, Ashbourne and Leek. Parwich[64] Dam Farm

House built of stone rubble in the late 17th century. It was probably originally of two cells and of one storey and an attic. A straight joint in the lower part of the wall and a room to the right shows both the length and the height of the original building. Entry was by a door, now blocked, at the end of the hall against the heck of a former firehood of which the window survives on the opposite wall. The inner room was unheated and retains an original raised-cruck truss in the gable wall. Later a third bay was built at the far side of the hall. In c.1800 the whole house was heightened and altered, the door was moved to the far end of the hall with a staircase opposite, all the ground-floor rooms were heated, and a dairy was built in an outshut at the back. A range of farm buildings has been added to the lower end of the house.”

Eric Mercer (1975) “English Vernacular Houses” Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. P. 147


Property Deeds

Copyright © 2000 Phil Bramhall and Peter Trewhitt

The Buildings Sub-Group are starting to catalogue the Deeds of houses of group members. Here is a sample for Rose Cottage on Smithy Lane:

-Indenture Dated: 5th April 1820. Lease of the property for one year

John Brittlebank of Ashbourne (Gentleman) and his Trustee Edward Baines of Ashbourne agree to sell the freehold of the house occupied by Robert Mather junior including 5 perches of land on the following day to Robert Mather senior of Wirksworth (Cordwainer) and his Trustee Peter Bainbrigge of Ashbourne (Gentleman).

Robert Mather junior was occupying the property as tenant of John Brittlebank, which was the only identification of the property other than it was in Parwich. The agreement was for a year’s lease for a peppercorn rent. Five shillings was paid to each of John Brittlebank and Edward Baines in consideration of this contract.

The agreement was witnessed by Thomas Kent and William Tomlinson clerkes to Messers Brittlebank & Bainbrigge, Attorneys, Ashbourne.

-Indenture Dated: 6th April 1820. Sale of Freehold and all that pertains to it.

Following on from the above agreement, the same parties agree the sale of the property (no further identification than above) for £80. John Brittlebank and Edward Baines were paid ten shillings each in consideration of this contract.

John Brittlebank in this indenture was committed to produce if required the following documents:

-2nd & 3rd Feb. 1738 Indentures of lease and release between Thomas Dakeyne of the one part and Samuel Briddon of the other part.

-27th Sept. 1802 Probate copy of the will of the said Samuel Briddon.

-2nd April 1814 Copy of the will of Richard Briddon.

-23rd & 24th Dec. 1819 Indentures of lease and release the latter made between Samuel Briddon eldest son and heir at law of the said Richard Briddon (deceased) of the first part, Richard Briddon and Joseph Briddon sons of the said Richard Briddon (deceased) of the second part, Humphrey Pipe of the third part, the said John Brittlebank of the fourth part and the said Edward Baines of the fifth part.

-Easter Term 1st of George 4th Chirograph indentures of fine wherein the said John Brittlebank is Plaintiff and the said Samuel Briddon, Richard Briddon and Joseph Briddon are Deforciants (“one who keeps another wrongfully out of possession of an estate” OED).

-24th Dec 1819 Indenture made between the last named Richard Briddon and Joseph Briddon of the one part and the said John Brittlebank of the other part being a Deed of Covenant for the production of a Deed Poll (a document made by one party only, whose edge was cut straight) dated 26th March 1817 under the hand and seals of Richard Arkwright and Samuel Simpson Esquires.

Comments - An indenture is where two or more copies of and agreement are cut with identical ‘indentures’ so that each party can demonstrate the other’s copy was the same agreement. This contrasts with a Deed Pole which is a legal commitment by one party only, here the edge is left straight (or pole).

- The practise of establishing a year’s lease prior to sale was to avoid tax incurred by the property sale. The two sets of indentures: Deeds of Lease and of Release were needed for this tax avoidance. The rent was literally a peppercorn. Hence the phrase ‘for a peppercorn rent’.

- John Brittlebank was an Ashbourne Lawyer who may have built Parwich Leys, which was being farmed by his son by 1851. That John Brittlebank was a lawyer is not inconsistent with their earlier description as Gentlemen, as the law was one of ‘the learned professions’ which entitled it followers to the status of Gentleman.

- One perch equals five and a half yards, and this probably corresponds to the current site.

- Robert Mather Senior seems to have been born in Wirkesworth but his wife in Parwich, they later appear in the Censuses as living in Parwich. Robert Mather junior like his father was a cordwainer or shoemaker. The origin of cordwainer was one who works with goat leather.

- The schedule of other documents that were retained by John Brittlebank may give us some idea of the age of the property. The property looks to be eighteenth century, so perhaps the 1738 document refers to the sale of a ‘newish’ house or of a building plot to Samuel Briddon by Thomas Dakeyne. The house then passed down the Briddon family until Samuel’s grandson Samuel sold it to John Brittlebank in 1819. Did John Brittlebank buy the property as speculation? This transaction did not go smoothly as he had to take out legal action early the following year. George IV came to the throne in 1820, so the term referred to would put the legal action somewhere before Easter in 1820. Then John Brittlebank sold it in 1820 to Robert Mather, whose son was tenant in the property.

Editor's Note If your property deeds go back to the early 1800s or earlier we would like to hear from you.  Also often deeds went with the land rather than the house, so if you have deeds that refer to houses other than your own, let us know.


Speculation on route of a trackway continuing from Monsdale Lane

Copyright © 2000 Peter Trewhitt

The map below shows the route of a possible trackway behind Hallcliffe and Flaxdale land. There is a distinct terrace running along the south side of the field between Hallcliffe/Flaxdale and Kiln Lane. This has been levelled into the hillside. It is some 18 feet wide and seems to predate the existing boundaries in that the rear boundary wall of Hallcliffe land is built some 3 or 4 feet onto the terrace.

The map below shows the location of the terrace. The following features were noted:

1) The terrace does not stand out clearly on the croft behind Croft Avenue. It appears to head towards the existing gate opposite Creamery Cottage. In this field the slope of the land is much less marked. Alternatively it could link with the drive for The Croft and Tumbleweeds.

2) Behind Hallcliffe the terrace is very distinct with the boundary wall being built on the terrace itself. The slope in the ground is much more marked here with the upper side of the terrace being cut into the slope and the lower side being raised slightly. The boundaries of Hallcliffe paddock and orchard seem to be the same on the 1843 Tithe Map as at present, suggesting that the terrace is older than 1843, and was not longer in use as a through way by then.

Where the number 2 is marked there is a possible curve or fork in the terrace. It seems to continue on the level, but there is also some suggestion that it also cuts across the corner of Hallcliffe orchard into Hallcliffe paddock. The old gateway (between the two fields) with a large undressed gatepost is slightly to the east of this possible fork. The hedgerow running from Kiln Lane to the end bungalow on Croft Avenue contains a remarkably wide and deep ditch, almost large enough to be an eroded hollow way, though it seems unlikely there would be a trackway here.

3) At the corner of Flaxdale land there is a bend in the terrace with a rise in the otherwise level route. It is perhaps strange that this rise was left when the rest of the terrace had been levelled so carefully.

4) Here the level land widens and has a stone barn alongside and a modern prefabricated garage, which is on the terrace itself. The first part of the track, as it leaves Kiln Lane is marked on the 1843 Tithe Map as a dead end. On this map the barn here is not marked, suggesting it is a later building. On the slope above the present wall there is a rectangular embankment enclosing perhaps a sixth of an acre (it needs measuring) facing south-west. Ross Dean (see previous Newsletter) suggested this is the remains of an old field system with a surrounding embankment and ditch..

There does not seem to be any local tradition of a trackway here, or of anything in the field it goes round, other than a chicken shed on the top part of the field during the Second World War. As argued above the trackway, if this is what it is, is older than 1843. One possible suggestion is that it is older than Kiln Lane, and was a continuation of Monsdale Lane providing access to the medieval field system south of Monsdale Lane, and a route to Ballidon from the Hall and surrounding area. An alternative suggested by Brian Foden, is that it could have been a back lane providing access to the medieval tofts and crofts (paddocks and gardens associated with houses) that ran up from the Green.

If you have any suggestions, comments or information relating to this possible trackway please let me know. The land it crosses is private, so anyone wanting to explore it will need permission.


A Walk up Eaton Dale

Copyright © 2000 Led and reported by Rob Francis

This is a description of the walk we took up Eaton Dale on Thursday 15th June. The walk is likely to take you about 3 hours.

Eaton Dale is an atmospheric valley, hidden from other main routes out of Parwich, between the road to Alsop-en-le-Dale and the Dale up to White Cliff Farm. However there is clearly a trackway that runs from Parwich, through Eaton Dale and up towards the lost village of Cold Eaton which was probably deserted sometime in the 13th/14th century. There is a suggestion that Cold Eaton was once a larger settlement than Alsop. If this is the case the footpath that runs from Parwich through Eaton Dale might once have been a main route linking the two settlements and consequently a much more important track than it is now as it may have linked to further settlements in Staffordshire and beyond.

Because of its fairly remote position it has not been extensively surveyed and is relatively unnoticed. As far as I’m aware there have been no excavations and little written about the valley. Therefore many features you will see on this walk are merely suggestions in the landscape, but suggestions that require a closer look in the future and which certainly hint at a busier past for Eaton Dale. These are a few of the features we might notice:-

1.   Set out up Dam Lane. Before reaching Flaxdale Holding there are earthworks that may possibly be the dam that gave its name to the lane. To the south side of the lane there is a culvert. This could have been constructed when the road was built, or improved, and was intended for drainage. Take the footpath that runs north from Dam Lane just after Flaxdale holding. The production of flax nearby is implied in the name of Flaxdale Holding. This path crosses in front of Middle Hill Farm. There is considerable evidence of early farming in the numerous ridge and furrow patterns on the fields.

2.   As you come into the entrance of Eaton Dale, to the north side of the valley, there are distinct and regular markings etched on the side of the hill (174553).  This is perhaps evidence of early farming. Certainly there are regular rectangular markings on the side of the hill.

3.   Continue to follow the path up Eaton Dale. Coming down from the north

side of the dale are what look like a series of ridge and furrow (171555). This appears to be the only evidence for medieval farming in the valley and it seems unlikely ploughing would have been done on such a steep slope. It is a distinct possibility these could be Romano-British fields. Certainly, there is a similarity to the ones on the hillside leading up to Roystone Grange. There is evidence that there was Romano-British settlement somewhere between this dale and Alsop (see also possible orthostat wall 50 yards further on) and it may be that it extended into Eaton Dale itself.

4.   On the hillside there are the remains of two old gate posts (169557). Perhaps they are not as old as they look and the wall that they are a part of has been taken out, perhaps in the last 50 years. They seem oddly out of place here. In the middle of the dale there appears to be an artificial mound. There is no reference to a burial activity here and it is possibly a natural feature (169556). Any ideas?

5.   As you reach the gate leading up out of the dales you will notice a wall running up the slope out of the south side of the dale. It has been suggested that the stones are the remains of what could be a Romano-British flied wall with double othostats (167557).

6.   Continue out of the dale past Eaton Dale wood, to your right, through another field. To the north at the edge of the next field you will find an impressive standing stone which could serve a number of functions (166559), an old gate post; cattle scratching post; bronze age ritual stone perhaps? There is mention in a 15th century document of the Holleston stone. The Trent and Peak Archaeological survey could find no direct connection with anything on the ground and suggested a stone in the wall at Hawkslow may have been the said Holleston Stone. This stone at the head of Eaton Dale is not mentioned in the survey and I can only think they missed it entirely. At one time, with a dramatic flourish, I would have nominated it as the missing Holleston stone and speculate that it was a boundary stone of some importance (it stands within a hundred yards of the parish boundary). However,  Brian Foden has unearthed an early 17th century document that swings the balance of probability back to Holleston being located at Hawkslow!  Never-the-less this impressive stone is more than a large gatepost and suggests some older use.

7.   Continue up to the head of the valley, past Oxdales Farm to your left and onto the main road. Originally the track would have past straight up to the deserted village of Cold Eaton and the road, still there, runs towards the important burial site of Liffs Low. Turn left on the main road and take the turning to Alsop Moor Cottages. Down the track past there and take the footpath that turns south.  Head between the two prominent burial mounds; to the east is Cross Low (162555) which was excavated by Bateman in 1843 . He found a crouched skeleton with a food vessel and cremation urns, probably of children. To the west is another tumulus (159556).  He also excavated a mound on a rocky ridge overlooking Alsop-en-le-Dale finding a cremation and child skeleton, it seems likely  that this is that tumulus. An impressive stone makes up part of one of the stiles you will cross at this point . Could this also be an older marker of a boundary which was later incorporated as a stile into a wall?

8.   Walk down into the valley with Alsop-en-le-Dale in the bottom. An impressive artificial ridge runs along the field behind Manor Farm. The Trent and Peak Archaeological Survey suggests that as the name Alsop-en-le-Dale is found in no documents until the 14th century and that the settlement was originally higher up the valley (perhaps linked with Cold Eaton) and that as Cold Eaton shivered and shrank the inhabitants moved down into a warmer habitation which became the Alsop we now know. There are two other interesting features in Alsop. The Trent Survey noticed traces of settlement patterns in the field behind Church farm (161550).  These might be Romano-British. To the south of the lane leading back to Parwich, 250 yards from the church are some old walls and a ridge that seem to follow the parish boundary between Alsop and Hanson Grange. This could be an old boundary embankment, possibly connected with the Romano-British settlement or a medieval boundary embankment (161548).

9.   Finally you can follow the Weatherway back to Parwich,  south of Parwich Lees down the route where sheep were driven, possible from Hartington market or Alstonfield down into the settlement  of  Piowerwic.


A candidate for the Medieval Hollestone in Eaton Dale. Is this a Neolithic Megalith, a Bronze Age Ritual Stone, a way marker, a boundary stone, or just a very large gatepost?


Walk with Dr. Mark Edmunds of the University of Sheffield Archaeology Department in Bradbourne

Copyright © 2000 Peter Trewhitt

Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.

Derbyshire County Records Open day

Copyright © 2000  Edwina Flower and Peter Trewhitt

Permission has not been granted by the copyright holders to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.



Dear Editor

In the days of steam railway Alsop Moor Quarry was served by rail from Buxton on what is now The Tissington Trail. Empty wagons were ''hit up'' over the A515 on an ungated crossing into the sidings (now the large layby) at Alsop Moor, the mainline loco being too heavy for the track. On occasions the loaded train was too heavy for the brakes and would get down hill to Alsop Station before the Guards van caught up and it was re - coupled. The completed train then set off uphill to Parsley Hay for the train to be dismantled, weighed axle by axle, then re assembled, the weigh bridge being too small, and finally off to Buxton.                                                         Mike Goulden
Dear Editor


The origins of Parwich may well go back into prehistory, but archaeology and excavation are difficult as potential areas of settlement are covered by our village.  Saxon connections are evident from the  place name, par- by a stream and -wic from Latin vicus - a dairy farm.  Saxon settlements largely avoided Roman sites - requiring farming potential that tended to be on river terraces above the flood plain. Parwich is surrounded by high ground in particular to the north, creating a micro climate.  This and the reliable water supply make it a prime site, and natural choice. Underlying impermeable volcanic rock creates a suspended water table, giving a reliable supply.  Similar geological conditions also occur at Kniveton, Hognaston, Carsington, and Brassington. This feature could also account for the good flow of water at Bradbourne Mill even in the driest summers.  The 245 metre contour line appears to be a significant level for the lava flow.            Mike Goulden


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