which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Public Houses and Inns of Crich Parish

Derbyshire Alehouses 1577

In 1577 here were five licensed ale-houses in Crich.

The Certyfvcat of the namys of all such as do kepe Taverns Innys and Ale Howsys within the Countie of Derbie made by Sir Francis Leek knyght Justice of Peasse and Custos Rotulorum within the said Countie And other the Quene's Majesties Justices of Peasse there according to the letters of her heighnesse most honorable privie Councell to them in that behallff directed.

CRICH: Thomas Walker, William Lyttlewodd, Wydow Alsopp, William Wilde, Laurans Chetham.
Alehowsis v.

Miners Hack, Wakebridge

From research by Fred Dyson

The victualler records for Crich show Grace Broomhead, the owner of the Miners Hack according to the 1784 map, as having paid for two people as licencees 1761 to 1781. Prior to this there are two records for William Broomhead recorded in 1758. Wiliam is licensed himself with one other. Grace is recorded as widow in 1761 and 1762, later she is just Grace. There is also a record for the cottage in 1835 showing it as a brewhouse and beershop.

Victualler Record: Morleston and Litchurch 1761

Sylvester Elizabeth   £10
  Boome Daniel £10
Peat William   --
  Cowlishaw Saml. £10
  Piggin John £10
Sylvester Christopher   --
  Piggin John £10
  Cowlishaw Saml. £10
Hay Edward   £10
  Hog Paul £10
Broomhile Widow   --
  Curzon John £10
  Hog Paul £10
Jackson William   --


Victualler Record: Crich 1778

Allsop Francis   £10
  Langton Joseph £10
Broomhead Grace   --
  Walker Hugh £10
  Cook Thomas £10
Caforn? Thomas   £10
  Taylor George £10
Cooke Thomas   £10
  Walker Hugh £10
Flint John   £10
  Langton Joseph £10
Greenholf Lydia   £10
  Walker Hugh £10
Hall Mary   £10
  Langton Joseph £10
Haslam William   --
  Hay Edward £10
  Smith William £10
Hay Edward   £10
  Smith William £10
Marshall George   £10
  Rolley George £10
Rolley George   £10
  Marshall George £10
Silvester Hannah   --
  Hay Edward £10
  Smith William £10
Smith William   £10
  Hay Edward £10
Stocks John   --
  Smith William £10
  Hay Edward £10
Taylor George   £10
  Walker Hugh £10
Walker Hugh   £10
  Cooke Thomas £10

Morleston and Litchurch Hundred 1779

A Register or Calendar of all the Recognizances entered into by or for the several persons to whom licences were granted to keep Inns and Common Alehouses in the Hundred of Morleston & Litchurch and County of Derby in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine and returned to the Clerk of the peace of the said County under the hands of the Justices of the Peace taking the same persuant to the statute.

Allsopp Francis of Crich

Wakebridge Map 1784

This is a copy of the 1784 Map of Wakebridge showing the Mines and Veins. It also shows houses and Inns

Use the scroll bars to navigate round the map.


Public Houses

From "A History of Crich" published by LANDMARK 2003


In Crich, as everywhere in Britain, the public house was a well-established meeting place for local people. In the nineteenth century the following inns and alehouses were strung out along the main routes in and through the parish*:

Lord Nelson at the bottom of Bullbridge Hill
Canal Inn in Bullbridge
Red Lion in Fritchley
Shoulder of Mutton in Fritchley
Kings Arms on Crich Common
Royal Oak opposite the Parish Room
Rising Sun at the top of the Dimple
Black Swan at the foot of Bown's Hill
Jovial Dutchman at the Cross
Greyhound on Roe's Lane
Wheatsheaf on Wheatsheaf Lane
Bulls Head opposite the Church
Cliff Inn at Town End on Cliffside
Miners Hack at Wakebridge

Watkins also records that there was an inn called "Last Drink Out" near Causeway Lane - on
the Drover's road to the north - and there was, at one time, a "Bluebell Inn" at Fritchley thought to be at what is now called Church Farm on Church Street. At Whatstandwell there were the Wheatsheaf Inn and the Derwent Hotel and, at one time, an inn on Chadwick Nick Lane.

An earlier inn in Crich, near the Market Place and at the foot of Bown's Hill just south of the
Black Swan, was a coaching inn called the "White Swan". The archway into the premises still exists and it may be this inn which was called the "Nether Black Swan" in advertisements in the Derby Mercury in 1799. The swan seems particularly associated with inns at the foot of Bown's Hill and since the existence of a black swan was not known until Captain Cook returned from his journey to Australia in the 1770s it is possible that the White Swan was renamed in recognition of the novelty. Legend has it that there was a subterranean passage linking the "Swan" inns with another old inn on the other side of the Back Lane which goes down behind the Bottom School and past the Comrades Club to Hilts cottages. Buildings on the "Swan" site can be seen on the 1728 painting of the Market Place and Bowns Hill that is held in Chiddingstone Castle.

Two other village inns, about which but little is known are spoken of. The first "The Victory"
is said to have been in what is now Victory Cottage immediately to the south of the junction of New Road and the Common . The other, "Iron Gates", was at Crich Carr to the south of the upper part of Ludway Carr Road , on Glen Road towards the foot of Bryan's Steps. Most of the public houses had clubrooms, many still in use for public meetings in the 20th century and evidence about the use of such rooms as public meeting places for the conduct of business and commerce is preserved in advertisements and notices in the Derby Mercury. Some examples are:

an announcement on 28th February 1789 of a sale of timber to be held at the Canal Inn on Bullbridge. About 300 oak trees in each of three woods, Culland Wood, Caldwell Wood and Shore's Wood were to be sold.

on 14th March 1799 notice was given of a meeting to be held in the Bulls Head at Crich by the Trustees of the Cromford to Langley Mill Turnpike to consider the propriety of erecting a chain or a side gate on a road leading to the turnpike between Bullbridge and the Tollbar House.

on 18th January 1799 an Auction Sale was to be held at the Nether Black Swan in Crich of a freehold estate at Plaistow currently occupied by Ralph Wild and Samuel Orme.

on 3rd October 1799 an auction was to be held at the Bulls Head, Crich for the letting of toll-gate rights on the Cromford to Langley Mill Turnpike.

on 1st August 1799 a sale of messuage, garden shop, cowhouse and four acres of land at Edge Moor, Plaistow was handled by J. Walker (the schoolmaster who opened the new school at the Bower on the Common in 1799)

Meetings other than sales and auctions were also held in the local inns. The Derby Mercury of 28th February 1799 gave notice of a meeting, at the "Peacock", Oakerthorpe (it being an annual meeting) of the South Wingfield Association of the Prosecution of Felons. The largest group of members of this association from a single village, eleven in number, came from Crich Parish. They included Jos Bowmer and Thomas Travis, local farmers and millers and Sam Turton of the family that owned the cotton mill on the Dimple Brook. Other members of the Association included Francis Hurt of Alderwasley; Outram, Wright, Beresford and Jessop of Butterley; Peter Nightingale and Joseph Wass of Lea - all of whom had business interests in the quarries and lead mines of Crich. The Mercury reported that at a meeting on 28th November 1798 there had been agreement on the rewards to be granted to an informer, for evidence leading to a conviction, for the following crimes:-

£5 5s Od for burglary or highway robbery
£3 3 s Od for stealing a horse, or a cow, or a pig or any other capital offence
10s Od for stealing poultry, cutting trees, hedges, etc., or destroying or stealing
utensils or peas, beans, cabbage, etc. or any other petty larceny

In 1799 the average weekly wage of a labourer would be about 8s Od.

The Derby Mercury of 27th February 1800 carried a notice from the South Wingfield Association giving details of break-ins at Bullbridge and Chase Cliffe and an offer of rewards for information leading to conviction.

The public houses were also the places where the Friendly Societies met. In 1793 when these began to be formed four were organised in Derbyshire, the first registered at Sessions being at Alfreton, Crich and Ashford. By the following year there were 98, by the end of the century 143 and by 1830 399 had been filed by the Clerk of the Peace - in those days the senior bureaucrat of local government.

In 1803 there were three "Mens Friendly Societies" in Crich. Together they had 106 members - about 44 % of possible contributors. There was also a "Female Friendly Society" with 60 members - which covered about 9% of those possible. Typical objectives of a 'female' society (this example is for the Glossop Female Friendly Society) were:-
"For the purpose of support of such members of this society as shall at any time be rendered incapable of work by means of Sickness, Lameness, Old Age or Casualties and for the decent interment of deceased Members, their Husbands and Widowers".

The first society in Crich (a copy of its rule book is still extant) was the Independent Friendly
Society and was instituted "For the Benefit of Sick and Infirm Members" and it met formally for the first time on 4th October 1794. For some years its meetings were held at the Black Swan in Crich. Later it held meetings in its own Clubroom, built in 1835 - in what became the Parish Room. The Society was operated under a constitution comprising some 43 Articles and the formalities almost matched those of a London Livery Guild (on which, indeed, they may have been based). Eligibility for entry, the monthly subscription, the dates of monthly meetings (on the "First Saturday in every month between the hours of six and eight o'clock in the evening, from Michaelmas to Lady-Day and between the hours of seven and nine o'clock in the evening from Lady-Day to Michaelmas") and the functions and control of the Society were defined in some detail. The Society was governed by a Master, two Wardens and twelve Assistants, who included one to act as Constable, another as his Deputy and two others to officiate as Butlers. The posts of Constable and Butler were to be "chosen by rotation as they stand on the Roll", any member refusing such office had to pay fines to the Master and other officers. The duties of the Master required him to call over the Roll at specific times, the Wardens and Assistants to help him as necessary and to execute other business. The Constable's job was to preserve peace and good order, and that of the Butler was "to deliver Liquor out in due Proportion". If the Butlers brought in more ale than authorised by the Master and Wardens (the cost was covered by levy of twopence - included in the monthly subscription of a shilling) then "they must pay for the Over-plus". On Whitsun Tuesday the Master and Wardens were required to organise a dinner for all members of the Society residing within six miles of the Clubroom - and a member was required to attend in decent apparel "with a pair of good white gloves, and a ribbon, provided at his own expense". (Business for framework knitters ?)

After the dinner the Society was required to parade the town. Before the dinner they went to church to hear Divine Service - each member carrying a wand provided by the Wardens. Officers and members failing to attend meetings or failing in their assigned duties were subject to forfeits: for example, for a shilling if neglecting to attend a meeting at the specific request of the Master or Wardens - three days notice having been given. When a member had been in the Society for twelve months, and if he became sick, lame or blind and unable to follow his occupation, he was entitled to receive seven shillings for each week that his inability continued, for a period not exceeding ten weeks, provided that the cause did not proceed from a "vicious course of life" or from some infirmity concealed from the Society at the time of his entrance. After then, if the disability continued, the sufferer got six shillings for ten weeks more, then five for another ten weeks and if he needed help beyond thirty weeks he could receive four shillings a week for so long as his inability continued. If members lived outside the Constabulary of Crich they were required to provide certificates about the continuance of their state and the Master and Wardens were empowered to visit the sick members at stipulated times to keep an eye on those drawing benefit. (Infectious diseases could prompt exemption from a visit). A member who attained the age of 70 could draw four shillings a week for life, provided that he made no other claims, e.g. for sickness, on the Society. Provision was also made not only for widows but for widowers, who could get help for funeral expenses. Officers and assistants were required to attend the interment of a deceased member, decently dressed and each carrying a "Black Wand and Scarf - and a Pair of White Gloves provided at his own Expense". Again there were forfeits for non-execution of these duties and there were fines on members who misbehaved by brawling or behaving 'indecently', by refusing to be silent during the transaction of business or by proposing to break-up the Society. Other Articles covered items concerning administration, elections and interpretation of the Constitution. As noted elsewhere, the Clubroom of the Independent Society became the Parish Room in 1894 following the Local Government Act of 1894.

Another public house which provided a clubroom for a Friendly Society was the Jovial Dutchman. Here met the Cleft in the Rock Lodge No. 123 of the United Ancient Order of Druids, who in 1838 had their byelaws printed by T. Turner of Pentrich and who, in 1856, led the procession celebrating the end of the Crimean War.

On Whit Monday 10th June 1867 Denman Mason, who returned from a holiday in Matlock (Well Dressings were viewed at Matlock Bath), noted that he: "Saw three Clubs marching through the Township of Crich today with three first class brass bands". It would seem that these Whitsuntide marches by the Friendly Societies were the origin of the later Whitsuntide Walks by the religious organisations in Crich. No mention was made by Mason of church or chapel organisations taking part in the Whitsuntide Walks - though he does note the Anniversary Services at various chapels.

* In the 1839 Rating Survey the Rising Sun, the Black Swan and the Greyhound (and several unnamed Beer Shops) were rated on the basis that they had 'Brewhouses', i.e. made their own beer.

With thanks to the late Geoff Dawes who gave permission for me to use any of the materials from his book "A History of Crich" published by LANDMARK 2003, (Peter Patilla)

The Inns of Crich

G. M. Else

Taken from the WEA booklet written to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977.

CRICH had numerous inns and beerhouses in past years, due no doubt to the many workers employed in the wool and cotton spinning industry, lead mining, quarrying and agriculture, who would find their relaxation along with exchange of news, local and otherwise, as well as refreshment therein. Some inns provided accommodation and food for the travellers by horse drawn coaches, stabling for the animals, and mail was deposited there for collection and dispatch.

During the early part of the nineteenth century every village had at least one Friendly Society. Crich had several such societies, and maybe a room of the inn would be used for their meetings.

Around the Market Place and the upper part of the Cross area the public houses appear to have been within a short distance of each other, some of these are now converted to private houses, others are still open and one has been demolished. Despite renovations over the years, behind the facade the buildings belong to an earlier age.

Bagshaws Directory of 1846 lists 11 inns and taverns, and 13 beerhouses ranging from Bullbridge, South of the Parish towards Plaistow Green in the North, though some inns are included here which are not mentioned that year.

*Canal Inn
*Lord Nelson
Shoulder of Mutton
Blue Bell
*Red Lion
Market Place Area
*Rising Sun
Royal Oak
* Black Swan
White Swan
Cross Area and Above
*Jovial Dutchman
Bulls head
*Cliff Inn
Miners Hack
Bulls Head

* denotes still open in 1977

The Bulls Head (now private houses) is said to date back to mediaeval times (12th century) when it originally housed masons engaged in building the Parish Church. Later it became an inn, its owners holding a pew in the Church which was sold alongside the property when it changed hands as was once the custom. There was stabling for horses (now a garage) and a club-room. It closed in 1955.

The Wheatsheaf (private house) has mullioncd windows, and an old brewhouse opposite. Situated at the top of Sheaf Lane it was once occupied by a relative of George Stephenson, and when Stephenson brought his distinguished guests to view the mineral railway, they ended up here with a tankard of beer, and a grilled chop.

The Jovial Dutchman is mentioned in a Crich guide of 1915 as being a modern hotel having apartments and board residence with horse and pony turnouts for hire. Visitors met at all stations - five minutes from the famous Stand.' Illustrated on front cover.

Greyhound Inn This inn used to stand down Roes Lane, and in 1846 it was kept by Joseph Roe who was a trustee and treasurer of the Crich Independent Friendly Society, (now demolished).

The Black Swan was a notable coaching hostelry and posting house on the route of the Nottingham to Newhaven turnpike road in days of yore. Access for coaches was via the Archway, and the old mounting steps were once hereabouts. At the rear stabling and outbuildings still remain.

The White Swan It is supposed that this inn was across the way at the head of the narrow lane, linked to its counterpart by an underground passage.

In an auction on 18 March 1813 it was referred to as the Nether Swan.

Auction of the Neter Swan in 1813

Derby Mercury 18 March 1813

The Royal Oak (private house). Inside one of the Royal Oak cottages, until a few years ago could be seen the bar, wall bench seating, and old water pump, though the stables and outbuildings have long since disappeared.

The Rising Sun According to the Crich guide there was accommodation for visitors, also it was the headquarters of the Crich Cricket Club.

The Canal Inn The extensive lime works of George Stephenson were nearby in the mid-nineteenth century.

Bulls Head Close to the bridge over the River Derwent this was well known as a commercial hotel and posting house on the old turnpike road. Coaches which called here in 1846 were the mail between Manchester and Derby, Champion to Manchester and Nottingham, and the Peak Guide to Ambergate and Buxton. Its name was changed to the Derwent Hotel in later years.

Miner's Hack Situated at Wakebridge. it was much frequented by the lead miners who also received their wages here long ago. and was occupied by the Barber family over several hundred years. It has been a private house for a very long time.

Horse and Groom This public house is said to have existed at Plaistow Green where Causeway Farm and the riding school are now.

Burchers Arms? Two newspaper reports refer to the Butchers Arms as Crich:

Derby Mercury December 1, 1758
Notice is hereby given to all the relations of John FEEPOUND, late of Crich, in the county of Derby, joiner, deceased;
That sometime before his death, he settled by deed certain sums of money upon several of his relations and the remainder amongst them, or some of them; therefore the said relations are required to appear at the sign of the Butchers Arms in Crich aforesaid, on Tuesday the 16th day of January1759, to receive their several shares according to the purport of the said deed, from Thomas HUNT, of Sutton in Ashfield, in the county of Nottingham, Yeoman who was left in trust for the same.

Derby Mercury 12th of May 1769
To be sold to the best bidder
At Mr Benjamin MARSHALL’s the sign of the Butchers Arms in Crich, in the county of Derby, on Monday the 15th day of May inst. subject to such conditions as will be produced.
A freehold estate at Plaistow in the parish of Crich consisting of a good house and all convenient outbuildings, Orchard, Garden, and about fifty-two acres of enclosed land, all lying very conveniently to the said house, tithe-free (except two closes, subject to a modus of 4d per ann.l only). The above estate is situate in a pleasant country capable of great improvement, let at forty-five pounds per annum to Joseph STANLEY, clear of all deductions, and has an extensive right of common within the manor of Crich and Lea.
NB there is a share in the manor of Lea aforesaid belonging, all which will be put up at fourteen hundred pounds
For particulars of the title and premises enquire Mr Humphrey MARSHALL at Crich, the owner of the estate and all letters directed to him be left at the Crown Inn in Wirksworth to be answered in any particulars desired.

No further evidence currently found. It could be a former name of a subsequent inn. The only known "Butchers Arms" is at Oakerthorpe, near Alfreton which is not in the parish of Crich.

Belper News 8 March 1907

Crich Inns newspaper clipping

Crich Inns newspaper clipping

Crich Inns newspaper clipping

Crich Inns newspaper clipping

Derbyshire Courier 8 June 1907
With reference to the Royal Oak, Crich, Mr R.S. CLIFFORD appeared on behalf the owners and tenant, and agreed to the magistrates confirming the order.
Mr PYM supporting the decision of the local justices in respect of the Wheat Sheaf, Crich, said the accommodation was poor, the place was in a poor state of repair and unfit to be occupied as a public house. Within 30 years there had been 10 tenants. Sergeant WILD said the house was not required. Crich had a population of 3063 and there was one licence to every 204 persons. Mr R.S. CLIFFORD , who represented the owners, Hardy’s Kimberley Brewery Company, and the tenant, said if the licence were renewed the owners would submit plans to the justices and carry out any improvements thought advisable. George Stephenson had used the house in past days, and it was now much used by quarrymen. The Bench, after hearing several witnesses, confirmed the order for closing.

Thatched House Tavern

In some directories for the Crich area there is mention of the "Thatched House Tavern". This was not in Crich Parish but situated at Ambergate on the site of what is now the Hurt Arms.

There is reference to this on the "aboutderbyshire" website as follows –

Another long-demolished building was the Thatched House Tavern which stood close by the toll-house and was built originally to cater for the Canal construction teams working on the Bullbridge aquaduct – which itself was demolished in 1969.
Pigott’s Directory describes the Tavern in 1857 as 'a first-rate commercial posthouse and boarding-house with every convenience, post-horses, flys, etc. are in readyness at five minutes notice.'
The Tavern catered first for canal boatmen, then travellers on the new turnpike road and latterly for railway workers. The railway company demolished it around 1870 to make way for a new triangular station which served the Nottingham to Manchester line and the Derby to Rowsley line.
By 1874 the Tavern had been replaced by the Hurt Arms Hotel, built directly opposite the station and the junction with the Bullbridge turnpike.

THIS is a rhyme my late mother-in-law, Mrs Mortley, gave to my wife, Joyce, many years ago.
It concerns the pubs that used to be in our district, from the bottom of Bullbridge Hill, through Fritchley to the Town End at Crich. There are only five of these pubs left now. It reads:
As "Lord Nelson" was staggering out of the "Canal Inn",
Watching the "Red Lion" devour the "Shoulder of Mutton",
He fell into the "King's Arms", who was standing under the "Royal Oak",
Out of the "Rising Sun", watching the "Black Swan" near the "River of Time".
They both laughed when they saw the "Jovial Dutchman",
Followed by "The Greyhound" who was taking "The Wheatsheaf" to "The Bull", who was grazing near "The Cliff".
Tony Lester

Photograph Album

See photographs of all the inns, pubs and ale-houses in the parish.

Pubs photo album

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