CRICH is an ancient town, a beautiful and extensive parish, one mile north-east from Whatstandwell station on the Manchester main line of the Midland railway, 4 west-by-south from Alfreton, 4½ north from Belper, and :144 from London, in the Mid division of the county hundred of Morleston and Litchurch, Belper union and petty sessional division, Alfreton county court district and rural deanery, archdeaconry of Derby and diocese of Southwell. The railway and the Cromford canal pass along the south-western border of the parish, and the line from Ambergate to the north also bounds the parish on the south-east. The church of St. Michael, standing on a commanding height, is a building of stone, in mixed styles, partly Norman, and consists of chancel, clere-storied nave of three bays, aisles, and a western tower with spire, containing a clock and 5 bells, dating from 3:620: the monuments include several to the Dixie family, and others to the Poles of Wakebridge, lords of the manor of that name, one of whom was falconer to Henry VII. There is also a memorial with a most curious epitaph to a member of the Clay family, and an inscribed stone slab to Anthony Babington esq. of Dethick, who, with 13 others, engaged in a conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth, and raise the country in favour of Mary Queen of Scots, then imprisoned in Wingfield Manor; but the plot being discovered, the conspirators were arrested and executed. at Tyburn, 20 and 21 Sept. 1586: there are four memorial stained windows: the church plate is dated 1712; the church affords about 500 sittings. The registers date from the year 1604. The living is a vicarage net yearly value £231, with residence, in the gift of five trustees, and held since 1875 by the .Rev. William Acraman, of St. Aidans, who is patron of the livings of the adjoining parishes of Tansley and Wessington. The mission church at Fritchley, one mile south-east, built in 1870, is also used as a day school; it was enlarged in 1874, and affords about 150 sittings. The Baptist chapel, a building of stone, with a clock, was erected in 1877, and has sittings for 300 persons. The Free Methodist chapel was built in 1864 and there are also chapels belonging to this sect at Crich Carr and Wheatcroft and Primitive Methodist Chapels at Crich, erected in 1853, Crich Carr, Frltchley, erected in 1852 and at Morewood Moor. There IS a small Wesleyan Chapel and a Congregational chapel at Frltchley erected in 1841, and the Society of Friends have a Meeting House here. In the village IS an ancient stone market cross (restored in 1871). the upper part of which includes a group figure of St. Michael overcoming the Dragon. The Market is held weekly on Friday. Fairs for sheep and cattle are held on the 6th of April and 11th of October. The inhabitants are principally employed in the adjacent quarries. which produce limestone and! gritstone of a superior quality, a large quantity being sent to London and other 'parts. Lea mills and other industrial centres in the neIghbourhood also give employment to many and the manufacture of hosiery by hand is carried on to a very considerable extent. The Butterley Company have extensive quarries and lime kilns at Bull Bridge; at Ambergate are the lime works of the Clay Cross Company, and at Whatstandwell are the gritstone quarries, the property of the Duke of Devonshire K.G:. At CrIch is a reading room, a stone building , erected in 1887, at a cost of £300 Chase Cliffe, erected in 1859, IS a handsome mansIon of stone, pleasantly situate in grounds tastefully laid out, and is the property and residence of Miss Hurt. A yearly sum of £6 12s. 11d. from the Rev. Francis Gisborne’s Charity, is received by the vicar and church-wardens, and laid out in the purchase of flannel for the poor. In 1562 John Kirkland left £2 yearly to the poor of this parish for ever, which is distributed on St Thomas' day. Sim's Charity, a benefaction of recent date, amounts to about £50, and is distributed so as to promote religious education. Emma Hurt's charity amounts to about £40 yearly; Cornthwaite's charity left in 1838, amounts to £4 18s. 8d. yearly for clothing Cooper's, of £1 3s. 8d. left in 1853, is distributed in money; Wright's charity amounts to £16 5s. 8d. yearly and is given to regular attendants at church. The charities for the township of Wessington amount to upwards of £7 yearly, payable from the charities of Crich. Miss Elizabeth Hurt left £1,000, invested in Consols the interest of which is to augment the living of the vIcar also £1,000 invested in Consols the interest of whIch is to be distributed by the vicar and churchwardens to 4 old parishioners each to receIve 2s. 6d. a week; and. £1,000 invested in Consols, the interest of which is to go towards the support of a trained parIsh nurse. On CrIch Stand, which has an elevation of upwards of 950 feet above the level of the sea is a circular tower, 50 feet in height, erected in 1851 on the site of a former tower, by Francis Hurt esq.. of Alderwasley. (d. 1861) On July 6th, 1882, a consIderable landslip occurred ,which reached nearly to the base of the tower and demolished four houses: The principal landowners are Lieut.-Col. Albert Frederick Hurt, of Alderwasley, and Miss Hurt, of Chase Cliffe, and there are several smaller freeholders. The Duke of Devonshire is also a land owner. The soil is loamy; subsoil, gritstone . The land is chiefly in pasturage. The area of the township is 3,715 acres of land and 35 of water; rateable value, £13,800 the populatIon in 1891 was 3,070.
Fritchley is a village, I mile south-east, with a mission church; Coddington, half a mile west; Bull Bridge, 1½ miles·south; Plaistowe Green, 1 mile north; and Wheatcroft, 2 miles north, are hamlets. Crich Carr and Whatstandwell are also places here. Crich Carr is that portion of the parish near Whatstandwell railway station and is increasing in population.
Post M. &; T. 0., T. M. 0., Express Delivery, Parcel Post, S. B. &; Annuity &; Insurance Office.-John Bigton, Sub-postmaster. Letters arrive through Matlock Bath at 6.45 a.m. &; 3.45 p.m.; dispatched at 10.15 a.m. &; 6,40 p.m. week days only
Post &; M. O. 0., S B. &; Insurance &; Annuity Office. Whatstandwell Bridge.-John Bowmer, sub-postmaster Letters arrive from Matlock Bath at 6.20 a.m & 2·59 p.m.; dispatched at II·30 a.m. &; 7 p. m. The nearest telegraph office is at Whatstandwell railway station
Post Office, Fritchley.-Thomas Davidson, sub·postmaster. Letters through Derby, via Ambergate, arrive at 7.30 a.m. &; 4·45 p.m.; dispatched at 9·45 a.m. & 6.20 p.m. Postal orders are issued. here, but not paid. The nearest money order &; telegraph office is at Crich, 2 miles distant
Wall Letter Boxes.-Bull Bridge, cleared at 10 a.m. & 6.40 p.m. week days only; Crich Carr, cleared at 6 p.m. week days only; The Common, 6.25; near the Church. 6.10 & Whatstandwell Bridge, cleared at II.I5 a.m. & 7 p.m.; sun. 6.5 p.m
Parochial (mixed) (Crich), erected in 1848, for 300 children; average attendance, 148; George Owen, master; :Mrs. Inez Scarfe, infants' mistress
National (Crich Carr), erected by the vicar in 1884 &; enlarged in 1894, for 120 children; average attendance, 95; Lewis H. Griffith, master; Miss Florence Smith, mistress
National (Fritchley), erected in 1870 as a mission church & school &; enlarged in 1874 by the addition of an infants' school room, &; again enlarged in 1894 it will hold 190 children; average attendance, 150; J. Benj. Collington, master
British (Crich), erected in 1884-5. for 260 children; average
attendance, mixed I45, infants 59; Heyworth Dyson, master
Friends' (Fritchley); Miss Jane Sadler, mistress
Railway Station, Whatstandwell, Arthur Swaine, station master
Acraman Rev. William, Vicaragel
Mellors George, boot repairer
Lee George, shopkeeper