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 Ilkeston and Heanor Joint Water Board have constructed extensive water reservoirs at Chadwick, Crich, to supply the Borough of Ilkeston and Heanor Town with water by gravitation. The extensive works of the Derwent Valley Water Board, in this parish, are still (1908) in course of construction. The church of St. Michael, standing on a commanding height, is a building of stone, in mixed styles, partly Norman, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave of three bays, aisles, and a western tower with spire, containing a clock and 5 bells, dating from 1620: 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 five memorial stained windows: the church plate is dated 1712: the church affords about 500 sittings. The registers date from the year 1601. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £255, with residence, in the gift of five trustees, and held since 1905 by the Rev. Joseph Martyn Simmons M.A. of Christ's College, Cambridge, 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 by Miss Elizabeth Hurt, is also used as a day school: it was enlarged in 1874, and affords, about 150 sittings. The Baptist chapel, at Crich, a building of stone, with a clock, was erected in 1877, and has sittings for 200 persons. The United 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, Fritchley, erected in 1852, and at Morewood Moor. There is a Congregational chapel at Fritchley, erected in 1840, with 150 sittings, 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 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 nth 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 centre in the neighbourhood also give employment to many, and the manufacture of hosiery by hand was formerly carried on to a very considerable extent. The Butterley Company have extensive quarries at Crich and lime kilns at Bull Bridge; at Ambergate are the limeworks of the Clay Cross Company, and at Whatstandwell are the gritstone quarries, the property of the Duke of Devonshire P.C. The reading, room is 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 of A. F. Hurt esq. but is now occupied by Mrs. Mansel-Jones. A yearly sum of £6 12s. 11d. from the Rev. Francis Gisborne's Charity, is received by the vicar and churchwardens, 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 1s. 8d. yearly for clothing; Cooper's, of £1 3s. 8d. left in 1853, is distributed in money; Wright's charity amounts to £16 5 s. 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) : in 1902 this tower was struck by lightning and has since been closed to the public. On July 6th, 1882, a considerable landslip occurred which reached nearly to the base of the tower and demolished four houses. Francis Cecil Albert Hurt esq. of Alderwasley, is the chief landowner, and there are several small free-holders. The Duke of Devonshire P.O. is also a landowner. The soil is loamy; subsoil, gritstone and lime- stone. The land is chiefly in pasturage. The area of the township is 3,498 acres of land and 33 of water; assessable value, £14,497; the population in 1901 was 3,063, and of the ecclesiastical parish, 3,232.
FRITCHLEY is a village, 1 mile south-east, with a mission church, and has an excellent supply of pure spring water. 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., S. B. & A. & I. Office.—Miss Mary Ann Higton, sub-postmistress. Letters arrive through Matlock Bath at 6.45 a.m. & 3.45 p.m. ; dispatched at 10 a.m. & 6.40 p.m. week days only; no sunday delivery
Post & M. 0. 0., S. B. & I. & A. Office, Whatstandwell. —John Bowmer, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive from Matlock Bath at 6.20 a.m. & 3.15 p.m. ; dispatched at 11 a.m. & 7 p.m. Whatstandwell Railway station, which is open on week days only, is the nearest telegraph office
Post & M. 0. 0., S. B. & A. & I. Office, Fritchley.— James Lynam, 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. ; no sunday delivery. Crich, 1 mile distant, is the nearest telegraph office
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 11.15 a.m. & 7 p.m. ; sun. 6.5 p.m.
Public Elementary Schools
Crich (mixed), erected in 1848, for 300 children; average attendance, 180; Charles William Nash, master.
Crich, erected in 1884-5, for 260 children; average attendance, mixed, 150; infants, 55; Heyworth Dyson, master.
Crich Carr, erected by the vicar in 1884 & enlarged in 1894, for 120 children; average attendance, 68; Lewis H. Griffith, master
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, 144; Ernest Gee, master
Friends', Fritchley; Edward Watkins, master; Miss Jane Sadler, mistress
Railway Station, Whatstandwell, Harry Smith Dawes, station master
Lee Bros, grocers & general drapers,
CODDINGTON, CRICH CARR &
✝Taylor Edward, Carr cottage
FRITCHLEY & BULL BRIDGE.
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