CRICH is an ancient town, a beautiful and extensive parish, 1mile north-east from Whatstandwell station on the Manchester main line of the London, Midland and Scottish railway, 4 west-by-south from Alfreton, 4½ north from Belper, and 144 from London, in the Belper division of the county, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch, union and petty sessional division of Belper, county court district and rural deanery of Alfreton, archdeaconry of Chesterfield and diocese of Derby. 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 extensile works of the Derwent Valley Water Board are in this parish. 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 6 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 1572 : the church affords about 400 sittings. In the churchyard is a granite cross erected by public subscription in memory of the men connected with the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18. The registers date from the year 1601. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £267, with residence, in the gift of trustees, and held since 1919 by the Rev. Richard Ord Wilson M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin, who is joint patron of the livings of the adjoining parishes of Tansley and Wessington. The mission church at Fritchley, 1 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 : there is also a Wesleyan chapel. 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. The Society of Friends have a meeting house at Fritchley. 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 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 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 K.G., P.O., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., T.D. (lord lieut.). The reading room is a stone building, erected in 1887 at a cost of £300. Chase Cliffe, a handsome mansion of stone, pleasantly situated in grounds tastefully laid out, is occupied by Maurice Deacon esq. J.P. 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 Is. 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 four 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; was 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 was 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. In 1922 the tower was rebuilt and dedicated as a memorial to the 11,400 men of all ranks of the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regt.) who fell in the Great War, 1914-18. It was opened in Aug. 1923, by Gen. Sir Horace L. Smith-Dorrien G.C.B., G.C.M.G., D.S.O. Major Francis Cecil Albert Hurt J.P. is the chief landowner, and there are several small freeholders. The Duke of Devonshire K.G., P.C., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., T.D. is also a landowner. The soil is loamy ; subsoil, gritstone and limestone. The land is chiefly in pasturage. The area of the township is 3,498 acres of land and 33 of water ; rateable value £23,612 the population of the township in 1921 was 3,056, and of the ecclesiastical parish in 1911, 3,070.
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. O., T. & T. E. D. Office.George Brumwell, sub-postmaster. Letters through Matlock
Post, M. O. & Telephone Call Office, Whatstandwell – John Bowmer, sub-postmaster. Letters through Matlock. Whatstandwell railway station, which is open only on weekdays is the nearest telegraph office.
Post & M. O. Office, Fritchley – Miss Mary Lynam, sub-postmistress. Letters through Derby via Ambergate. Crich 1 mile distant is the nearest telegraph office.Public Elementary Schools.
Crich (mixed) erected in 1848 for 240 children; Joseph Haywood A.C.P. master
Crich, erected 1884-5 for 212 children; Arthur Day, master
Crich Carr, erected by the vicar in 1884 & enlarged in 1894 for 116 children; Miss H Griffith, mistress
Fritchley, erected in 1870 as a mission church and school & enlarged in 1874 by the addition of an infant school room & again enlarged in 1894; it will hold 150 children; William Lees BA master
Friends' Fritchley; Miss Charlotte Bell, mistress
Police Sergeant in charge – Humphries
Railway Station.—Whatstandwell, William Henry Hewitt, station master
Archer John, farmer Field house
Haynes George, builder
CODDINGTON, CRICH CARR &
FRITCHLEY & BULL BRIDGE.
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