which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell.

CRICH in White's Directory (1857)

CRICH, is an extensive parish containing the township of CRICH, in the Morleston and Litchurch Hundred; the township of WESSINGTON, in Scarsdale Hundred; and the township and chapelry of TANSLEY, in the Wirksworth Hundred. The entire parish contains 5,772A. 3R. 0P. of land, rich in minerals and every variety of soil, and in 1851, had 832 houses, and 3,670 inhabitants, of whom 1,861 were males and 1,809 females, rateable value £7,898 9s. 6d. This is a picturesque district of lofty hills and deep valleys. At the Norman survey, the manor belonged to Ralph Fitzhubert, from whom it passed to the Frechvilles; Sir Roger Belers, who died seized of it in 1380, left two daughters, who possessed it in moieties, but the whole ultimately devolved to the descendants of Sir Robert de Swillington, who married the elder; it afterwards passed to Ralph, Lord Cromwell, who, in the reign of Henry VI., sold the reversion to John Talbot, second Earl of Shrewsbury. On the death of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, in 1616, it was divided between his daughters and co-heiresses, the Countesses of Kent, Pembroke, and Arundel, since which time it has been sold to various persons.

CRICH, is a large well-built village and township, pleasantly situated at the cross of the roads from Alfreton to Cromford and Wirksworth; 5 miles W. by S. from Alfreton, 4 miles S.E. from Cromford, and 5 miles N. from Belper. It contains 3,367A. 3R. 0P. of land; and in 1851, had 595 houses, and 2,562 inhabitants, of whom 1,286, were males and 1,276 females; rateable value, £4,993 9s. 6d. The land is freehold, and owned by many individuals. The Earl of Thanet, F. Hurt, Esq., S. Travis, Esq., and others, are lords of the manor of the liberty of Crich, for which John Charge, Esq., is the steward of the court leet and court baron, within the manor and liberty of Crich; and holds a court at Crich, for the hearing of complaints and settling disputes relating to the mines, according to the custom of the liberty—Mr. Luke Alsop is bar-master. The Church, which is dedicated to St. Michael, is a handsome structure, situated on a commanding eminence, has a nave, chancel, and side aisles, with a tower, surmounted by a spire, and five bells. It was built of the rough grey limestone taken from the hill on which it stands. In the reign of Stephen, Robert Ferrers, Earl of Derby, gave the Church of Crich to the Abbey at Darley, and it is supposed that it was about this time that a church was first erected there. In the forty-second year of the reign of Edward III. a chantry was founded in the church. In the north aisle of the church is a pointed arch, beneath which, is a recumbent effigy of a man in armour, resting his feet upon a dog, neither arms, inscription, nor date are visible, but it is, with some reason, supposed to be in memory of Sir William de Wakebridge, who died in the reign of Edward III. On the right-hand side of the chancel, is an altar tomb, with the effigy of a man resting his feet upon a dog. On the ledge of the slab is a latin inscription to Godfrey Beresford, Esq., son and heir to Adam Beresford, Esq., of Bentley, and servant to George, Earl of Shrewebury. He died 29th of November, 1513. The living is a vicarage, valued in the King’s books at £6 10s. 10d., now £170; has been augmented with £200 benefactions, £200 Queen Anne’s bounty, and £600 parliamentary grant. The patrons are Edward Radford, Esq., John Garton, Esq., Rev. M. Holmes, Henry A. Norman; and Wm. Wathey, Esqs., and Sir Henry Wilmot, Bart., impropriator, Rev. Wm. Chawner, B.A., is the incumbent. The vicarage is a neat modern residence, a little W. of the church, it was enlarged in 1856. The General Baptists, the Wesleyans, the Wesleyan Reformers, and Primitive Methodists, have each places of worship here. The Primitive Methodists have also chapels at Crich Carr, and Fritchley; the Independents have also a chapel at the latter place. The National school is a handsome stone building, erected in 1848, at a cost of about £600, raised by voluntary subscriptions, aided by a grant from Government of £250; it will accommodate about 300, the average attendance is about 50. There are several lodges of Odd-Fellows, Foresters, and Friendly societies, in the parish This was formerly a market town, and the ancient market cross still stands, opposite the Jovial Dutchman Inn. Fairs are held on the 11th October and 5th of April, and the feast is also held on the former date. The inhabitants are supported chiefly by the lead mines, lead works, lime works, limestone quarries, and in the manufacture of hosiery, here being about 100 frames. CRICH CLIFF mines, known by the names of Bacchus’ Pipe, Glory, Pearson’s Venture, and Wakebridge, with several others in the neighbourhood, have been the most productive of any in the county for the last 40 years. One-ninth of the produce is given to the lords of the manor; W. E. Nightingale, Esq. receives one-sixth of the ore raised at Wakebridge mine, as lessor, Messrs. Wass and Co. are the lessees; this mine is at present standing, Crich has long been noted for its mines, for we find, in the time of the Norman survey, Leuric and Levenot held a lead mine at Crice. Calamine is got at Bonsall, and in the neighbourhood, but spelter having superseded it, the mines are very little worked. The Ridgway Sough, from Crich Cliff to the river Derwent, clears the Crich Cliff mines. Meerbrook Sough, 1 mile N. from Whatstandwell bridge, runs in a westerly direction, towards the rich mining field near the town of Wirksworth. It was commenced in 1772, by a company of adventurers, and completed in 1848, at a cost of about £80,000, and is now in the hands of 400 shareholders of £50 each, which are now at a premium of £30 per share, it is about 2½ miles in length, the average height 6 feet, and 42 feet wide; its object is to draw the water from the lead mines. The proprietors are incorporated under an Act of Parliament, passed in June, 1841, which enables them to raise tolls for the maintenance thereof, and by which they are enabled to take any portion of the ore not exceeding one-sixth. The shaft draws up the material from a depth of upwards of 200 yards, by a steam engine. There are smelting furnaces at Bonsall, Lea, and Meerbrook; lead works, with red lead manufactories and rolling mills at Lea; and lead works at Bonsall. Crich Cliff, 1 mile N. of the village, is one of the highest hills in the county, with the exception of the High Peak. On its summit is an Observatory, called Crich Stand, which was erected in 1788, and rebuilt of stone in 1851, by the owner, Francis Hurt, Esq., at a cost of £210. It is seen from several points of the surrounding country, being 955 feet above the level of the sea, according to the ordnance survey, and from the top the eye is gratified with a very extensive prospect, commanding views extending over several counties; and it is said, into Wales. It is at all times free of access to the public. The village of Crich has the appearance of antiquity, and is supposed to have been known to the Romans. Some year’s ago, a collection of ancient coins were found in the neighbourhood, and by the inscription, it appeared that some of them were coined in the reigns of Domitian, Adrian, and Dioclesian. Crich lime is noted for its superior quality; the Clay Cross Company have extensive works near the Ambergate railway station; the stone is brought from Crich cliff, on two inclined planes, (worked by wire ropes,) one of which is supposed to be the steepest in the kingdom, it is 500 yards long, and rises about 1 in 10; waggons are let down by a break attached to a drum. The other, 600 yards long, rises 1 in 36, worked by a wire rope round an horizontal shield; about one mile of railroad; and another inclined plane, longer than either of the above. 120 men are employed, aided by a steam engine of twelve horses power. The sale of lime and stone is from 50,000 to 60,000 tons annually, and is yearly increasing. Here are 20 kilns,, between 30 and 40 feet in depth, and 11 feet in diameter, with cones 20 feet high; Chas. Binns, Esq., of Clay Cross, is the principal agent, Mr. Thomas Summerside, resident agent and manager, Mr. Robert Boag, lime burner and contractor, and Mr. James Jeffries is the contractor of the quarries. The Butterley Iron Company have also extensive lime works at Bull Bridge, where about 8000 tons of lime and 30,000 tons of stone are sold yearly. About 50 men are employed at these works, Mr. Peter Wm. Bowne is the resident manager. Messrs. Curtis and Harvey’s gunpowder magazine is also situated at Bull Bridge.

The principal villages and hamlets, with their distances and bearings from Crich, are:

BULL BRIDGE, 1¼ mile S.E., a small village, where there is a bridge over the Cromford canal; The North Midland railway passes close on the east. CODDINGTON, ¾ mile W., which contains two farms. CRICH CARR., 1 mile W., a small scattered village. CRICH CHASE, 2 miles S. where there are 3 farms. FRITCHLEY, a small pleasant village, on a branch of the Cromford canal, 1 mile S., where there is an extensive bobbin manufactory, and general wood-turning establishment, belonging to Mr. Jph. Wightman, who employs about 40 men and boys. Many of the inhabitants are employed in framework knitting. HAT FACTORY, ¾ mile S., contains a few scattered houses. Here the Butterley Iron Company have extensive limestone quarries. HOLLOWAY, NETHER, and UPPER, 2 miles N.W. from Crich, but principally in the liberty of Lea, consists of 2 farm houses. PARK HEAD, 1 mile S.E., a district containing five scattered farms. PLAISTORS GREEN, a few scattered houses, 1 mile N. WAKEBRIDGE Mines, 1 mile N.N.W. WHATSTANDWELL BRIDGE, 1¼ miles W sometimes called HOTSTANDWELL a small village, on the Cromford canal, situated in a delightful vale, with lofty eminences, rising from the Derwent, well clothed with trees, and noted for the Bull’s Head Hotel, 3 miles S.E. from Matlock Bath. Here is also a small station, on the Matlock and Rowsley branch of the Midland railway, there are 5 passenger, and 2 goods trains each way daily. WHEATCROFT, a small village, 2 miles N.W.

CHARITIES,—John Kirkland, in the year 1562*, left 40s. per annum, payable out of a farm called Wheat Croft, to the poor of this parish for ever. This farm is the property of Mr. James Swettenham, of Wood, and his tenant pays the rent charge. The amount is distributed on St. Thomas’ day.

{* NB this date should be 1652}

Rent Charge—It is recorded on a tablet in the church, that some person unknown, gave 5s. a-year out of Sheldon Pingle, which sum is paid by the owner, on the 21st of December, one moiety thereof to the vicar, and the other the parish officers, who distribute it on St. Thomas’ day. Two other rent charges are mentioned, but they have been lost before the memory of any person now living.

Francis Gisborne charity, (see Bradley.)—The yearly sum of £5 10s. is received by the vicar in respect of this, and laid out in the purchase of flannel and cloth, and given to the poor.

AMBERGATE, a small hamlet on the Midland railway, at the junction where the Matlock and Rowsley and Matlock branch joins the main line, is situated in the township of Heage, and parish of Duffield, 1½ miles S.E. from Crich, and 3½ miles N. from Belper, and consists principally of the railway station, with the offices and out-buildings attached thereto, a handsome stone building, with convenient waiting rooms, &c., from whence trains are despatched north and south several times daily, contiguous to which, is the Thatched House Tavern, a first-rate commercial, posting, and boarding hotel, fitted up with every convenience, and where post-horses, flys, &c., are in readiness at five minutes notice; Mr. Benjamin Broadhurst, proprietor. Here is also an extensive steam saw mill, built in 1856, by Mr. John Linacre.

TANSLEY, a township, chapelry, and scattered village in the parish of Crich and in the Wirksworth Hundred, 1½ miles E. from Matlock, 5 miles N.N.E. from Crich, in the Bakewell Union, contains 1155 acres of land, 126 houses, and 593 inhabitants, of whom 306 were males, and 287 females; rateable value, £1500. A cotton mill was erected here at an early period, and here is now an extensive smallware manufactory, and one for candlewicks. This place is noted for the extensive and thriving nursery of Mr. Joseph Smith, and for a superior grit stone for building purposes. The Duke of Portland is lord of the manor. Heathcote Unwin, Esq., Edward Radford, Esq., and the Rev John Woolley, are owners; a district Church was erected here in 1839, and opened for divine worship in 1840. It is a neat stone structure with a tower and pinnacles, contains 300 sittings, of which 120 are free. The living, a perpetual curacy, of the value of £100, having been endowed, and received a parliamentary grant. The vicar of Crich is the patron; and the Rev. Melville Holmes is the incumbent. A handsome parsonage was erected in 1847 near the church, at a coat of £1,000, of which sum £500 was furnished by the commissioners for building parsonage houses, and £200 by the society for the same purpose, the remainder was raised by subscription. A handsome Gothic National school, with a house for the master, was erected (through the exertions of E. Radford, Esq.) by the incorporated society for establishing schools, and opened in 1843; since which an Infant school has been added. The money for their erection was raised by subscription, aided by grants from government of £121. It is principally supported by the children, who pay from 2d. to 8d. per week, of whom about 85 attend, with occasionally small grants from the society. The Wesleyan Methodists have a neat chapel here. The Manor of Tansley, which belonged to the Knights Templars, and afterwards to the Hospitallers, is supposed to have been granted to George or Francis Earl of Shrewsbury. William Earl of Pembroke, who married one of the co-heiresses of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, sold to William Earl of Newcastle, from whom it passed, with Bolsover and other estates, to his Grace the Duke of Portland.

WESSINGTON or WASHINGTON, is a township and small village, scattered round an open green, pleasantly situated on high ground, in the parish of Crich, and in the Scarsdale Hundred; 3 miles N. from Crich, 3½ miles N.W. by W. from Alfreton. It contains 1,250 acres of land, 111 houses, and 515 inhabitants, of whom 269 are males, and 246 females; rateable value, £1400. Mr. George Wragg, of Road Nook Hall, which is situated in the liberty of Brackenfield, is the lord of the manor, (freehold) and principal owner. Miss Hopkinson is also a considerable owner, besides many other small feeholders. The inhabitants are principally employed in framework knitting, there being about 80 frames in the village. The Feast is held on the second Sunday in August. A Sunday school was erected by subscription in 1841, which is now licensed as an Episcopal place of worship, and the vicar of Crich officiates in it. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a small chapel here. At the Domesday survey, this manor was held by Levine, under Ralph Fitz Hubert. It was given to the monks at Derley, by Ralph Fitz Odo, and Geoffrey de Constantine. King Henry VIII. granted it in 1544 to Thomas Babington, Esq. In 1611, Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury was lord of the manor; in 1657 it was sold by the Earl of Arundel, grandson of one of his co-heiresses.

CHARITIES.—Hunter’s charity,—(see Horsley).—The yearly sum of £1 5s. is received by the township of Wessington, and distributed with 5s. from Rean’s charity amongst 15 poor families of the township.
Edward Rean, in 1786, gave to the poor of this township half a house and land vested in Thomas Marsden, producing 5s. a year.
William Hill, in 1772, gave land producing 10s. per annum to widows not receiving parish relief. It is paid in respect of some lands in Wessington, and the amount given according to the donor’s intention.


Post Office, at Joseph Whitham’s, Crich. Letters arrive from Belper at 8.0 a.m.; and are despatched at 6.30 p.m.

Post Office, at Mary Leam’s, Fritchley. Letters arrive at 8.0 a.m.; and are despatched at 7.0 p.m.

In the following Directory, those that have no names of places attached to their addresses,
are in the village of Crich.

Allen Joseph, assistant blacksmith

Shipston William, scythestick maker

Alsop Luke, land & mineral surveyor, and bar master for the liberty of Crich, Cliff House

Smith Mr. Charles, Common

Alsop John & Robert, besom makers, Whatstandwell Bridge

Storer Samuel, stone mason, Fritchley

Boag Robert, lime burner and contractor, Crich Common

Swindel Mr. George, Common

Bowmer Mr. Joseph, Fritchley

Taylor Ellen, milliner

Bowmer Thomas, sen., gent., Fritchley

Taylor Thomas, sadler

Bowne Peter Wm., manager of lime works, Bull Bridge

Topham Benjamin, cooper, Bull Bridge

Butterley Co.’s Lime work, Bull Bridge, Peter William Bowne, manager

Turner Robert, stationmaster, Whatstandwell Bridge

Buxton Mrs. Ann, Whatstandwell Bridge

Wallace Mrs. Mary

Chawner Rev. Wm., B.A., vicar, Vicarage

Ward Mr. Thomas, Common

Clay Cross Lime Co., Ambergate; Thomas Summerside, resident agent

Wass Edward M. & Co., Bacchus pipe

Curzon Mr. George, Common

Pearson’s venture, Glory, and Wake
Bridge Lead mines

Dawes Abraham, framework knitter

Wheatcroft Abraham, boat builder, Bull Bridge

Dawes Thomas, coal dealer

Wheatcroft Mr. George, Park head

Elee James, agent to Edward M. Wass and Co,, lead mines, Wake Bridge

Wheatcroft Samuel, boat builder, Whatstandwell Bridge

Fletcher Mrs. Penelope, Common

Wightman Joseph, bobbin manufacturer and general wood turner, Fritchley

Fowkes Mr. John

Wightman Mr. Wm., Fritchley

Frost Mrs. Dinah, Bull Bridge

Young Richard, plumber and glazier

Gerrison Joseph, slater & plasterer, Common

Inns and Taverns.

Grattan Joshua, lead miner

Black Swan, Samuel Bower

Jackson Charles, coal dealer

Bull’s Head, Ann Burley, Whatstandwell Bridge

Jeffries James, stone quarry contractor, Sheldon House

Bull’s Head, Aaron Storer

Jessop Michael, solicitor, deputy clerk to County Court, and clerk to Board of
Guardians, The Mount, and Alfreton

Canal Inn, Mary Poyser, Bull Bridge

Jowett John, grit stone quarry owner, Bull Bridge

Greyhound, George Smith

Lee John William, spirit and ale and porter merchant

Jovial Dutchman, Ralph W. Smith, jun.

Lesson Robert, coal agent, Whatstandwell Bridge

King’s Arms, John Walker

Marshall Edwin, solicitor’s clerk, Common

Lord Nelson, Sarah Holmes, Bull Bridge

Mills Chas. & Co., lead mine owners, Old End and Glory Mines

Red Lion, Rachel Sims, Fritchley

Mold Charles, coal merchant, Whatstandwell Bridge

Rising Sun, Henry Howitt

Petts Daniel, gunsmith, Fritchley

Thatched House Tavern, commercial, boarding and posting hotel, Benj. Broadhurst, Ambergate

Sexton Leopold Richardson, gent,, Mansion House

Wheat Sheaf, Charles Baker


Wheat Sheaf, Isaac Woodiwiss, Whatstandwell Bridge


Parochial, George C. Warner
Wigley Sarah
Witham Joseph

Bower Charles, Bull Bridge Water Mill
Else William, Bull Bridge Steam Mill
Heath Wm., Fritchley
Slack Jas., Fritchley

Chell John and Son, Fritchley
Chell Geo., Fritchley

Barrott William, Fritchley
Chell John, (and millwright)
Howitt Joseph, Common
Jackson Thomas, (& stonemason)
Radford Samuel, (and maltster,) Bull Bridge
Wightman Thomas, Bull Bridge

Bennett Samuel, Plaistow Green
Bestwick Hy., Thorp Hill
Bowmer John, Barn Close
Bowmer Thos. Jun., Fritchley
Bownes George
Broadhurst Benjamin, Hag Farm
Broadhurst Daniel, Coddington
Brown Thomas, Pothouse
Bryan Ann, Carr
Burley Ann, Whatstandwell Bridge
Fox William, Park Head
Fritchley Joseph, Fritchley
Fritchley William, Fritchley
Greatorex William, Plaistors Green
Gregory John, Park Head
Hall Rd., Plaistors Green
Hardstone John, Park Head
Hay Robert, Crich Chase
Hill George, Wheatcroft
Hopkinson John, Wheatcroft
Hopkinson William, Moor Wood
Jackson Isaac
Leam Samuel, Jun., Fritchley
Lee Robert, Dimple House
Lee Joseph, Carr
Ludlow Samuel, Culland
Marsden William, Lindway Lane
Marshall David, High Moor
Marshall William, Common
Morrall George, Plaistors Green
Nightingale John, Mount Pleasant
Nicholson Richard, Hollins
Porter Wm., Edge
Poyser Ann, Crich Chase
Poyser George, Fritchley
Poyser Israel, Crich Chase
Raines J., Plaistors Green
Shipstone William
Sims Joseph, Plaistors Green
Sims Wm., Fritchley
Slack Chas. Cullands
Smith John
Smith Ralph Wheeldon, Wheeldon House
Spendlove Robert, Wake Bridge
Taylor Benjamin, Common
Taylor James
Taylor John
Taylor Thomas
Towndrow David, Coddington
Turton Fras. C., The Carr
Walker James
Wall Jacob, Park Head
White Daniel
Whysall William, Holloway
Yeomans Thomas, Wheatcroft

Merchant Lewis
Sims Samuel, Whatstandwell Bridge

Bunting John, Whatstandwell Bridge
Poyser William
Smith James
Wright Joseph, Fritchley

Bower Samuel
Brown Joseph
Slack Chas., Common

Hall Thomas W.
Hathway Joseph N.

Bollington William
Holmes John
Lynam James
Piggin William
Poyser Jas. Fritchley
Slack Hy., Fritchley

Marked * are BAKERS also
Bown John
Bunting Robert
Burton James, Ambergate
Burton Jeremiah
* Cheetham William
Chell John, Fritchley
* Cockayne Samuel, Fritchley
Crossley Josiah, Fritchley
Flint Ellen
Goodall Herbert, (and draper)
Howitt Joseph, (and framework knitter) Common
Leam Mary, (& post office) Fritchley
Lee James, (& draper and chandler)
Lee Joseph
Ollerenshaw Isaac, (& stonemason) Carr
Nightingale John
Radford Samuel, Bull Bridge
* Stocks John
Wigley Edmund
Witham Joseph, (and druggist)

Bunting Robert
Curzon Frederick
Higgott James, Fritchley
Jenkinson William
Smith Francis
Wetton James
Wetton Wm.

Blunstone Francis
Flint Isaac
Highton William
Sims Wm., Fritchley
Smith Thomas
Taylor Benjamin, Common
Taylor John
Wigley Joseph

Grundy Anthony, Carr
Haynes John
Nightingale John
Wyvell Samuel

Leam Saml. Fritchley
Smith George
Smith John

The Ambergate Station, (Midland Rail Co.) Trains to Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, and the North, several times per day; and to Matlock, Rowsley, &c., five times each way daily. Thomas Whitmore, station master

Mr. Benjamin Broadhursts’ commercial and posting hotel, situated close to the Station, where cabs and flys may be had at five minutes notice.
The Midland Railway Station, (Matlock and Rowsley Railway) Whatstandwell Bridge.
There are five passenger trains, and two goods trains each way, daily.
Robert Turner, station master

Belper, Chas. Jackson, Crich, Sat
Derby, Robert Alsop, Whatstandwell bdg. Friday



Post Office, at John Thatcher’s. Letters arrive by foot post from Matlock Bath, at 10 a.m., and are despatched at 4 30 p.m

Allott Joseph and Jane, National School

Radford Edward, cotton spinner, Tansley Wood

Bobanks James, grocer and chandler

Radford & Sons, cotton spinners, Lumsdale

Bown William, vict., Gate

Smith Jph. Snr, nurseryman, Lick Penny

Calow Francis, wood turner

Smith Joseph & Stephen, nurserymen

Calow William, shoemaker

Smith Samuel, dyer

Farnsworth John, bleacher, Lumsdale

Spencer William, shoemaker

Fox James and Joseph, corn millers

Staley George, gent

Garton John, bleacher and paint works, Lumsdale

Taylor Timothy, vict., George & Dragon

Hackett Thomas, smallware manufacturer

Thatcher John, grocer

Holmes Rev. Melville, incumbent, Parsonage

Whittaker William, shopkeeper

Potter John, stonemason

White George, blacksmith




Blackwell Joseph

Spencer Thomas

Bown William

Spendlove Job

Cook John

Twigg Benjamin

Eaton Ann

Watts Grace

Hicklin William

Wetton Elizbeth



Cardeux Mary Ann, schoolmistress

Sims James, vict., Three Horse Shoes

Cross John, shopkeeper

Sterland Wm., vict., Horse & Jockey

Frost Mr. John, Bunting House

Taylor Timothy, shoemaker

Lane William, shoemaker

Wheatcroft William, shoemaker

Rawson Elizabeth, shopkeeper

Tomlinson William, blacksmith

Sadler Thomas, wheelwright




Sims John

Bonsall Matthew

Sterland William, (& butcher)

Bryan Matthew

Thorpe Thomas

Cresswell John, (and brick maker)

Wetton George

Goodwin William

White Joseph

Hodgson Thomas

Willott George

Marriott Mary

Willott Jonathan

Marsden John

Wragg Edward

Marshall Elizabeth

Wragg George

Mountney James, (& shopkeeper)

Wragg Samuel

Rawson William

Yeomans John

This was from a printed transcript, author unknown.

Home| History Index