Parishes: Glossop - Gresley

Pages 165-172

Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1817.

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GLOSSOP, in the hundred and deanery of High-Peak, lies in the extreme Northern part of the county, on the borders of Yorkshire and Cheshire, about ten miles north from Chapel-en-le-Frith.

This extensive parish, which is upwards of sixteen miles in length, and upon an average, perhaps about five in breadth, comprises the township of Glossop, including the vills or hamlets of Hadfield, Padfield, Whitfield, Chunall, Dinting, Simondley, and Charlsworth (fn. n1); besides those which are in the parochial chapelries of Hayfield and Mellor.

There is a fair at Glossop on the 6th of May, for horned cattle, wooden, and tin wares.

The manor of Glossop, which extends over Glossop and its seven hamlets, belonged, as parcel of the Lordship of Longendale or Longdendale, to the crown, at the time of taking the Domesday Survey. King Henry I. granted it as part of a still larger district, his domain of the Peak, to William Peverel, on the attainder of whose son it reverted to the crown. King Henry II. gave the manor of Glossop, with the church and its other appurtenances, in the year 1157 (fn. n2), to the abbey of Basingwerk. King Henry VIII. gave this manor, in 1537, to George Earl of Shrewsbury. It now belongs to the Duke of Norfolk, as descended from one of the coheiresses of Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury, who died in 1616. This estate had been settled on a younger branch of the Howard family, and belonged to the present Duke before his accession to the title, when he occasionally resided at Glossophall, which is in the occupation of his Grace's agent.

In the parish church are the monuments of Joseph Hague, Esq., of Parkhall, near Hayfield, who died in 1786, aged 90, (with his bust by Bacon;) Thomas Wagstaffe, Esq., of London, merchant, 1771 ; and Miss Mary Doxon, of Manchester, 1816.

Mr. Hague founded the school at Whitfield, and left the interest of 1000l. to be laid out in clothes for twelve poor men and twelve poor women, of the eight townships of Glossop, besides other charities to Glossop and the chapelry of Hayfield.

The church of Glossop was appropriated to the abbey of Basingwerk. The Duke of Norfolk is now impropriator and patron of the vicarage.

There are chapels belonging to the Independents at Charlsworth and Hadfield; and the Wesleyan Methodists at Glossop and Whitfield.

At Glossop is a grammar school, of the foundation of which little is known. The endowment, a great part of which is lost, is now only 40s. a year. The Duke of Norfolk gives an annual benefaction of 10l.

There are twenty-four cotton-mills within the manor of Glossop, and above thirty in other parts of the parish; four or five extensive calico or print works at Thornsett and elsewhere; two clothing mills in the manor of Glossop; and a mill for making brown paper, and a cloth manufactory at Hayfield.

The population of this parish, from the increase of manufactures, has been doubled within the last five and thirty years. (fn. n3) It appears that the number of inhabitants had increased from 8873 to 10,797, between the years 1801 and 1811.

Charlsworth, which lies about three miles from Glossop and about five from Hayfield, had formerly a market on Wednesdays (fn. n4), and a fair at the festival of St. Mary Magdalen, granted in 1328, to the abbot of Basingwerk. (fn. n5) That monastery acquired considerable landed property in Charlsworth, Chunall, and Simondly, in the years 1307 and 1308, There is now a cattle fair at Charlsworth on the 25th of April.

The chapel at this place belonged formerly to the establishment, and in the Liber Regis it is described as a chapel of ease to Glossop; but more than a century ago, it was, by permission of the Howard family, in the hands of the Presbyterians. In 1716, Mr. John Bennet left the interest of 20l. for the benefit of the Presbyterian minister at Charlsworth. The chapel, which has been lately rebuilt, is now in the hands of the Independents.

Near Gamelsly is the Roman camp, called Melandra castle.

The manor of Whitfield was conveyed, in 1330, by Thomas Le Ragged to John Foljambe: it has been long held with the manor of Glossop, and is now the property of his Grace the Duke of Norfolk.

The late Mr. Hague, who died in 1786, founded a school at Whitfield, the endowment of which is about 40l. per annum.

An act of parliament for inclosing lands in the township of Whitfield passed in 1810.

The chapelry of Hayfield contains the hamlets or townships of GreatHamlet, Phocide and Kinder, Ollersett, Beard, and part of Thornset. The hamlets of Bugsworth and Brownside, and part of Chinley, in the southern part of the parish of Glossop, are esteemed also to be within this chapelry. The village of Hayfield, which lies about five miles from Chapel-en-le-Frith, is in the township of Phoside and Kinder, In the vale between Newmills and Hayfield are three calico print-works. There are annual fairs at Hayfield, May 11th for cattle, horses, and sheep; and July 23d for sheep and wool.

The rood-loft in the chapel remains entire, but the upper part has been modernised; on the front is a painting of the crucifixion, with St. Peter and St. John, which bears the date of 1775. There are tablets giving a particular account (fn. n6) of the endowment of the chapel and the school.

The chapel of Hayfield was augmented by Queen Anne's bounty, procured by subscription, in 1733; in 1801, by lot; in 1805, by another subscription; in 1806, by a parliamentary grant 5 and in 1812, by a third subscription of the inhabitants; the whole of the augmentations amounting to the sum of 1700l. The freeholders of the chapelry appoint the minister.

There is a Quakers' meeting in this chapelry; chapels of the Wesleyan Methodists at Hayfield, the part of New-mills which is in this chapelry, and at Chinley. The Independents have a meeting house at Chinley.

Great-Hamlet, Phoside or Foreside, and Kinder; and the hamlets or vills of Chinley, Bugsworth, and Brownside, are within the manor of High-Peak, on lease to the Duke of Devonshire.

The manor of Beard belonged to the ancient family of Beard, of Beardhall, and passed with the heiress of Richard Beard, the last of the elder branch to two brothers of the Leigh family, to whom she was successively married: the Leighs appear to have been succeeded by the Duncalfes. John Earl of Shrewsbury was possessed of this manor in the reign of Henry VIII., and it has passed with Ollersett and Eyam to Lord George Cavendish. Beard-hall is now a farm-house. Ollersett-hall, formerly the seat of the Bradbury family is now a farm-house, belonging to Mr. George Newton.

The chapelry of Mellor lies about eight miles south-west from Glossop, on the borders of Cheshire, and about the same distance from Chapen-en-le-Frith. It comprises the vills, hamlets, or townships, of Melior, Ludworth, Chisworth, Whittle, and part of Thornsett. The greater part of the populous village of New-mills, is in the hamlet of Whittle and in this chapelry: the villages of Raworth, Marple-bridge, and Mellor-moor-end, are also in this chapelry. Melior and Whittle are part of the Lordship of Longdendale, on lease to the Duke of Devonshire. A subordinate manor of Melior belonged, at an early period, to the ancient family of Melior, one of whose coheiresses married Stafford in the fourteenth century. In the year 1704, Thomas Stafford of Stockport and Tristram, his son sold the manor of Melior, and Bothams-hall in Melior, to James Chetham, Gent., whose great-grandson, Thomas Chetham, Esq., of Highgate in Middlesex, sold the Bothams-hall estate, in 1787, to Samuel Oldknow, Esq., the present proprietor. Mr. Oldknow has large cotton works at Melior, which employ between 400 and 500 hands.

Mellor-hall, anciently the seat of the Melior family, and afterwards of the Radcliffes, was purchased in 1686, by James Chetham, Esq. The Mellorhall (fn. n7) estate was purchased of Thomas Chetham, Esq., about 1797, by Mr. Ralph Bridge, whose son now occupies the hall as a farm-house. Part of the land has been purchased with Queen Anne's bounty for the purpose of augmenting the living of Mellor.

In the chapel and chapel-yard at Mellor are recorded several instances of longevity. (fn. n8) The minister of the chapel is appointed by trustees acting under the will of the late John Thornton, Esq., of Clapham. The appointment was in the Chetham family, and was purchased by Mr. Thornton of Thomas Chetham, Esq., in or about the year 1787. The income of the minister, which is now rather more than l00l. per annum, arises partly from the rent of seats, and partly from augmentation. Queen Anne's bounty was first procured for it about the year 1764, when 200l. was contributed by Thomas Chetham, Esq., and other inhabitants of the chapelry. In 1792, it had an augmentation of 200l. by lot: in 1809, Miss Shaw of Mellor, bequeathed the sum of 200l., for the purpose of procuring the bounty a third time. These sums have been laid out in the purchase of lands, parcel of the Mellor-hall estate, as above-mentioned.

The Independents have a small meeting-house at Marple-bridge in this chapelry.

Thomas Walklate having left by will the sum of 160l. for founding a charity school at Mellor, with that and other smaller sums, certain closes were purchased in the reign of Charles II., now let at 25l. per annum. Seven of the principal inhabitants are trustees.

In the year 1345, Thomas le Ragged enfeoffed John Foljambe of twothirds of the manor of Chisworth (fn. n9); in 1360, the whole manor was conveyed by Richard Foljambe and Robert de Holt to the Abbey of Basingwerk (fn. n10) : it has since been considered as parcel of the manor of Glossop. Ludworth is also parcel of that manor.


GRESLEY, in the hundred of Repton and Gresley, and in the deanery of Repington, lies south of the Trent, about four miles from Burton, and about six from Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

The parish contains the townships of Church and Castle-Gresley, Drakelow, Linton, the village or hamlet of Swadlincote, and part of Donisthorpe and Oakthorpe.

At Church-Gresley was a priory of Austin monks, founded in the reign of Henry I., by Nigel de Gresley: it was endowed with lands chiefly in this parish, valued at the time of the dissolution at 31l. 6s. 0d., clear yearly income. King Henry VIII. granted the site, in 1543, to Henry Cliche, and within a few years it passed successively to Richard Appleton and John Seymour. In the year 1556, Sir Christopher Aleyne, Knt., purchased this estate with the manor of Church-Gresley, of the Seymours. The site of the priory, of which there are no remains, was adjoining to the parish church. Sir Christopher Aleyne above-mentioned, was son of Sir John Aleyne some time Lord Mayor of London, who by his will, bearing date 1545, be queathed his collar of S.S.of fine gold, to his successors, to be worn during their mayoralty on condition of their attending his obit. John Aleyne, Esq., his descendant died seised of the manor of Church-Gresley and the Priory estate in 1712, leaving his only son, Samuel, then a minor, who died without issue in 1734. This estate was afterwards in the Meynells, of whom it was purchased, about the year 1775, by Sir Nigel Gresley, Bart, grandfather of Sir Roger Gresley, Bart., the present proprietor.

In the parish church are monuments for the families of Aleyne (fn. n11), and Gresley. (fn. n12) Sir Roger Gresley is impropriator of the tithes and patron of the donative curacy.

The manor of Castle-Gresley belonged, from a very early period, to the ancient family of De Gresley, who had a castle at this place, whence it obtained the name of Castle-Gresley. The site is distinguished only by the inequalities of the ground; there were some remains of the buildings in Camden's time. At Drakelow, the present seat of the family, they had also a residence at a very early period.

The manor of Drakelow, which, in the Survey of Domesday, is described as belonging to Nigel de Stafford, ancestor of the Gresley family, was held by the service of rendering a bow without a string; a quiver of (fn. n13) Tutesbit, twelve fleched and one unfeathered arrow. (fn. n14) Another record (of the year 1200) only expresses the render to have been a bow, a quiver, and twelve arrows; this render was then due to William Earl Ferrars. (fn. n15) Geffrey de Gresley, in 1330, claimed a right of having a gallows at Gresley and at Drakelow. (fn. n16) The Gresley family have at various times, from the reign of Edward I., represented the county in parliament. George Gresley was installed a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Anne Boleyne, in 1534; his great-grandson of the same name was created a Baronet in 1611; Sir George Gresley was an active officer in the Parliamentary service during the civil war, and was Lieutenant-Colonel to Sir John Gell. Sir Roger Gresley is the eighth and present Baronet. Drakelow, the ancient seat of the Gresley family, is at present unoccupied.

Besides the manors of Church and Castle-Gresley, and Drakelow, Sir Roger possesses those of Linton, Swadlincote, Donisthorpe, and Oakthorpe.

The manor of Linton (Linctun) was part of the estate of Henry de Ferrars. It was afterwards in the Segraves, from whom it passed, succes sively, by female heirs, to the noble families of Mowbray and Berkeley. In or about the year 1568, it was purchased of Henry Lord Berkeley by Sir William Gresley.

The manor of Swadlincote or Swartlincote (Sivardingescote) was one of the manors of Nigel de Stafford at the time of the Domesday Survey. His grandson, Robert de Gresley, gave it to his brother Eugenol in (fn. n17) exchange. Two of the coheiresses of Eugenol de Gresley, seem to have married Verdon and Grim. The last-mentioned family was possessed of two-thirds of Swadlincote in 1316. In or about the year 1363, Sir John Gresley gave lands and rents in Swartlincote, to the prior and convent of Gresley; and it is probable, that they became possessed of those two-thirds of the manor which belonged to the Aleynes, who, as before mentioned, were possessed of the priory estate not long after the Reformation. Having been purchased of the Aleynes by the Gresley family, it is now the property of Sir Roger Gresley, Bart. The remaining third was sold by Verdon to Finderne in 1304; in 1558, William Finderne, Esq., died seised of this estate, being described as the manor of Swadlincote, and held of the heirs of Sir George Gresley, by the annual render of a sparrow-hawk, which shows that the Gresley family had continued to be superior Lords of Swadlincote from the time of their ancestor, Nigel de Stafford. In 1567, this estate was sold by the Findernes to Breton, and passed by successive sales to the families of Horton, Hill, and Smythe; the last-mentioned alienation took place in 1636. It is now the property of Bernard D'Ewes, Esq.

Donisthorpe (Durandestorp) and Oakthorpe (Achetorp) were manors belonging to Nigel de Stafford, at the time of the Domesday Survey. The family of De Aulâ, called also Durandesthorp or Duranthorpe, are described as Lords of Donisthorpe in the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries (fn. n18) It is probable that they held under the Gresley family, who appear to have been the sole lords, in 1518, both of this manor and of Oakthorpe. John Savage was Lord of Oakthorpe about the year 1200, probably, as holding under the Gresley family; he left two daughters, coheirs. Henry Earl of Huntingdon had a manor in Oakthorpe in 1642, now belonging to the Marquis of Hastings. Donisthorpe and Oakthorpe are partly in the parish of Measham, and partly in that of Nether-Seal in Leicestershire.

The manor of Heathcote or Hathcote in this parish, (Hedcote) was held, at the time of the Domesday Survey, with Drakelow, by Nigel de Stafford. In the reign of Edward II., it was in the family of Grim. In or about the year 1363, Sir John Gresley gave lands and rents in Hathcote to the prior and convent of Gresley, who it is probable afterwards became possessed of the manor. It was certainly in the Aleynes, who were possessed of the priory estate not long after the Reformation, and was sold, in the year 1728, by Samuel Stevenson Aleyne,Esq., toDevereux Littleton, Esq., and ———Shore, Esq. It is now the sole property of Samuel Pipe Wolferstan, Esq., great nephew of the former. There was, in ancient time, a chapel at Heathcote, as appears by Pope Lucius's confirmation of the possessions of Burton-Abbey (fn. n19) to which it was given by William the Conqueror.


  • n1. These hamlets, together with Ludworth and Chisworth in the chapelry of Mellor, are commonly called the ten townships of Glossop-dale. There is only one constable for the whole of these. There is one overseer for Glossop and its seven hamlets.
  • n2. The charter is signed by the King at Chester, and witnessed among others, by Thomas à Becket, the Lord Chancellor, Richard Humet, Constable of Normandy, and others. The King was at Chester in 1157. Thomas à Becket had been then lately appointed chancellor, and it is pretty clear, from the history of the times, that they never could have been at Chester together afterwards. Bishop Fleetwood was certainly under a mistake, in supposing this to have been a charter of Henry III.
  • n3. Pilkington dates the rise of its manufactures from the year 1784: he says that the first cotton-mill was erected that year. There are now fifty-six cotton-mills in the parish, being half of the number of cotton-mills in the whole county. See Farey's Survey, Vol. III. just published.
  • n4. Chart. Rot. 2 Edw. III.
  • n5. Inq. ad q. d. I Edw. II., and Originalia, 2 Edw. II.
  • n6. "Imprimis, there is lol. left for ever by one Mr. John Hyde, one of the worshipful Merchant-Taylors-hall, London, to a reading minister keeping a grammar school in the chapel of Hayfield; also the use of 60l., left for ever, to a licensed schoolmaster, by John Hadfield, of Ludworth, deceased, teaching pettys as well as others more proficient at our chapel of Hayfield: also we have undertakers, who were agents and instruments in erecting and building of our chancel at our chapel, who have assigned to them each a place or seat in the chancel, according to their degrees, paying to the minister or curate, each of them, one old hoop of oats or 2sh. in money: also there is annually due and payable, on March 25, to the curate, from those persons, churchwages, according to their estates and seats in the chapel, of which some pay 3sh., others 2sh. some less, according to the plot-form, which gives a particular account of every place within the chapelry. The sum is 4. 16. 4. The surplice fees are 4d. every burial, and 4d. for the thanksgiving of women after child-birth." Dated July 14th, 1774. Mary Tricket, in 1712, gave land let for a long lease, not yet expired, at 8l. 5s. 0d. per annum, for teaching poor children of this chapelry. Edward Buckley, in 1772, gave the sum of 40l. for the same purpose. The late Joseph Hague, Esq., gave the sum of 100l. 4 per cent, and the late John Hague, Esq., the same sum to the school at Hayfield. Mr. ——— Taylor gave 2l. 10s. per annum, to be appropriated to the school or given in clothing.
  • n7. The Chethams resided at Mellor-hall till the death of the father of Mr. Chetham, by whom it was sold,
  • n8. Rebecca, widow of George Higenbottom, ob. 1758, aged 99; Sarah, wife of John Cooper, ob. 1779, aged 97; Mary, wife of Robert Beard, ob. 1797, aged 101; Betty, wife of Samuel Fearnley, ob. 1799, aged 94.
  • n9. Dodsworth's Collections.
  • n10. Esch. 34. Edw. III. 27. 2d numbering.
  • n11. John Aleyne, Esq., who died in the garrison of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, 1646; John Aleyne, Esq., his son, (no date); John Aleyne, his grandson, (who married the heiress of Stevenson, of Sutton-Coldfield) 1712.
  • n12. Sir Thomas Gresley, Bart, who died in 1699, with his effigies, in a rich brocaded gown; and Dorothy, daughter and coheir of Sir William Bowyer of Knipersley in Staffordshire, and wife of Sir Thomas Gresley, which Dorothy died in 1736; (Sir Thomas, her husband, died in 1746.) Nigel Gresley, Esq., (youngest son of the late Sir N. B. Gresley, Bart.) 1816.
  • n13. We can procure no satisfactory explanation of this word.
  • n14. Buzp. See Blount's tenures.
  • n15. Chart. Rot. 2 John.
  • n16. Quo Warranto Roll, 4 Edw. III.
  • n17. The account of this manor is given chiefly from ancient deeds communicated by S. Pipe Wolferstan, Esq.
  • n18. See Nicholls's Leicestershire, vol. iii. p. 997.
  • n19. See Dugdale's Monasticon, vel. i. 271.