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  • HALLAM, V.J. - Silent Valley - A History of the Derbyshire Villages of Ashopton and Derwent, now submerged beneath Ladybower Dam. Sheaf Publishing, 1983. ISBN 0-9505458-9-9.

  • ROBINSON, Brian - Howden and Derwent: The Building of the Upper Dams of the Derwent Valley Water Board. Northend of Sheffield, 2004. ISBN 0-901100-49-8.



  • The parish was in the Chapel en le Frith sub-district of the Chapel en le Frith Registration District.

  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:

Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2548
1891 R.G. 12 / 2781


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Derwent area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saints James and John.

  • The church seated 140.

  • The church held its last service on 17 March 1943.

  • Bodies from the graveyard were exhumed in 1940 and were rebuired in Bamford.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1813 for baptisms and 1869 for marriages and burials.

  • We have a pop-up window of Parish Register burials (partially) extracted into a text file for your review. Your additions are welcomed.

  • The church was in the rural deanery of Eyam.

  • The Catholic chapel was built in 1877 and is dedicated to Saint Henry.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.

  • The parish was in the Chapel en le Frith sub-district of the Chapel en le Frith Registration District.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Derwent which are provided by:
"One gets some charming glimpses of the valley scenery, and especially of the pretty village of DERWENT, with its ancient hall, stone packhorse bridge, and picturesque cottages. The Water Board have, this year, taken possession of the estate with a view to future requirements. But before we consider ourselves to have really reached Ashopton, let us set back to the Snake Inn."

[From The High Peak to Sherwood, by Thomas L. TUDOR, pub. (London) R. Scott, 1925-6.
Transcription from an original copy kindly donated by Barbarann AYARS, 11th Jan 2001]

Most of the village and parish have been "drowned" by the Ladybower Reservoir, built between 1935 and 1943. Only the war memorial remains above the water level.



Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Derwent has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


  • Most of the parish land has been used for pasturage in recent centuries.

  • Most buildings in the village were demolished before the reservoir filled, with the exception of the church.

  • The Snake Pass Inn is still operating in Derwent.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK183884 (Lat/Lon: 53.392111, -1.726288), Derwent which are provided by:

Military History

  • The Derwent Reservoir was used by the RAF as one of the test sites for the bombs used in the Dambusters attack during WWII.

  • Vic RICHARDS has a photograph of the Dambusters' Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2006.
  • The Traces of War website shows us the parish War Memorial sitting on a rise above Derwent.

  • Steve FAREHAM has a closer shot of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2009.

Military Records

Politics and Government

  • This place was an ancient Chapelry in Hatersage parish and it was incorporated as a separate, modern Civil Parish in December, 1866.

  • This parish was in the High Peak Hundred.

  • This Civil Parish of Derwent survived the reservoir flooding and serves a small population who live above the highwater mark. You may contact the Derwent Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist with family history searches.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Chape-en-le-Frith petty session hearings once each month.

  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, this parish became a member of the Chapel en le Frith Poorlaw Union.


  Year  Inhabitants
1871 165
1881 187
1891 191
1901 202