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Help and advice for Derwent

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

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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 or see them printed 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

"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.

You can see pictures of Derwent which are provided by:





Ask for a calculation of the distance from Derwent to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

The River Derwent is a tributary of the River Trent, which it joins south of Derby city. The upper reaches pass through the Peak District National Park, and the middle reaches around the old spa town of Matlock Bath.

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.
  • David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of the Snake Pass area on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2012.
  • The Snake Pass Inn is still operating in Derwent.

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.
  • Peter McDERMOTT has a photograph of the Derwent War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2014.
  • Neil THEASBY has a photograph of the Derwent Woodlands War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2015.
  • Steve FAREHAM has a closer shot of the Woodlands 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 Chapel-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
1911 273
1921 174