ALFRETON, a parish and market town in the hundred of Scarsdale, in the county of Derby, 13 miles to the N.N.E. of Derby, and 3½ N.W. from Pye Bridge railway station, on the Erewash Valley railway. A branch of the Midland railway, now constructing, will pass through the parish. The town is situated on a hill, and has two streets, with a market-place, where they cross each other. It is well paved, and lighted with gas.

Its ancient name was Alfredinytune, which occurs in a charter granted to Burton Abbey by King Ethelred. From this name some infer that it was founded by Alfred, the traditional site of whose palace is still pointed out. It belonged at one time to Beauchief Abbey. It contains the chapelry of Riddings, with the hamlets of Greenhill-lane, Summercotes, Swanwick, Birchwood, Codnor Park, and some others.

The population has largely increased of late years, and find employment in the collieries and iron-works, the stone-quarries, and the manufactures of brown pottery and stockings. Some of the houses are ancient, and most of them are irregularly built. It is a polling place for the county. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Lichfield, value £150, in the patronage of W. P. Morewood, Esq.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Martin, has an embattled tower with pinnacles. It is partly in the early English, and partly in the decorated and later perpindicular style, and one portion of it was probably built before the reign of Henry II. Besides the parish church, there are three district churches; that at Riddings is a perpetual curacy*, value with the curacy of Somercotes, £150, in the patronage of the vicar of Alfreton; that at Ironville is also a perpetual curacy, value £150, in the patronage of F. Weight, Esq.; the other is at Swanwick.

There are chapels belonging to the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists; and a handsome new chapel built by the Independents in 1850. A savings-bank and two other banks have been established here. There is a free school for 140 boys and girls of Swanwick and Greenhill-lane, founded in 1740 by Mrs. Eliza Turner, and endowed with 40 acres of land.

A county court and petty sessions are held in the town. A small prison has been recently erected. The market is held on Friday and Saturday, and fairs on the 26th January, Easter Tuesday, Whit Tuesday, 31st July, which is very large, 6th October, and the 24th November. Alfreton Hall is the seat of W. P. Morewood, Esq., lord of the manor, which has descended to him through the houses of the De Alfretons, Chaworths, Babingtons, and Zouches. Some Roman remains have been discovered in the parish."

"GREENHILL-LANE, a village and township in the parish of Alfreton, hundred of Scarsdale, county Derby, 2 miles S.E. of Alfreton. In 1749, several hundreds of Roman coins were found buried here."

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

The Alfreton Library on Severn Square is normally open six days a week and they have a Local Studies and Family History section to help you in your search.



  • JOHNSON, Reginald - A History of Alfreton. G.C. Brittain & Sons, Ripley, 1968. ISBN unknown.

Business & Commerce Records

Jane TAYLOR of Redcar offers this snippet from the Derby Mercury of 13 May 1802: "AUCTION: Stocking frames, household furniture, &c TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION By Mr. JACKSON Upon the premises of THOMAS HICKSON, at Four Lane ends, near Alfreton, in the county of Derby, on Wednesday the 26th May, 1802 Eighteen stocking frames, most of which are nearly new, and in work at the following places, where they may be seen:-

No. 1. 24 Gage at JENNING's Four Lane ends

No. 2. 24 ditto ditto

No.3. 40 ditto at D. TAYLOR's, Brackenfield

No.4. 24 ditto at Joseph DAY's, Bagthorp

No.5. 25 ditto at E. WATER's, Oakerthorp

No.6. 27 ditto at Samuel SELLOR's, Swanwick

No.7. 24 ditto at A. JENNING's, Wingfield

No.8. 33 ditto at R. COX's, Brackenfield

No.9. 36 ditto at Joseph DAVY's, Bagthorp

No. 10. 40 ditto at Samuel SELLOR's, Swanwick

No.11. 34 ditto at Samuel BRIDDEN's, Wingfield

No.12. 34 ditto at Joseph DAVY's, Bagthorp

No. 13. 26 Silk at Samuel SELLOR's, Swanwick

No. 14. 36 Gage at Joseph TURNER's, Pentridge

No. 15. 80 ditto at Thomas WITHER's, Selston

No, 16. 30 ditto at F. MATHER's, Swanwick

No 17. 24 ditto at -HILL's, Swanwick

No 18. 18 ditto at T. MARSDEN's, Linday Lane.

Also on the same day will be sold upon the said premises, all the neat and useful household furniture belonging the said Mr HICKSON; consisting of bedsteads and hangings, feather beds, blankets, sheets and coverlets, mahogany and elm chairs, mahogany chest of drawers, with comode front, mahogany Pembroke table, eight days clock by Smith in neat mahogany case, large brewing copper, tubs and barrels, with a great variety of useful kitchen requisites; also will be sold a nest of drawers, counter, flour bing, beams, scales and weights, &c.&c.

The sale of furniture to commence exactly at 10 o'clock in the morning, and the frames to be sold exactly at three o'clock in the afternoon."



  • Alfreton Cemetery on Rogers Lane is under the control of the Amber Valley Borough Council in Ripley.
  • The cemetery of 4.5 acres opened in 1891.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2010.


  • The parish was the centre of the Alfreton sub-district of the Belper Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2514 thru 2516
1891 R.G. 12 / 2748 & 2749
1911 R.G. 13 / 20996

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Martin.
  • Portions of the church date back to 1200.
  • The church tower was probably built at the beginning of the 15th century.
  • The church was thoroughly restored and considerably enlarged in 1868-69.
  • The church chncel was enlarged in 1901.
  • The church seats 560.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of St. Martin's Church on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2008.
  • There was an iron Mission Room on the Mansfield Road and another one at the south end of town, erected in 1894..

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish registers date only from 1706.
  • Marriages at Alfreton, 1706-1837 are available in Nigel BATTY-SMITH's database of scanned images of Phillimore's Parish Registers.
  • Mike SPENCER has provided a partial extract of burials found in the parish register. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.
  • The church was in the Alfreton Deanery.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel here in Chaple Street in 1809.
  • The Primitive Methosists took over the former Baptist chapel on Nesbit Road in 1851.
  • The Independents built a chapel here in Church Street in 1850. The webpage author thinks this is now Wycliffe Church.
  • Trevor RICKARD has a photograph of the Wycliffe Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010.
  • There have been Catholic worshippers in the parish since the 1500s, but the numbers dwindled down to two families in the mid-1800s. The tiny Catholic Church of Saint Mary in Park Street opened in 1883. The Catholic parish is now called "Christ the King Parish". The present Catholic Church opened in September, 1927.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was the centre of the Alfreton sub-district of the Belper Registration District.

Correctional Institutions

  • The town gaol was a small lock-up built in 1820 as a "House of Confinement."
  • Any public records would likely be in the petty session hearing records.
  • Nikki MAHADEVAN has a photograph of the House of Confinement on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2006.

Description & Travel

"ALFRETON is a market town, and with Alfreton-outseats forms a parish in the hundred of Scarsdale; 141 miles from London, 51 S.E. from Manchester, 14 N. from Derby, 10 S. from Chesterfield, and 7 N. by E. from Belper. The town, which possesses no pretensions to uniformity in its arrangement, or beauty in its buildings, is seated upon a small eminence."

[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]

Alfreton, 139.5 miles north of the City of London, is in the Amber Valley of Derby, near the #28 junction on the M1 motorway. There is bus service from several towns and villages in the area. Passenger rail service ceased in the 1960s, but began again in 1973.

You can see pictures of Alfreton which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • Transcription of section of Lysons' Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire, 1817, for Alfreton by Barbarann AYARS.
  • The Town Hall was built in 1856.
  • Godfrey COX tells the story of the two BINGHAM brothers, Raymond Glendore and Sidney Oliphant, who shared a medical practice in Alfreton in the early 20th Century. He also mentions a third brother (Tom Herring BINGHAM), who died o12 Aug 1892 trying to rescue a little girl from drowning in a local reservoir, and to whom there are memorials in Alfreton Church. Godfrey states that D. H. Lawrence actually witnessed the drowning incident and was inspired to adapt and incorporate it in his book "Women in Love." Diana CRICH is the girl who drowned in the novel. She was Mary Lilian BERESFORD, age 10 in real life. Another source gives the girl's real name as Cecilie BARBER.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of the Robin Hood Public House on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2008.
  • Alfreton used to hold a cattle and horse fair on each July 31st, October 7th and November 24th.
  • Ben BROOKSBANK tkes us back in time to a 1961 Diesel-hauled Down express photograph on Geo-graph, taken in June 1961.


Alfreton Park, built in 1750, the seat of Rowland Charles Arthur PALMER-MOORWOOD, is a stone mansion near the town.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK414558 (Lat/Lon: 53.097804, -1.383175), Alfreton which are provided by:


Military History

  • According to an 1895, a 1910 and a 1912 Directories, Captain Rowland Charles Arthur PALMER-MOREWOOD (MOORWOOD) J.P. resided here in the Alfreton Park area. He was an owner of Swanwick Colliery.
  • Retired Major Reginald Pemberton LEACH (R.A.) resided here 1910-1912 in Nethermoor House. He was born in 1866 and died in 1929.
  • Lieut.-Col. Chambers DIDHAM resided here in 1910-1912 in The Cottage, Walton. Chambers was born in Tibshelf, DBY, circa 1863, the son of Charles and Mary DIDHAM.
  • Lieut.-Col. Geoffrey M. JACKSON resided here in 1910-1912 in Clay Cross Hall near Chesterfield.
  • Colonel William Langton COKE, 3rd Derbyshire Regt., resided here in 1910 - 1912 in Bookhill Hall. William was born in Nottinghamshire in 1843 and died in this county in 1913. The Derby Daily Telegram's obituary tells he had three male children.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2005.
  • Ian S. also has a photograph of the War Memorial on King Street on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2015.
  • Likewise, Alf BEARD has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2010.

Military Records

For a photograph of the Alfreton War Memorial and the list of names on it, see the Roll of Honour site.

The Traces of War website shows us the Alfreton, United Methodist Sunday School memorial with the list of names.

These service people are buried in Commonwealth War Graves in the Alfreton Cemetery:

  1. Gray BLACKBURN, captain, Royal Army Svc. Corps, age 49, died 10 Nov. 1942.
  2. Elias C. BREARLEY, srgt., RAF Vol. Rsv., age 29, died 7 Sept. 1941.
  3. W. HAYNES, sapper, Ryl. Eng., died 22 Sept. 1916.
  4. Ernest W. LINEKER, pri., Leics. Rgt., age 19, died 3 Mar. 1918.
  5. Alfred PATRICK, driver, Royal Army Svc. Corps, age 41, died 1 April 1919.
  6. James POWELL, corporal, Royal Army Svc. Corps, age 25, died 25 July 1944.
  7. Henry A. REEVES, musician, Royal Marine Band, age 21, died 27 Mar. 1919.
  8. Dorothy May ROBINSON, pri., Auxiliary Terr. Svcs., age 26, died 12 Oct. 1942.
  9. Raymond SEARSTON, srgt., RAF Vol. Rsv., age 20, died 6 Aug. 1943.


  • The Alfreton & Belper Journal and the Mid-Derbyshire Advertiser, established in 1870, were published every Friday by Samuel ROWBOTTOM and Son on King Street. They were still in publication in 1912.
  • Jane TAYLOR in Redcar offers this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 6 September, 1804: "MARRIED: On Wednesday last at Alfreton, in this county, Mr. SMITH, of that place, watch-maker, to Miss WILSON, of Wirksworth."
  • Jane TAYLOR in Redcar has this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 13 September, 1804: "MARRIED: On Sunday last, at Alfreton, in this county, Mr. SIDDALL, grocer, to Miss PARKES, daughter of Mr. PARKES, of Manchester, chandler."


Jane TAYLOR in Redcar contributes this snippet from the Derby Mercury of December 1, 1803: DIED: "On Wednesday last, at Alfreton, in this county, Mr. James WILSON, plumber and glazier."


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Derby county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • This parish was in the ancient Scarsdale Hundred (or Wapentake).
  • The Civil Parish was enlarged by 550 acres in April, 1934, when Codnor Park Civil Parish was abolished.
  • You may contact the Alfreton Town Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist with family history searches.
  • The parish is a member of the Amber Valley Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Alfreton petty session hearings held at the Town Hall every other Wednesday.
  • There is a partial list of over 120 Alfreton Bastardy Papers held at the DRO on the Yesterdays Journey website. Select "Bastardy Papers" on the left side, then "Alfreton" from the list displayed.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, this parish became a member of the Belper Poorlaw Union.
  • For information only - the "Parish Chest" for Alfreton contains no Settlement Certificates. My grateful thanks to Janet KIRK for this information.

Probate Records

In an 1866 Will, Samuel HEWITT of Swanwick Lane, coal miner, mentions:

  1. son Samuel
  2. son Joseph
  3. housekeeper Maria WILSON
  4. Geo. WHITNEY Golden Valley
  5. T. T. CUTLER witness
  6. John TAGG Green Hill Lane witness
  7. daughter Mary Emma TURNER


The Chesterfield Road (mixed senior) School was built in 1846 and enlarged four times:  1874, 1888, 1896 & 1905.

The Junior (mixed) School on Institute Lane was erected in 1893 and enlarged in 1907 for up to 280 children.

The Infants' (council) School on Marshall Street was erected in 1907 for 412 children.