ASHOVER, a parish in the hundreds of Scarsdale and Wirksworth, in the county of Derby, 6 miles to the S.W. of Chesterfield, 3 W. from Stretton railway station, and 18 N. of Derby. It is situated in a deep valley on the river Amber, and comprises the village of Ashover and the hamlets of Dethwick-Lea and Holloway. The Midland Counties railway passes near it, and has a station at Stretton. Ashover was at one time a market-town, and it had a church as early as the period of the Conquest. The district contains some ironstone and millstone, and small quantities of coal and lead have also been found. The stocking manufacture and the working of lace furnish employment to some of the inhabitants.

The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Lichfield value £600, in the patronage of the Rev. Jos. Nodder, rural dean of Ashover, and the present incumbent. The church is dedicated to All Saints. It is an ancient building, having been erected in 1419, with a fine spire rising out of a square embattled tower, and contains a curious old font with twenty small compartments round it, each enclosing a figure in a devotional attitude. These figures are embossed in lead. The church contains also some brasses, and several tombs of the Babington family, whose seat was at Dethwick. Of this family was Anthony Babington, who was executed in 1586, for conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth. In the chancel is a fine Gothic obituary window of stained glass, for the Nodder family, inserted in 1845. There is also a district church at Dethwick, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £93, in the gift of T. Hallowes, Esq.

There is a small free school, founded in 1703, and endowed in 1819 with £21 per annum; also a girls' school, built of gritstone, at the cost of the rector, in 1840. Near the church is the rectory, a spacious building surrounded by pleasure grounds. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have chapels here. This parish is within the honour of Tutbury, and the jurisdiction of the small debts court, held there once a fortnight. There are two curious stones on Ashover Common; one a rocking-stone, measuring 26 feet in circumference, and called Robin Hood's Mark; another, called the Turning-stone, about 9 feet high, and somewhat resembling the figure of a man.

Overton Hall, a pleasant old residence, embosomed in ancient trees and lofty hills, belonged at one time to Sir Joseph Banks, the eminent naturalist and companion of Captain Cook, in his famous voyage round the world. Fairs for the sale of cattle are held here on the 25th April, the 15th October, and the 23rd November.”

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

Ashover is served by the Mobile Library on route N, which makes two stop every fourth Thursday in the late morning.



  • WOMBWELL, Margaret - Ashover Remembered: Memories of Old Ashover. DCC Cultural & Community Services, 2005.  ISBN 978-0903463799.
  • WOMBWELL, Margaret - Barm and Battleships: Memories of Childhood in Ashover. DCC Cultural & Community Services, 2006.  ISBN 978-0903463836.


  • Ashover Cemetery was over 1.5 acres in size in 1912, with one mortuary chapel.
  • The cemetery was and is administered by the Parish Council.
  • John SALMON has a photograph of the All Saints Churchyard tombs on Geo-graph, taken in 1991.


  • The parish was in the Ashover sub-district of the Chesterfield Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 2147
1861 R.G. 9 / 2518 & 2525
1871 R.G. 10 / 3604
1891 R.G. 12 / 2757

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to All Saints.
  • There was a church here at the time of the Norman Conquest.
  • The present church was built in 1419.
  • The church seats 600.
  • The church is Grade I listed with British Heritage.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of Ashover Parish Church on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2000.
  • Michael GARLICK also has a photograph of All Saints Church on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2016.
  • Andrew HILL has a photograph of the church interior on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1622, with a gap in baptisms from 1623 to 1653.
  • We have a pop-up window of partially extracted Parish Register burials in a text file for your review. Your additions are welcomed.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Chesterfield.
  • The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists both had chapels here by 1857.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Ashover sub-district of the Chesterfield Registration District.

Description & Travel

"ASHOVER is a village, in the parish of its name, partly in the hundred of Wirksworth, but chiefly in Scarsdale hundred; 4 miles N.N.E. from Matlock, about 7 miles S. from Chesterfield, and about the like distance N.W. from Alfreton; pleasantly situate near the rivers Amber and Milntown: it is a place of considerable antiquity having had a church at the time of the conquest, and was formerly a market-town. Coal, iron-stone, mill-stone and lead are found in the parish, and the Gregory lead mine is said to have been, at one time, the richest in the kingdom, but of late years its produce has much decreased."

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

The parish also included the hamlet of Alton or Aulton, about 1.5 miles southeast of Ashover and the hamlet of Kelstedge, 1 mile north of the village.

You should review the content of the Ashover village website.

You can see pictures of Ashover which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • The parish land was primarily used for pasturage.
  • The parish held fairs for cattle and sheep on April 25th and October 15th.
  • The Parish Feast was held on the first Sunday in July.
  • A statute fair was held every November.
  • The Ashover Agricultural and Horticultural Society "country" show is held nearly every year (since 1924) in August.
  • The parish had nine Public Houses (or Inns) in 1891 and 1912.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of the Black Swan in Ashover on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2000.
  • Graham HOGG also has a photograph of The Black Swan on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of the Crispin Inn in Ashover on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2000.
  • Graham HOGG has a photograph of the Old Poets Corner on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013. This used to be the Red Lion Pub.


Neil THEASBY has a photograph of Overton Hall on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2015. This was once the home of Joseph BANKS, who sailed on HMS Endeavour with Captain COOK.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK348631 (Lat/Lon: 53.16389, -1.480947), Ashover which are provided by:


Military History

  • Peter BARR has a photograph of a sign on the Crispin Inn in Ashover that gives some military history on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2009.
  • There is a War Memorial on the grounds of All Saints Church on Church street.

Military Records

  • Rob MARRIOTT provides a list of names from the Ashover War Memorial.
  • There used to be a similar list of names with more detail at the Ashover.Org site. but that was recently removed.
  • The five Commonwealth War Graves in Ashover Cemetery (data from the CWGC site) are for:
Name Rank Unit Died Other info.
W. ADLINGTON leading seaman Royal Navy Volun. Rsrv., S. S. Princess Dagmar 7 May 1918 Age 22, son of Jethro and Lucy Jane ADLINGTON of Chesterfield
William Ernest BOOKER driver 8 Amb. Car coy., Royal Army Service Corps 8 Oct. 1942 Age 21, son of Edwin and Gertrude BOOKER
Jim BUNTING air mechanic 2nd Royal Navy, HMS Vulture (NAS) 18 Oct. 1943 Age 19, son of James and Nellie BUNTING
Joseph Harold KING private Pioneer Corps 31 July 1943 Age 31, son of Joseph Harold and Alice KING
John Alan MILWARD signalman 8th Div., Royal Corps of Signals 30 Mar. 1945 Age 17, son of Robert and Eliza Ann MILWARD


Jane TAYLOR in Redcar contributes this snippet from the Derby Mercury of 1st July, 1802, "MARRIED: Yesterday se'nnight, at Dronfield, Mr. TAYLOR, Master of the Academy at that place, to Miss HASLAM, of Ashover, both in this county."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this notice from the Derby Mercury of 29 August 1804: "MARRIED: On Tuesday se'nnight, Mr. R. OLDHAM, to Miss Dorothy BOWER, both of Ashover, in this county."


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient Township and parish in Derby county and it became a modern Civil parish when those were established.
  • This parish was partly in the ancient Scarsdale Hundred (or Wapentake) and partly in the Wirksworth Hundred.
  • You may contact the local Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist with family history lookups.
  • This parish is part of the North East Derbyshire District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Alfreton petty session hearings on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month.
  • There is a list of over 175 Ashover Bastardy Papers held at the DRO on the Yesterdays Journey website. Select "Bastardy Papers" on the left side, then "Ashover" from the list of parishes displayed.
  • In 1767, 42 Derbyshire parishes (some would later become part of the Chesterfield Poor Law union) voluntarily formed themselves into the Ashover Union. The Union bought a large former bath-house at Ashover for use as a joint workhouse. This workhouse had 60 inmates in 1777. It appears that this building was in use up through 1900.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, this parish became a member of the Chesterfield Poorlaw Union.


David BEVIS has a photograph of Ashover's Primary School on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2010.