ASHOVER, Derbyshire - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland
"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."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin HINSON ©2003]