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Help and advice for Bolsover

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.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.


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Archives and Libraries

The Bolsover Library on Church Street near the Cotton Street Car Park is normally open six days a week. They have a Local Studies and Family History section to help you with your search.

Gordon GRIFFITHS has a photograph of the Bolsover Library on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.

Glapwell  township is served by the Mobile Library on route N, which makes a stop at the village hall every fourth Tuesday in the afternoon.

Shuttlewood  hamlet is served by the Mobile Library on route N, which makes a stop on Pattison Street every fourth Friday in the morning.

The Bolsover Apprenticeship Indentures 1784-1814 are at the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock. Names include those of Churchwardens, Overseers of the Poor and masters as well as of the apprentices themselves. DRO D190A/PO/11/1-9.

The Calendar (Index) of the Portland Papers at Nottinghamshire Archives. This itself contains a number of personal names, usually those of parties to deeds, together with summaries of the contents. Section DDP 50 refers to Bolsover and within this, DDP 50/94 to Oxcroft.



  1. Edwards, David G. (ed.), Derbyshire Hearth Tax Assessments 1662-70, Derbyshire Record Society, 1982.
    Two lists are relevant, one for Bolsover and a combined list for Tibshelf and Oxcroft, in which the last eight names can be identified as Oxcroft residents.
  2. Fidler, Peter, "True Brit. The Adventures of Peter Fidler of Bolsover", Country Books of Longstone, 2001. ISBN 1-898941-48-3.
  3. Haigh, Bernard, "Bolsover Remembered", priv pub 1986.
  4. Haigh, Bernard, "More Bolsover Remembered" priv pub 1987
    History of the parish and surrounding villages mostly from photographs and the memories of elderly inhabitants in the 1980s.
  5. Knoop and Jones, "Bolsover Castle Building Account 1613" Quatuor Coronati Lodge, London 1936.
    Usually no forenames. A few give the occupation if it is more skilled than labouring.
  6. Spathaky, Mike, "Bolsover Surnames - an index to archive sources 1997", Cree Family History Society.
    A combined index of over 4000 individuals named in archives and books marked (S) in this page. Now out of print but the web version available as part of this GENUKI: Bolsover set of web pages.
  7. Wheatcroft, L, "Autobiography of Leonard Wheatcroft" in A Seventeenth Century Scarsdale Miscellany, pub. Derbyshire Record Society 1993, ISBN 0 946324 16 6.
    Wheatcroft lived at Bolsover for four years from 1664 to 1668.
  8. Yeatman, Pym, The Diary of Benjamin Granger of Bolsover in JDANHS IX 1887.
    Granger was a leading citizen of Bolsover and kept brief notes of various events in the town from 1688 to 1708. The location of the original is not known. From the transcription it appears that Granger compiled it almost at random from notes on separate scraps of paper - or perhaps from notes interspersed in some other documents such as accounts. Certainly the entries are not in chronological order. The transcription also includes entries made by Henry Roades from 1741 to 1748. What is useful to us is that over 140 surnames are included, even though many entries simply record the annual appointment of parish officers such as churchwardens, constables and collectors of various "assessments".


The cemetery is situated at Oxcroft Lane in Bolsover  This cemetery is managed by the Old Bolsover Town Council.

Neil THEASBY has a photograph of Bolsover Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2014.

There is also a closed cemetery situated on Langwith Road.  This cemetery is the responsibility of Bolsover District Council.

St Mary's parish church is the main graveyard in Bolsover that is of genealogical interest. The monumental inscriptions were recorded by Derbyshire Family History Society in September 1997.

Mike FAHERTY has a photograph of Sts Mary & Leonard churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2011.

There are several active and some disused non-conformist chapels which may have MIs awaiting recording. There are a few gravestones in the lawn in front of the medical centre(!) as this is the site of the earliest non-conformist chapel in Bolsover.



  • The parish was in the Bolsover sub-district of the Chesterfield Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 2148
1861 R.G. 9 / 2533
1891 R.G. 12 / 2767
  • Census returns for all years from 1841 to 1901 may be seen on microfilm at Bolsover Library and at Local Studies Libraries in Matlock, Chesterfield and Derby.. Availability of the 1911 Census is unknown at present. There are name indexes to Derbyshire for 1851, 1861 and 1891.
  • The 1851 Census Index Books, Volume 8.3: Bolsover & Dronfield Sub-Districts of Chesterfield, Derbyshire FHS.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Bramley Vale area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary, but other sources give St. Mary and St. Laurence.
  • The church was built around 1020.
  • The church was partially rebuilt circa 1200.
  • The church was fully restored in 1877 and further improvements were made 10 years later in 1887.
  • A fire damaged the church interior in January, 1896.
  • The church seats 850.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of St. Mary and St. Lawrence Church on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.
  • Humphrey BOLTON also has a photograph of St. Mary and St. Lawrence Church on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2015.
  • Saint Luke's Church is in the hamlet of Whaley Thorns and was built in 1878. It seats 320.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1604.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Chesterfield.
  • Michael SPENCER has provided an extract of Bolsover burials entries. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.
  • The Congregational chapel was built in 1662.
  • There was a Catholic chapel on High Street.
  • The Primitive Methodist chapel and the Wesleyan Methodist chapel were both built in 1865.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2011.

Civil Registration

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

Description and Travel

"BOLSOVER, once a market town, is in the parish of its name, in the hundred of Scarsdale; 145 miles from London, 54 S.E. from Manchester, 24 N.N. by E. from Derby, 12 N.E. from Matlock, and 6 E. from Chesterfield. This place, prior to the conquest, was called Belesoure, and soon after the Norman survey, was noted for its castle, the seat of the Peverils, the first of whom was natural son to the conqueror."

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

The parish covers about 5,520 acres and includes the hamlets of Whaley Thorns, Oxcroft, Stanfree, and Woodhouse and the township of Glapwell.

Shuttlewood is a village 2 miles north-north-west of Bolsover. It had a mission hall built in 1893 and a Methodist chapel. Jonathan CLITHEROE has a photograph of B6419 Road in Shuttlewood on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2011.

The parish had excellent train service in the 1800s with Midland Railway routes direct to Mansfield and Chesterfield. There is currently bus service from Chesterfield. The railway passenger service closed some time in the 1960s.

You can see pictures of Bolsover which are provided by:



the following Trade Directories are available in a folder in the Local Studies section of the Bolsover Library: (The first one is online at Rosemary LOCKIE's website.)

  • 1835 Pigot & Co's
  • 1842 Pigot & Co's
  • 1846 Bagshaw's
  • 1855 Post Office
  • 1857 White's
  • 1887 Kelly's


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

    Click here for a list of nearby places.


    Historical Geography

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



    Bolsover Castle started in the 12th century as a keep was built by William Peverel the Elder, the natural son of William the Conqueror. The present castle was erected in 1613 by Sir Charles CAVENDISH. It was garrisoned by the Royalists in the Civil War. The Castle is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public.

    David DIXON has a photograph of Bolsover Castle on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2017.

    Graham HOGG has a photograph of the Wall Walk at Bolsover Castle on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2015.

    In 1880 lady Augusta Mary CAVENDISH-BRENTINCK was given the title Baroness of Bolsover.

    Bolsover had a large colliery in the heart of the village.

    Rose KELLAND offers this notice from the Derbyshire Times & Chesterfield Herald of Wednesday, 18 November 1903: "Mr. J. COUPE has won the Bolsover billiard handicap.

    Graham HOGG has a photograph of New Bolsover Model Village housing on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2013.

    Creswell  is a "model village" built in the early 20th century.


    Military History

    • Philip HALLING has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2014.
    • Andrew HILL also has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010.
    • David DIXON also has a photograph of the War Memorial in the Market Place on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2017.
    • And Gordeon GRIFFITHS has a striking photograph of the War Memorial cross in Castle Street on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.
    • The Traces of War website shows us the parish has 4 Commonwealth War Graves from World War I and 6 from WW II.

    Military Records

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

    There are 10 Commonwealth War Graves in St. Mary's (new) churchyard (data from the CWGC site in July, 2017). They are for:

    Name Rank Unit Died Other info.
    William ABBOTT lance corporal 9th Btln., Sherwood Foresters 20 Oct. 1916 Age 26, husband of Florence Elizabeth CROSBY (formerly ABBOTT)
    Horace Tom COWLEY private 9th Btln., Sherwood Foresters 30 Sept. 1916 Age 30, husband of Sarah Ann STOKES (formerly COWLEY)
    A. GASCOYNE private M. T., Royal Army Service Corps 4 June 1919 - none -
    A. HALLATT private York and Lancs Regt. 16 Nov. 1947 Age 21, son of Stanley and Rachel HALLATT
    John Charles Geoffrey LEANING private 4th Btln., Devonshire Regt. 15 April 1941 Age 21, son of Albert and Joyce Ilett LEANING
    Alan MARSH serjeant 82 Sqdn., Royal Air Force 23 May 1940 - none -
    Graham RANDALL private Lincs. Regt. 11 Feb. 1946 Age 22
    Thomas RYAN lance serjeant 1st Btln., York and Lancs Regt. 29 June 1944 Age 31, husband of Elizabeth May RYAN
    Ralph Ramsey SMITH leading aircraftman Royal Air Force Volunt. Rsrv. 4 April 1940 - none -
    Fred YATES private Royal Defence Corps 11 Nov. 1916 Age 32, son of Mrs. Elizabeth YATES

    Names, Geographical

    The parish appears as Belesovre in the 1086 Domesday Book. in the 12th century, it appears as Bolesoura.

    There is a Bolsover Street in London.


    Names, Personal

    Many sources contains references to Bolsover individuals and an important index to these is Bolsover Surnames - an index to archive sources by Mike Spathaky. It contains over 4000 entries with detailed references to the relevant sources. This collates indexes to a diverse range of documents, from the 1638 muster A list of all the able men for Warre to the Bolsover Manor Court records (1705 to 1814) and Estate Rentals (1676 to 1829). It is now only available on-line. The print version is out of print.



    Jane TAYLOR in Redcar contributes this snippet from the Derby Mercury of 15 July, 1802, "MARRIED: On Friday, Mr. Jonathan BEELEY, to Miss BEELEY, of Bolsover, in this county."

    Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this notice from the Derby Mercury of 1 August 1804: "MARRIED: On Monday se'nnight, at Bolsover, in this county, Mr. HOUNSFIELD, of Tupton, to Miss Ann LAWRENCE, of the former place."


    Officials and Employees

    The Derbyshire Constabulary, Chesterfield Division, was here in 1912 with a sergeant and 5 constables.


    Politics and 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).
    • Bolsover was granted a market town charter almost 800 years ago by Henry III.
    • Bolsover was constituted as an Urban District Council in 14 August 1893.
    • You may contact the Old Bolsover Town Council regarding civic and political issues, but they Cannot do family history searches for you.
    • District governance is provided by the Bolsover District Council.

    Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

    • The Common Lands were enclosed here in 1779.
    • The Bolsover and Clowne Enclosure Act 1779 Derbyshire Record Office. Film XM 7/2. A large-scale map shows each individual piece of enclosed land marked with the name of the occupier. Lists around the borders of the map give the names of all the occupiers and the acreages and rents of their holdings. Although the map is a combined one for the two parishes, there are separate lists for Bolsover and Clowne.
    • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Chesterfield petty session hearings every Saturday.
    • There is an index of over 30 Bolsover Bastardy Papers held at the DRO on the Yesterdays Journey website. Select "Bastardy Papers" on the left side, then "Bolsover" from the list of parishes displayed.
    • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment reforms, this parish became part of the Chesterfield Poor Law Union.

    Probate Records

    For probate purposes prior to 1858, Bolsover was in the Diocese of Lichfield. The original pre-1858 wills and administrations for the Diocese are held at the Lichfield Joint Record Office. An index entitled Bolsover Wills at Lichfield has been published and is on the shelves of the Joint Record Office and other relevant libraries.



    Bolsover National School (mixed) was built in 1868 and enlarged in 1886 and again in 1894 to hold 700 children.

    The Welbeck Road Council school (mixed) opened in 1907 for 320 students.

    In Shuttlewood, a temporary Council School (mixed) was built in 1905 to 220 children and enlarged around 1911 to hold 320. David BEVIS has a photograph of the School on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010. The playground is across the road.

    The Whaley Thrope School was built in 1881 for 302 children. A new Infants School was added to hold 268 infants.

    The Stanfree Council School (infants) was built in 1907 for 120 infants. Average attendance in 1912 was 120.

    The Bolsover Colliery School was built in New Bolsover in 1894 for 520 students. Average attendance in 1911 was 520.

    A new Public Elementary School (infants) was built in Bolsover in 1907 for 220. Average attendance in 191 was 220.

    Andrew HILL has a photograph of the New Bolsover Primary School on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2010.