BREADSALL, a parish in the hundred of Appletree, in the county of Derby, 2 miles to the N. of Derby, its post town. The Derby water-works are in this parish, and it is crossed by the North Midland railway, the Little Eaton canal and the river Derwent. It was the site of a house of Friars Eremites, founded, it is said, by the Dethick family, about the middle of the 13th century, and subsequently converted into an Augustine priory. It had a revenue of £13, and was given by Edward VI. to Henry, Duke of Suffolk.

Good building stone is obtained in the parish, and some of the villagers are employed in the manufacture of hosiery. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Lichfield, of the annual value of £580, with 452 acres of glebe land, in the patronage of Sir John H. Crewe, Bart. The church, a spacious building with a tower and lofty spire, was repaired in 1830. It is dedicated to All Saints, and contains a monument to the botanist and poet, Dr. Darwin, who died in 1802 at Breadsall Priory.

The rectory of this parish was held for nearly 20 years by John Hieron, a learned Nonconformist of the 17th century. The Wesleyans have a chapel, and there is a free school, founded in 1788, and subsequently endowed by John Clayton with an income of £10 a year. There is also a handsome National school, erected in 1837 conjointly by the late Sir George Crewe and the Rev. Henry R. Crewe, the rector. The poor have the benefit of several other charitable bequests, producing about £50 per annum.”

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

Breadsall is served by the Mobile Library on route 5, which stops by the Memorial Hall on every fourth Thursday afternoon.



Ruth SHARVILLE has a photograph of All Saints' churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2010.



  • The parish was in the Spondon sub-district of the Shardlow Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 2141
1861 R.G. 9 / 2494
1891 R.G. 12 / 2726

Church History

  • There was a church here at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1056.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to All Saints.
  • This church appears to date from circa 1150.
  • This church was completely reconstructed about a century later and the large tower added..
  • The church was extensively repaired in 1830 and restored in 1877.
  • The north aisle was repaired in 1902.
  • The church was damaged in 1914 when local suffragettes set the church on fire. The interior was gutted and the damage was repaired in 1915.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of All Saints' church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2011.
  • The church seats 420.
  • An ancient Priory, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was founded here in the reign of Henry III, but only fragments of the building remained by the late 1800s.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1573, but the years 1592 to 1601 are missing and some later years appear incomplete.
  • Marriages at Breadsall, 1573-1837 are available in Nigel BATTY-SMITH's database of scanned images of Phillimore's Parish Registers.
  • Mike SPENCER has given us the beginning of an extract of Parish Register Burials for your review. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Ilkeston.
  • The Wesleyan Methodist built a chapel here in 1826. This was converted to a private residence some time before 2004.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

"BREADSALL is a parish (having no dependent township) in the hundred of Appletree, though locally situate in that of Morleston and Litchurch; about three miles N.N.E. from Derby, and the like distances. S.S.E. from Duffield. The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is a large and handsome edifice, with a lofty needle spire, which forms a prominent object for a considerable distance around."

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

The parish lies 145 miles north of London and covers 2,300 acres. Passenger rail service ceased in 1953.

Malcolm NEAL has a photograph of Breadsall Village on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2017.

You can see pictures of Breadsall which are provided by:







Erasmus DARWIN, grandfather of Charles DARWIN, is buried here. He was born in Nottinghamshire and spent much of his adult life in Litchfield, NTT. but moved to Breadsall in 1802. He died only a few months later.


Historical Geography

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





Michael GARLICK provides a photograph of Breadsall Old Hall on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2016.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK370397 (Lat/Lon: 52.953408, -1.450723), Breadsall which are provided by:


Military History


Military Records

A local Solicitor, Woodforde B. WOODFORDE, is listed as a resident here in 1891 and 1911. Directories tell us he was a Colonel, but don't give a military unit. He was born in 1854 and died in 1926.

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


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in county Derby and became a modern Civil parish when those were established.
  • This parish was in the ancient Appletree Hundred (or Wapentake).
  • You may contact the local Breadsall Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NEITHER staffed nor funded to provide family history searches. Their web site does give access to information about local clubs and the village hall.
  • District governance is provided by the Erewash Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Derby petty session hearings every Friday.
  • There is an index of three Breadsall Bastardy Papers held at the DRO on the Yesterdays Journey website. Select "Bastardy Papers" on the left side, then "Breadsall" from the list of parishes displayed.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, the parish became a member of the Shardlow Poorlaw Union.


A Public Elementary School (mixed) was built here in 1837 for 100 boys and girls and 20 infants.

Ruth SHARVILLE has a photograph of Breadsall School on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2010.