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Help and advice for Dronfield

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 Dronfield Library on High Street is normally open six days a week. They have a Local Studies and Family History section to help you with your search.

The Mobile Library visits the hamlet of Mickley  every fourth Tuesday in the morning.



  • Dronfield Cemetery was opened in November, 1877 and covered 8 acres with two mortuary chapels.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of a portion of Dronfield Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2009.
  • Dronfield Cemetery is managed by a joint Burial Committee of Dronfield City Council and Unstone parish council.
  • There is a photograph of the cemetery at the Dronfield Town Council web site.



  • The parish was in the Dronfield 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 / 2537
1891 R.G. 12 / 2772


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


Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
  • The church dates from the 12th century. The church was standing in 1135.
  • Considerable alterations took place in 1855.
  • The church chancel was restored in 1886.
  • The church seats 1,000.
  • There is a fine black and white photograph of St. John's Church on Flickr.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Parish Church on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2011.
  • Saint Philip's Church also stands in Dronfield, but I have been unable to find a date of construction.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1560.
  • You may wish to review the Parish Register extracts at Derbyshire Genealogy. Type "Dronfield" into the search box and press Enter.
  • We have a pop-up window of Parish Register burials in a text file for your review. Your additions are welcomed.
  • Marriages at Dronfield, 1560-1837 are available in Nigel BATTY-SMITH's database of scanned images of Phillimore's Parish Registers.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Dronfield.
  • The Baptists built a chapel here in 1871 and are still active.
  • There is also a Methodist Church in Dronfield on Green Lane.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the United Methodist Free Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2009. This church was built in 1863.
  • There was a Primitive Methodist chapel built in Apperknowle in 1879.
  • The Catholic Church in Dronfield on Stonelow Road is dedicated to The Holy Spirit.

Civil Registration

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

Description and Travel

"DRONFIELD, once a market-town, in the parish of its name, in the hundred of Scarsdale, is 156 miles from London, 38 S.E. from Manchester, 23 E. by N. from Buxton. 6 N. from Chesterfield, and the like distances from Sheffield. The town is pleasantly situate in a valley, and remarkable for its salubrity, which has occasioned it to become a place of residence for many respectable inhabitants. Edge-tools, scythes, sickles, and other agricultural implements, together with nails, are manufactured here and in the neighbourhood, to a very considerable extent; there are also iron and chymical works, and several corn mills in the vicinity."

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

Dronfield grew rapidly after World War II, more than tripling its population. Many of its citizens commute to jobs in Chesterfield or Sheffield. Today, the A61 trunk road cuts through the town. Dronfield still has passenger rail service.

The parish has its own parish website

The historic parish of Dronfield included the hamlet of Apperknowle.

Andrew HILL has a photograph of the view of Dronfield on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2011.

You can see pictures of Dronfield which are provided by:





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

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

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



  • This place was described in the 1086 Domesday Book.
  • In 1662 Charles II granted the town permission to hold a market.
  • The hiring fair for servants was held each November 3rd.
  • Chris MORGAN has a photograph of the Market Cross on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2013.
  • There is a small local airport here - well a grass landing strip actually. Peter BARR has a photograph of the Low Flying Aircraft warning sign on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2011. This strip is in the old Apperknowle area.

Medical Records

  • The Dronfield District Hospital opened here in Homley lane in December, 1905.
  • It was an infected disease hospital (typhus and scarlet fever) for the surrounding area.
  • The hospital had 24 beds.
  • These hospitals did not have to archive patient records, although some hospital financial records are probably in the archives.
  • The Derbyshire Record Office holds the Dronfield District Hospital Sub-committee Minutes," which have admission and discharge statistics. Use reference D1972/17/2 when requesting these.

Military History

  • Dronfield's War Memorial was unveiled on 29 Oct. 1922 outside the White Swan Pub. It has since been relocated to the Public Library garden.
  • Martin SPECK has a photograph of the Dronfield War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2009.
  • The monument commemorates the 74 residents killed in World War I and the 24 killed in World War II.


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 announcement from the Derby Mercury of 6 January, 1803: "MARRIED: On Monday se'nnight, Mr. John HEATHCOTE of Sheffield, butcher, to Miss Catharine MARSH, of Dronfield, in this county."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar offers this clipping from the Derby Mercury of 29 August 1804: "MARRIED: On Wednesday last, at Dronfield, in this county, Mr. Thomas WILSON, to Miss Ellen RAYNES; both of Barlow."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar has this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 6 September, 1804: "MARRIED: On Wednesday last, at Eckington, in this county, Mr. I. COUPE, of Dronfield, to Miss COX, second daughter of Mr. COX, of Litfield."



Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 16 June, 1803: DIED: "Sunday morning, aged 82, Michael SHAW, Esq. of Dronfield, in this county, formerly of Manchester."


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).
  • In October, 1861, the parish became an Urban District.
  • The Town Hall was built in 1863.
  • In December, 1894, the parish was reduced to help create Dronfield Woodhouse Civil Parish.
  • This place, in its growth, has absorbed the communities of Coal Aston, Dronfield and Dronfield Woodhouse.
  • In April, 1935, the parish re-absorbed Dronfield Woodhouse Civil Parish and Coal Aston Civil Parish, along with 418 acres of Unstone Civil Parish.
  • You may contact the Dronfield Town Council regarding civic or political matters, but they are NOT funded to help you with family history questions.
  • District governance is provided by the North East Derbyshire District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Eckington petty session hearings, which were held in the Dronfield town hall on Mondays at 11am.
  • There is an index of more than a dozen Dronfield Bastardy Papers held at the DRO on the Yesterdays Journey website. Select "Bastardy Papers" on the left side, then "Dronfield" 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.
  • For Information only - the "Parish Chest" for Dronfield (including part of Little Barlow) contains no Settlement Certificates or anything else of great use to us as Family Historians. My grateful thanks to Janet KIRK for this information.

Probate Records

The following people were mentioned in an 1872 Will (made in 1867) by Edward ALLEN of Dronfield, yeoman:

  1. niece Mary, wife of George LOCKWOOD of Dronfield
  2. Robert WHALL witness
  3. Mary BINGHAM witness


"After Derby and Chesterfield the next reference suggesting the instance of a school comes from Dronfield. Here, between 1496 and 1501, a Dronfield schoolmaster named Christopher Haslam entered into an agreement with Beauchief Abbey to teach the boys and novices singing and grammar. He rented from the Abbey a house in Dronfield, and he appears to have been one of of the priests attached to the Gild of Our Lady. After the dissolution of the chantries and gilds in 1548 Haslam was awarded a pension of £4, but he died shortly afterwards and was buried at Dronfield on 5 October 1551. His will (16 March 1551) mentions his nephew Christopher, who was a chantry priest at Shirland and who died as vicar of Dronfield in 1571. The pre-Reformation Dronfield school may well have been attached to the Gild of Our Lady. In this it would have been in a similar position to the school at Melbourne, founded in 1513-14, which was attached to the chantry of St Katherine and therefore came to an end in 1548."

The successor of this pre-Reformation school - Dronfield grammar school - was founded in 1579 under the terms of the will of Henry Fanshawe.