HATHERSAGE, a parish in the hundred of High Peak, county Derby, 8 miles N.E. of Bakewell. The parish, which includes a large tract of moorland, is situated on the road froth Manchester to Sheffield, in a vale watered by the river Derwent. It includes the hamlets of Bamford, Outseats, Derwent, and Stoney-Middleton. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of wire and needles, and in the cotton mills. Millstone is quarried for the Sheffield markets. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment under an Enclosure Act in 1808.

The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Lichfield, value £150. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lofty and richly-crocketed spire. In addition to the parish church, there are three district churches-viz: at Bamford, Derwent, and Stoney-Middleton, the livings of all which are perpetual curacies varying in value from £100 to £85.

On the S. side of the churchyard attached to the parish church is a spot shown as the place of interment of Little John, the companion of Robin Hood. The body of B. Ashton, Esq., who was buried in a vault in the parish church in 1726, was found in 1781, when the vault was opened, quite perfect and petrified into a kind of flint; and the like has happened at Hope.

The charities produce £70 per annum, including the endowment left by B. Ashton, for the support of a school. A National school was built in 1840. To the E. of the church is Camp Green, a circular enclosure 144 feet in diameter, single-ditched, and supposed to be of Danish origin. On the moors are rocking stones, or rock basins, as they are here called; also a curious natural cave called Robin Hood's Cave.”

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

Hathersage village is served by the Mobile Library on route N, which makes a stop on Oddfellow Road every fourth Thursday in the morning.

Alternatively, the Bakewell Library is an excellent resource with a Local History section and a Family History section.



  • BUXTON, Barbara A - Hathersage in The Peak. Phillimore, 2005. ISBN 1-86077-348-6.
  • DAWSON, Bob and CLENDON, Ryland - Hathersage Remembers. Valley Printers of Hathersage, 2000. No ISBN.
  • EDGAR, Jenny - An Accessible Wilderness: Life at Stanage and the North Lees Estate. Derbyshire County Council, 2005. ISBN 0-903463-73-3.
  • Hathersage Millennium Group - Hathersage Reviewed - A snapshot of a Derbyshire Village in the year 2000. Hatersage Millennium Group, 2000. No ISBN.
  • Historical Hathersage Millennium Project - Hathersage Images of the Past. Peak Press of Chapel-en-le-Frith, 2000. No ISBN, and now sadly out of print..
  • SMITH, Barbara M - A History of the Catholic Chapel at Hathersage. Hope Valley Press, 1987. ISBN 0 9512614 0 1


Basher EYRE has a photograph of St. Michael's churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2015.

Michel SPENCER provides an extract of Parish Register burials for your review. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.



  • The parish was in the Tideswell sub-district of the Bakewell Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851H.O. 107 / 2150
1861R.G. 9 / 2543 & 2546 & 2548
1891R.G. 12 / 2777
  • In 1851, the James and Mary HODGKINSON family of Hathersage can be found as strays in Yorkshire.

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Michael.
  • The church was built in the 12th century.
  • The church was restored in 1852.
  • A new organ was provided in 1907.
  • The church seats 450.
  • David KELLY has a photograph of St. Michael & All Angels Church on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2007.
  • On the south side of the churchyard is shown the gravestone of LITTLE JOHN, the companion of Robin Hood.
  • Mick GARRATT has a photograph of Little John's gravestone on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2001.
  • Neil THEASBY also has a photograph of Little John's grave on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2016.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of the Church Lychgate on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from the year 1627 for baptisms and marriages and from 1628 for burials.
  • You can find an extract from the Anglican parish register on the Northwest Derbyshire site.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Eyam.
  • The Catholic church here was rebuilt in 1805 and is dedicated to St. Michael.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Catholic Church on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2004.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel here in 1807 and enlarged in 1872.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

"HATHERSAGE, a village and parish, is 5½ miles E. by S. from Castleton, in the same hundred as Hope, and 4 miles from that village. The branch of wire drawing, and the manufacture of needles, are carried on here extensively; and upon the Derwent, which flows through the parish, are corn mills, and one for the making of paper."

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

Hathersage is 10 miles south-west of Sheffield and 160 miles north of London and contains the townships of Hathersage, Bamford, Derwent (chapelry) and Outseats; to which the chapelry of Stoney Middleton is also annexed (as of 1857). White's 1857 continues: This village has long been noted for the manufacture of needles, hackles, gills, pins, cast steel wire, and millstones. Messrs Robert and David COOK first brought the needle business here from Redditch on the 14th July 1811.

The Hamlet of Derwent is now on the north side of the Ladybower Reservoir.

The Midland Railway opened a station here in 1894, 9 miles north of Bakewell.

From "The Derbyshire Village Book" compiled by the Derbyshire Federation of Womens' Institutes, pub: Countryside Books, Newbury, 1991, ISBN 1 85306 133 6:

"Hathersage Situated in the Peak National Park at the entrance to the Hope valley, Hathersage is the first village on the A625 alter leaving Sheffield and marks the division between the Dark and White Peaks. There is some controversy about the origin of the name Hathersage but anyone looking up from the village to the surrounding moorlands in late summer will understand why it is commonly believed to be a corruption of `Heather's edge'.

The village boasts seven old houses or `Halls' said to have been built by a member of the Eyre family during the Middle Ages for his seven sons. People who have lived there claim that at least three of these - Highlow, Northlees and Moorseats, are haunted. Northlees and Moorseats are also well known for their association with Charlotte Bronte who wrote her novel Jane Eyre after a visit to her former school friend Ellen Nussey, the sister of the vicar of Hathersage. She used the two Halls as models for the homes of Mr Rochester and St John Rivers. The building which is now the butcher's shop is said to have been the original of the shop where Jane Eyre tried to barter her gloves for `a cake of bread' and the Bronte link is carried further in that the landlord of the George Hotel at the time of Charlotte's visit was called Morton - the name she gave to the village where Jane sought help.

Traditionally Hathersage was the home of Robin Hood's companion Little John and the cottage in which he is supposed to have lived was standing up to 100 years ago. His grave is in a prominent position in the churchyard. A bow supposedly belonging to him was once kept in the church but seems to have disappeared after being removed, ostensibly for safe-keeping, some 250 years ago.

In the past Hathersage was an industrial village well known for making needles, heckle pins and millstones - large numbers of which can he found abandoned where they were made on the hillside above the village. Other activities carried on in and around the village included lead smelting, paper making, a mill making saws and farming. Today only farming survives. Many residents now travel to work in Sheffield or further down the valley but the growth of tourism provides work for increasing numbers in catering, retailing and craftwork.

Hathersage is one of the biggest villages in the Hope valley and its shops and other amenities make it a focus for people in the surrounding area It is situated on the Sheffield to Manchester railway line, a facility increasingly used by both local people and visitors, There are three active churches and six public houses. In the summer the sports facilities, given to the village in the late 1930s by C. H. Lawrence, a wealthy Sheffield businessman who lived in Hathersage, and now run by the parish council, are popular with local people and visitors.

Older residents still remember the fair which used to be held in the village on 13th October during potato picking week, when the school was closed and stalls were set up all along the main street, but nowadays the highlight of the year is Gala Week, usually the second week in July, when the village is decorated, a gala queen is crowned and the whole village takes part in a week of activities including fell racing, tug of war, treasure hunts and sports competitions. The Blessing of the Crib on Christmas Eve is another event which generates a sense of community and is much loved by the children, when a `stable' with life size figures is erected on the grassy bank of the stream which runs alongside the main street."
You can see pictures of Hathersage which are provided by:




Encyclopaedias & Dictionaries

From the "Topographical Dictionary of England", by Samuel LEWIS, 7th edition, 1848, Vol 2, p. 442:

"HATHERSAGE, formerly Heather-Edge (St Michael), a parish, in the unions of Bakewell and Chapel-en-le-Frith, hundred of High Peak, northern division of the county of Derby, 9 miles north-by-east from Bakewell; comprising the chapelries of Derwent and Stony Middleton, the township of Hathersage, and the hamlets of Bamford and Outseats; and containing 2,054 inhabitants, of whom 830 are in the township [in 1848].

The parish is situated on the road from Manchester to Sheffield, in a beautiful vale, watered by the River Derwent, which abounds with trout. It comprises about 9,760 acres, whereof nearly 7,000 are moor; the soil is of gritty quality, and the surface diversified with numerous hills.

The population is partly employed in the manufacture of wire and needles; there is a cotton-mill at Bamford, and stone is quarried, which is made into mill-stones for the Sheffield market. A fair for sheep is held on the 26th October.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King's Books at 7 pounds 0 shillings and 5 pence; net income UKP 126; patron and impropriator [of the tithes] the Duke of Devonshire. The tithes were commuted for land a money payment in 1808; the glebe [land for the Vicar] comprises 216 acres, of which about 170 are moor.

The church is in the later English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lofty and richly crocketed spire [ie with little carved buds and curled leaves] : in the chancel are several monuments of the family of EYRE, ancestors of the Earl of Newburgh; on an altar-tomb, represented on brass plates, are effigies of Robert EYRE, who fought in the battle of Argincourt [1415], and of his wife and fourteen children. On the south side of the churchyard is a spot shown as the place of interment of Little John, the favourite companion of Robin Hood. The body of B. ASHTON, Esq, who was buried in a vault in the church in 1725, was discovered in 1781, quite perfect and petrified, retaining the flesh colour as when entombed. There are chapels at Stony-Middleton and Derwent; and the Wesleyans and Roman Catholics have places of worship.

Eastward from the church is Camp Green, a circular enclosure encompassed by a single mound and moat, evidently of Danish origin. In the vicinity are some irregular rocks, called rocking-stones, or rock basins, and a curious natural cave, called Robin Hood's cave."




  • The Danes are reputed to have built the earthwork north of the church known as "Camp Green".
  • A sheep dog trail was held in late September each year at Longshaw Lodge.
  • Graham HOGG has a photograph of the Little John Pub at night in west Hathersage, on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2017.
  • "SMJ" has a photograph of the George Hotel in west Hathersage, on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2009.
  • Martin DAWES has a photograph of the Scotsmans Pack Pub., 1817, on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2015.
  • Transcription of section of Lysons' Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire, 1817, for Hathersage by Barbarann AYARS.
  • Nickie JOHNSTON contributes this extract from the Derby Mercury newspaper of 2 Oct 1809: "To be sold at auction .... At the house of Mr. Benjamin TORR of Hathersage .... a substantial messuage or farmhouse.....about 60 acres....situate in the hamlet of Derwent in the parish of Hathersage."


Hathersage Hall  is a stone mansion built in 1496.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK246803 (Lat/Lon: 53.319504, -1.632411), Hathersage which are provided by:


Military History

  • Robert EYRE, who fought in the battle of Agincourt in 1415, has a memorial in the church.
  • During World War One, there was a Red Cross VAD Hospital here.
  • On the south end of Oddfellows Road, eastern side, there is a Community Hall (Stanage Hall) that has been dedicated as a War Memorial to the fallen of WW1 and WW2. The hall has a sandstone tablet on the west façade that honours all who served. Adjacent lancet windows have been blocked off and faced with polycarbonate panels bearing the names of the fallen of WW1 and WW2.

Military Records

The Derby Mercury newspaper reports that Major SHUTTLEWORTH of Hathersage was wounded at Bunker's Hill in June 1775.

Basher EYRE has a photograph of a memorial plaque in St. Michael's church to Colonel Ashton John HUTTLEWORTH of the Royal Artillery, born 1840, who died just before WWI on 29 Sept. 1912. His surname appears as SHUTTLEWORTH in many sources.

There are two Commonwealth War Graves in St. Michael's churchyard, both from World War II:

  1. Anthony Condor SNOWDON, flight sergt., RAF Vol. Rsrv., died 6 Nov. 1945.
  2. Gordon STUBBS, flight srgt., 51 Sqdn. RAF Vol. Rsrv., age 21, died 9 June 1941. Son of John and Mary H. STUBBS.

Names, Geographical

From "The Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names: *Hereseige* (Domesday Book), *Hauresheg* (1200, Pipe Rolls), *Haureshegg* (1230, Pipe Rolls), *Havereshech*, *Havershech* (1242, Fees), *Hathersegge* (1264, Inquisitiones Post Mortem).



Kathy WADLOW shares this extract from the Derby Mercury of 13th March 1833:

"A Coroner's Inquest was held at Hathersage, in this County, on the 1st instant, on Mary TORR, who poisoned herself by taking two spoonsful of arsenic, mixed with black current preserve. The deceased had been charged with stealing coals, and though the Magistrates dismissed the information, yet the charge so preyed on her mind, and the idea of her character suffering from it, that she formed the determination of destroying herself. The Jury, after a long investigation as to all the circumstances and as to her previous state of mind, came to the determination of returning a verdict of felo de se and the Coroner issued his warrant for the burial between the hours of 9-12 at night, without the rites of Christian burial, agreeably to the statute of 4th George IV."


In the Derbyshire Times for 27th May 1999, there is an Obit. for Thomas Anthony TOBIN, age 77.


Politics & 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 High Peak Hundred (or Wapentake) in the western division of the county.
  • You may contact the Hathersage Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but they are NOT staffed to help you with family history searches.
  • District governance was provided by the High Peak Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Bakewell petty session hearings each Friday.
  • The Common Lands were enclosed here around 1825.
  • As a result of the Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a member of the Bakewell Poorlaw Union.

Probate Records

In 1692, Adam FURNISS left a Will giving land to build St. Michael's Catholic Chapel. He mentions his wife Alice and a son William.

In 1727, William BRITTLEBANK left a Will leaving Yate House to his six children.

In 1785, John HODGKINSON left a will mentioning Abraham SLINN and "kinsman" Thomas FURNESS.

In 1905, Sarah Ann DARVILL left a Will that mentions her nephews: Henry Robert CROSSLAND and Thomas Joseph CROSSLAND.



A public Elementary School (mixed) was built here in 1859 for 177 children.

A Catholic (mixed) School was built here in 1861 and enlarged in 1911 to hold 81 children.



Hathersage Historical Society holds educational events. See the Parish Council Website for current information.