Wikipedia tells us:

"Horsley Woodhouse is a village and civil parish in the Amber Valley district of Derbyshire, in the East Midlands of England. The population of the civil parish taken at the 2011 Census was 1,219. It is situated on the A609 road between the neighbouring villages of Kilburn and Smalley."


Archives & Libraries

Horsely had the "Horsley Institute and Reading Room" in the early 1900s.

Today, Horsley village is served by the Mobile Library on route 5, which makes two stops every fourth Friday in the late morning.

That same Mobile Library visits Woodhouse later on the same day near the post office. It also visits Kilburn's Church Street Car Park in the early afternoon.

Alternatively, the Library at Belper is an excellent resource for you.



  • WEBSTER, Averill - Horsley Through the Ages - A Derbyshire Village, Oldrini Publishing, Kilburn, DBY. ISBN 0 9534457 0 4.


  • The parish was the centre of the Horsley sub-district of the Belper Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841H.O. 107 / 181
1861R.G. 9 / 2508
1891R.G. 12 / 2742
1901R.G. 13 / 3239

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Clement and Saint James.
  • The church was built in circa 1200 on a conspicuous height.
  • The western church tower was built in the middle of the 14th century. The chancel was rebuilt at that time, also.
  • The church was restored in 1858-1860.
  • The church spire was repaired in 1898 and a lightning conductor applied.
  • The church seats 350.
  • Rob BRADFORD has a photograph of St. Clement's Church on Geo-graph, taken in 2005.
  • David BEVIS also has a photograph of St. Clement's Church on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2010.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1558 and is in fair condition. The years 1643 to 1660 are missing.
  • Marriages at Horsley, 1558-1812 are available in Nigel BATTY-SMITH's database of scanned images of Phillimore's Parish Registers.
  • We have a pop-up window of Parish Register burials in a text file for your review. Your additions are welcomed.
  • There was a United Methodist chapel here in 1912.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Buxton.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

"HORSLEY, a parish in the hundred of Morleston, county Derby, 6 miles N.E. of Derby, its post town, and 2 N.E. of Duffield railway station. The parish, which is considerable, is situated near the river Derwent, and on the Derby and Alfreton road. It contains the villages of Horsley, Horsley Woodhouse, and Kilburne. Here formerly stood a castle, built by Ralph-de-Burun. The surface is diversified with hill and dale, and the soil is in general light. The Little Eaton railway passes through the parish."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin HINSON ©2003]

John POYSER has a photograph of the Horsley Fountain on Geo-graph, taken in 2006.

Coxbench is partly in this parish, but mostly in Holbrook Civil Parish in Derbyshire.

You can see pictures of Horsley which are provided by:






Historical Geography

Historically, there were two townships in the parish: Horsely and Kilburne.



  • There was a castle built here in the 13th century, but now all traces of it have disappeared.
  • Over two-thirds of the land was used for pasturage.
  • Thomas NEEDHAM kept a Village Diary which should be a benefit to family historians.
  • Robert BRADFORD has a photograph of the Coach and Horses Inn on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2005.
  • Trevor RICKARD also has a photograph of the Coach and Horses Inn on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2011.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK381445 (Lat/Lon: 52.996477, -1.433788), Horsley which are provided by:


Military History

  • The Traces of War website tells us that Horsley's churchyard has 5 Commonwealth War Graves from World War I and 4 from World War II.

Military Records

There are five Commonwealth War Graves in St. Clement's churchyard from World War I. They are for:

  1. H. GAUNT, corporal, East Yorks., age 24, died 1 Jan. 1919
  2. Jesse E. HARRISON, pri., Training Reserve, age 20, died 16 Aug. 1918
  3. Harold HORSLEY, pri., RAMC, age 36, died 21 Mar. 1917
  4. John JACKSON, pri., Sherwood For. age 33, died 14 Nov. 1918
  5. Arthur V. TAYLOR, pri., Leic. Rgt., age 21, died 8 Nov. 1918

There are four Commonwealth War Graves in St. Clement's churchyard from World War II. They are for:

  1. Albert MALTBY, lance corp., Pioneer Corps, age 23, died 19 Feb. 1941
  2. William E. PEEL, Flying Officer, RAF Vol. Reserve, age 23, died 3 Apr. 1944
  3. Charles W. RHODES, pri., Cheshire Rgt., died 22 June 1943
  4. Vincent P. THOMPSON, srgt., RAF Vol. Reserve, died 1 Mar. 1943


  • Some Newspaper Articles mentioning Horsley. One only at present, reporting on Coronation Festivities in 1902.


  • Jane TAYLOR has this report from the Derby Mercury of 10 Jan 1805: DIED: "On Monday last, in the prime of his life, after a lingering illness which he bore with much patience, Francis RADFORD, of Horsley Woodhouse, in this county, gent."
  • Jon CANTRILL has this entry from the Derby Mercury of 7th January 1829: DEATHES: "On Saturday last, suddenly, in the 76th year of his age, Mr. Joseph MIDDLETON, of Bar Gate, formerly of Horsley, in this county."

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 Morleston and Litchurch Hundred (or Wapentake).
  • You may contact the Horsley Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist with family history searches.
  • District governance is provided by the Amber Valley Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Smalley petty session hearings.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, this parish became part of the Belper Poorlaw Union.


A Public Elementary School (mixed and infants) was built here in 1828 for 120 children and enlarged around 1910. Averate attendance in 1912 was 126.

David BEVIS has a photograph of Horsley School on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2010.


Social Life & Customs