NORTON, a parish and township in the hundred of Scarsdale, county Derby, 4 miles S. by E. of Sheffield, its post town, and 6 N.W. of Eckington railway station. The village, which is large, is situated on the road to Chesterfield, near the river Sheaf. It is chiefly agricultural, but scythes, sickles, files, and farm implements, are manufactured to a small extent. Petty sessions are held at the Bagshawe Arms on the second Wednesday in every month, and a farmer's club is held monthly at the above-named inn. The surface is hilly and wooded. About two-thirds of the land is arable, the remainder meadow, pasture, and woodland.

The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Lichfield, value £228. The church, dedicated to St. James, has a square tower containing six bells. The interior of the church contains numerous monuments, among which is an altar tomb to the memory of the parents of John Blythe, Bishop of Salisbury, and Geoffrey Blythe, Bishop of Lichfield, both which prelates were born here; also one to Sir Francis Chantrey, the celebrated sculptor, who was born in this parish in 1782.

The same gentleman endowed a school with an annuity of £200. The Wesleyans and Unitarians have each a place of worship. There are several small charities for the benefit of the poor. Norton Hall and Norton House are the principal residences. A free school was founded and endowed by Edward Gill, in 1654, which has now an income of £67. There is also a National school for girls, which is supported by subscription.”

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

There is no branch library in Norton. Use the nearby Dronfield Library.

Alternatively, there is the Library in Bakewell, DBY, or the one in Sheffield, YKS.



The local Cemetery in Derbyshire Lane was opened in 1869 and contains a monument to William SWIFT, a local genealogist.

The Cemetery was managed by the Sheffield City Council.

Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of the St. James Churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2009.



  • The parish was in the Norton sub-district of the Eclesall Berlow Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841H.O. 107 / 195
1861R.G. 9 / 3467
1871R.G. 10 / 4667
1891R.G. 12 / 3801

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint James and was built in Late Norman and Perpendicular styles.
  • The remains of a 14th century preaching cross stand in front of the church.
  • The church was completely restored in 1882.
  • Norton Woodseats is an ecclesiastical parish, formed 15th May, 1874.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of St. James Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2009.
  • David PICKERSGILL also has a photograph of St. James Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2012.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1559.
  • Marriages at Norton, 1559-1812 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.
  • There is a tablet with a medallion portrait, executed by J. HEFFERMAN, to Sir Francis CHANTREY R.A. who was born here 7 April, 1781, and is buried in the churchyard; he died 25 Nov. 1841.
  • The Free Methodist chapel at Norton was raised before 1895.
  • A Baptist Chapel was erected on Chesterfield Road in 1910.
  • The Catholic church at Meadow Heath was dedicated to Our Lady of Beauchief and Saint Thomas.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Norton sub-district of the Eclesall Berlow Registration District.

Description & Travel

"NORTON is an agricultural parish, containing a village of the same name, about two miles and a half from Dronfield and four from Sheffield. About one mile south-east is Hazelhurst and Oaks, the seats of William John Bagshaw, Esq. magistrate. The church, among which is an altar tomb, to the memory of the parents of John Blythe, Bishop of Salisbury, and Geffrey Blythe, Bishop of Lichfield, both of whom were born here: a place of worship for unitarians, and a grammar school, of ancient foundation are in the parish - which contained, in 1831, 1,747 inhabitants."

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

Norton is 164 miles north of the City of London. The following places are constablewicks in this parish: Hemsworth, Bradway, Norton Lees and Woodseats.

A local landmark is the Norton Water Tower photograph here by Rude HEALTH, taken in November, 2014. The water tower can be seen from parts of Sheffield to the north.

You can see pictures of Norton which are provided by:







The University of Sheffield owns and maintains 45 acres of playing fields at Norton.

Graham HOGG has a photograph of the Obelisk to Sir Francis L. Chantrey on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010. He was the leading portrait sculptor in Regency era Britain. CHANTREY was born at Jordanthorpe near Norton in April, 1781. Although he died in London in November 1841, he is buried in the Norton parish churchyard in a tomb he designed himself.

Jonathan THACKER has a photograph of a Modernist house on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2016.



The present Norton Hall dates from 1815 but the Norton estate has great history and can be traced back to well before the Norman Conquest with the estate being mentioned in the last will and testament of the Anglo-Saxon nobleman Wulfric Spott who died c. 1002.

Graham HOGG has a photograph of Norton Hall on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2020. Graham notes that the hall has been an NHS hospital, a private medical practice, and converted to private apartments in 1990.

Stephen RICHARDS has a photograph of Norton Hall on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2002.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK359820 (Lat/Lon: 53.333698, -1.46237), Norton which are provided by:


Military History

  • Major Lancelot George BUTLER-BOWDEN resided at Barlboro House in this parish with his wife, Ella, and son, John L., for part of his life. Born in Burnley, Lancashire in 1851, he died in Worksop, NTT, in September, 1909. His estate was probated in London on 23 Nov 1909. He was one of the magistrates for the Eckington petty session hearings held here at "The Bagshawe Arms" in the late 1800s.
  • Colonel Nathaniel CRESWICK lived in Chantry Grange in 1895. CRESWICK was the author of the Sheffield Rules for football and went on to be a co-founder of the 2nd West Yorkshire Rifles in 1858. He died in 1917.
  • The War Memorial was erected in 1920.
  • Graham HARDY has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2006.

Military Records

Ian S. has a photograph of the names on the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2014.

And the names of enlisted men.

And another set of names.

The Inscription reads:

"To the Memory of the
officers and men
Of the Parish of Norton
Sho Sacrificed their lives
In the Great European War
1914 - 1919"

Names on the memorial are:

  1. Major Glynne Everard Earle WELBY, 1st Bn. South Wales Borderers from Spaling, Lincs.
  2. Captain Michael BARLOW, 2/6th Bn. West Yorkshire Regt.
  3. Lieut. David Harry PROSSER (in 1916: 13th Bn. Training Reserve)
  4. Srgt. James Harling LOWE, 1st Bn. South Wales Borderers
  5. Cprl. Clarence BELBIN, 8th Bn. Rifle Brigade
  6. Cprl. Thomas William WRAGG, 21st Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps
  7. Lcprl. Albert ALLEN, 2nd Bn. Suffolk Regt.
  8. Harry ADLINGTON, 8th Bn. Sherwood Foresters
  9. Edgar BILLAM, 7th Bn. Suffolk Regt.
  10. Wilfred BERTLES, 1st/4th Bn. York and Lancaster Regt. * (might be BIRTLES)
  11. Walter Leslie DOWNES, 13th Bn. York and Lancaster Regt.
  12. Vincent ELLIS, 8th Bn. North Staffs. Regt. *
  13. Herbert GODBEHERE, gunner H.M.S. "Lassoo."
  14. Edwin HEWKIN, 2nd/4th Bn. York and Lancaster Regt.
  15. Horace MILNER, 6th Bn. York and Lancaster Regt.
  16. Oliver PERKINS
  17. Joseph REANEY, 2nd Bn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
  18. Arthur ROADHOUSE (ROODHOUSE in CWGC), deck hand H.M. Drifter "Silvery Harvest."
  19. William ROWBOTTOM
  20. Arthur SHAW
  21. Harold SHAW
  22. James TAYLOR
  23. Arnold WINGFIELD, 445th Siege Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery

* = Unsure of unit assigned



Jane TAYLOR of Redcar provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 16 December, 1802: "MARRIED A few days ago, at Norton, in this county, Mr. LAMBERT, of Sheffield, to Mrs. HALL, widow, scythesmith, of the former place."

Jane TAYLOR of Redcar alsp has this clipping from the Derby Mercury of 19 May 1803: "MARRIED A few days ago, Mr John ROTHERY, of Sheffield, to Miss Mary BOOKER, of Norton, in this county."



Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this notice from the Derby Mercury of 17 February 1803: "DIED: On Monday se'nnight, at Norton, in this county, John READ, Esq. formerly of Sheffield."

Jane TAYLOR submits this extract from the Derby Mercury of 20 September, 1804: "DIED: Lately, Mr Job HALL, farmer, of Norton, in this county."

Jane TAYLOR submits this extract from the Derby Mercury of 27 December, 1804: "DIED: On Wednesday se'nnight, at the advanced age of 96, Mr. BOOKER, of Lees Hall, near Norton, in this county."



Scythes, sickles and saw files were made in the township.


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 Scarsdale Hundred (or Wapentake).
  • Norton was the centre of the Norton Rural District Council, which was comprised of the Derbyshire parishes in the Ecclesall Bierlow Union.
  • By the "Sheffield Corporation Act, 1900" a considerable portion of the ancient civil parish of Norton was transferred from the administrative county of Derby to the Sheffield county borough.
  • In April, 1935, the remainder of this Civil Parish was abolished, and the land and people amalgamated into Eckington Civil Parish.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Eckington petty session hearings.
  • Petty sessions were held here every three weeks during summer at 'Bagshawe Arms,' in Hemsworth.
  • Neil THEASBY has a photograph of John Eaton's Almshouses' pavilion on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2015.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, this parish became a member of the Ecclesall Bierlow Poorlaw Union.


A School Board of 5 members was formed in the village in 1872.

A Board (formerly National) School was built in Greenhill, in 1843, and enlarged in 1890 for 250 children.