Dronfield, Derbyshire


Extract from Pigot's Commercial Directory of Derbyshire 1828-9

Descriptions transcribed by Heather Faulkes © 1999



DRONFIELD, a parish, with a small market town of the same name, in the hundred of Scarsdale, is 156 miles from London, 38 from Manchester, 23 from Buxton and 6 from Chesterfield. The town in pleasantly situated in a valley, and remarkable for its salubrity, which has occasioned it to be made a place of residence of many respectable inhabitants.

The church is a handsome building, having a tower at the west end, terminated by a spire. Opposite the west end of the church was formerly a chantry, now the Dragon public house. Here is a well endowed free grammar school, founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, by Henry Fanshawe, Esq. and a charity school.

A great number of edge tools, scythes, sickles, and other agricultural implements are made in this town and neighbourhood; the principal manufacturers are Mr Paul Jackson, and Mr Peter Linley, Bole Hill. Messrs. Lucas and Sons have iron works; and there are chymical works and corn and paper mills in the vicinity. The market, which is on Thursday, has much declined of late years, in consequence of its vicinity to Chesterfield and Sheffield. A fair is held April 25th, principally for cattle and cheese. The entire parish of Dronfield contained, in 1821, 3,680 inhabitants, of which number about 1,500 were resident in the town.

BEAUCHIEFF ABBEY, a village extra parochial, in the same hundred as Dronfield, is situated in a beautiful vale, about three miles and a half from Dronfield. The abbey was founded between the years 1172 and 1176, for regular canons of the Premonstratensian order, by Robert Fitz-Ranulph, lord of Alfreton, in expiation for having conspired with the other knights who slew Thomas-a-Becket: only a small part of the chapel is now remaining, in which service is performed by the Rev. Wm. Pashley, of Holmesfield: it is a donative, in the gift of the lord of the manor, Peter Pegge Burnell, Esq. The manor house, Beauchieff Hall, was erected in 1671, and is the residence of Broughton Steade, Esq. the nephew of the proprietor.

NORTON is an agricultural parish, containing a village of the same name, about four miles from Sheffield. About one mile south-east is Hazelhurst, the seat of Sir William Bagshaw, magistrate. The whole parish contains about 1,700 inhabitants.

HOLMESFIELD township and village, in the parish of Dronfield, is very pleasantly situated, about six miles north-west from Chesterfield: it cannot be marked as a place of trade, but the neighbourhood is highly respectable, and contains several very genteel habitations. About 500 inhabitants form the population of the township.

DORE is a hamlet, also in the parish of Dronfield, about nine miles north-west from Chesterfield and three from Holmesfield: with the exception of a paper mill worked here, it is a place of no consideration in the way of trade. About 480 inhabitants are in the hamlet.

[From Pigot's Commercial Directory of Derbyshire 1828-9.
This page was created by Heather Faulkes on 3rd April 1999, and is reproduced on GENUKI with permission]