REPTON, a parish in the hundred of Repton and Gresley, county Derby, 4¼ miles N.E. of Burton, its post town, and 1 mile E. of the Willington railwaystation. It is situated on a branch of the river Trent, near the Midland railway, and includes the hamlet of Milton and the chapelry of Bretby. In the Saxon times it was a royal seat of the Mercian kings, and was then called Hreopandunum, Reppandene, or Repindon. There are ruins of a nunnery founded prior to 660, and in which Ethelbald I. and other of the Mercian kings were interred.

It was burnt by the Danes in 873, but refounded in 1172 by Matilda, wife of Earl Ranulph, of Chester, as a priory for Black Canons. Its revenue at the Dissolution was valued at £168, and the site was then given to the Thackers. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture. The substratum is clay, alternating with gravel. An annual court-leet is held by the lord of the manor. The tithes were commuted for land under an Enclosure Act near the end of the last century.

The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Lichfield, value £123. The church, dedicated to St. Wyston, has aspire 198 feet in height, and a Norman crypt of great antiquity, believed to have been part of the conventual church destroyed by the Danes. There is also a district church at Bretby, or Bradby, the living of which is a donative curacy, value £80. The parochial charities produce about £3,000 per annum, of which sum £2,569 goes to Etwall hospital and the grammar school, founded in 1556 by Sir J. Port.

In 1621 the master of Etwall hospital, the head-master of Repton school, and the poor men and scholars were incorporated, and the remains of the conventual buildings converted into a school-house. This is the school where Lightfoot, the Hebrew scholar, was usher, and Shaw, the Staffordshire historian, and Scott, the translator of the "Arabian Nights", were pupils. There is a literary institution, under Sir J. H. Crewe, Bart. The Independents and Wesleyans have each a place of worship.”

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

Repton village is served by the Mobile Library on route 5, which stops at the Square every fourth Tuesday midday.

The Local Studies Library at Derby will prove useful in your research.

The nearby Swadlincote Library is also an excellent resource with a Local History section and a Family History section.



  • Sharon PALMER has a photo of the Lych gate on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2008.


  • The parish was in the Repton sub-district of the Burton on Trent Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 192
1861 R.G. 9 / 1961
1881 R.G. 11 / 2756
1891 R.G. 12 / 2197

Church History

  • In the early Middle Ages, Repton is one of the first places in England to accept Christianity.
  • By the seventh century, the Mercian royal family takes up residence here. When the family converts to Christianity, a church with a crypt for the royal family and a double abbey are built.
  • The monastery was built here prior to year 660. Several Saxon kings are buried in the monastery.
  • The Danes destroyed the monastery in 874, but the Saxons built a church over the remains.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Wystan.
  • The monastery was dissolved in October, 1538.
  • The church is built over a Saxon crypt and the cellar of the former monastery.
  • The church tower and spire were completed in 1340.
  • The church was renovated in 1792.
  • A portion of the church was rebuilt in 1854.
  • The church was restored in 1886.
  • The church seats 600.
  • Andrew ABBOTT has a photo of St. Wystan's Church at Geo-graph, taken in September, 2012.
  • In 1907 a church mission room was erected in the southern part of the parish known as "Wood End".

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1580.
  • Michael SPENCER provides an extract of Parish Register burials for your review. Your additions and correction are welcomed.
  • Marriages at Repton, 1578-1837 are available in Nigel BATTY-SMITH's database of scanned images of Phillimore's Parish Registers.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Repton.
  • The Congregational chapel was founded here in 1780.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here by 1912.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Repton sub-district of the Burton on Trent Registration District.

Description & Travel

"REPTON is a parish, in the hundred of Repton and Gresley: the village, which is seven miles S.S.E. from Derby and four and a half N.E. from Burton-upon-Trent, is situate upon the declivity of a hill. The habitations are, for the most part, detached, and extend about a mile in length, having a fine trout stream running by them, which flows into the Trent. This parish is celebrated by antiquaries, as the head of the Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and the burial-place of several of her sovereigns."

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

Repton is 128 miles north of London. Milton is a hamlet one mile east of Repton village. Bretby (or Bradby) is a hamlet roughly two miles south of Repton village.

You can see pictures of Repton which are provided by:




Encyclopaedias & Dictionaries

Mel LOCKIE has a transcription of the Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831 on his website.




Historical Geography

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



  • Buried in Repton's crypt: Ethelbald and Withlaf, kings of Mercia, Kineard, brother of Sigebert, king of the West Saxony, St. Wystan.
  • Around 850 CE, prince Wystan (or Wigstan, Wistan), a member of the royal family is murdered by his uncle and buried in the crypt. He is posthumously sanctified and the village becomes a place of pilgrimage.
  • In 873 the "Great Heathen Army", also known as the "Viking Great Army" spent the Winter at Repton.
  • Find out more about Repton at the Repton Village site, including King Aethelbald's burial here.
  • David DIXON has a photo of the Repton Market Cross at Geo-graph, taken in May, 2017. He provides a brief history in the photo caption.
  • Colin PARK also has a photograph of the Repton Market Cross on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2018.
  • P. L. CHADWICK has a photo of The Boot Inn at Geo-graph, taken in February, 2009.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK301266 (Lat/Lon: 52.836081, -1.55463), Repton which are provided by:


Medical Records

  • The Repton Health Centre in Askew Grove is the result of the formation of the Repton Hospital District Council in 1900.
  • Patient records are protected under "Closure Laws and Regulations". Hospitals did not have to archive patient records although the Derby Archives may hold administrative records for the Centre.

Military History

  • In 1891, the parish was the HQ for D Troop, Derbyshire Yeomanry Cavalry, Captain Charles C. CUMMING commanding; Corporal T. KERRY, drill instructor & school sergeant.
  • In 1912, the parish hosted 4 companies of Officers' Training Corps, Junior Division, Captain Edward A. SURTEES commanding.
  • There is a photo of the War Memorial at Military Images.
  • David DIXON has a photo of the War Memorial at Geo-graph, taken in May, 2017. His photo caption provides the inscription.
  • The War Memorial is a Grade II listed structure with British Heritage.
  • Brain DEEGAN also has a photo of the Repton School Cross War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2018.
  • The Traces of War website tells us that there are 17 Commonwealth War Graves in St. Wystan's churchyard from World War II.

Military Records

In St. Wystan's churchyard there are 17 Commonwealth War Graves from World War II:

  1. William Seymour BARTON, srgt., RNZAF, age 24, died 31 June 1944.
  2. Alan Reginald EDWARDS, flt. srgt., RAF Vol. Rsrv., died 9 Mar. 1945.
  3. Gordon Henry James EVANS, srgt., RAF Vol. Rsrv., age 29, died 5 June 1942.
  4. Cynthia Evelyn FULLER, wren, Women's Royal Naval Service, died 16 Mar. 1946.
  5. Sidney John GRAHAM, corp., The Glider Pilot Regt., died 5 June 1942.
  6. Godfrey Harry GRANTHAM, pilot ofcr., RAF Vol. Rsrv. age 30, died 21 June 1942.
  7. Robert Edwin HALL, corp., The Glider Pilot Regt., age 22, died 1 Sept. 1942.
  8. Albert John HAWKSWORTH, corp., Royal Engineers, died 6 Nov. 1945.
  9. Ernest John HURST, pilot officer, RAF Vol. Rsrv., age 32, died 28 June 1942.
  10. Alan John McLaren KEAY, aircrftmn 2nd., RAF Vol. Rsv., died 9 Mar. 1945.
  11. Cecil William KELSEY-WILKINSON, srgt., The Glider Pilot Regt., age 24, died 2 Apr. 1943.
  12. Thomas OWEN-JONES, flying ofcr., RAF Vol. Rsv., died 22 Dec. 1942.
  13. Victor Harry SAUNDERS, pilot ofcr., RAF Vol. Rsv., died 5 Dec. 1941.
  14. William John SCUDAMORE, corp., The Glider Pilot Regt., age 19, died 8 May 1942.
  15. John Henry SMEDLEY, priv., Lincolnshire Regt., age 31, died 4 Mar. 1946.
  16. Leslie Charles Percy STANYNOUGHT, pilot ofcr., RAF Vol. Rsv., died 28 June 1942.
  17. John Angus MacDonald TEACHER, leading aircrftmn., RAF, age 30, died 5 Nov. 1941.

Names, Geographical

From Pigot's Directory of 1835: "It is supposed to have been the Roman station Repandunum, and was anciently called Repington."



Jane TAYLOR in Redcar contributes this clipping from the Derby Mercury of 2 December, 1802: DIED: "On the 20th ult. Mr. John BAMFORD, whitesmith, of Repton, in this county, eminently distinguished for his abilities in the mechanical world."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 5 May, 1803: DIED: "At Repton, in this county, on Monday se'nnight, in a fit of apoplexy, the Rev. John HUTCHINSON, vicar of Barrow on Trent, and formerly second master of Repton School, which situation he held upwards of 30 years."

Jane TAYLOR in Redcar contributes this snippet from the Derby Mercury of November 24, 1803: DIED: "Yesterday morning, at Bradby, in this county, aged 16, Lady Harriet STANHOPE, eldest daughter of the Right Hon. Earl Chesterfield."


Politics & Government

  • This place was a Township and an ancient parish in Derby county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • This parish was in the ancient Repton and Greasley Hundred (or Wapentake) in the southern division of the county.
  • You may contact the Repton Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist with family history searches. They also have a Facebook page.
  • District governance is provided by the South Derbyshire District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Repton petty session hearings. These hearing were held at the Repton and Melbourne Court House every third Wednesday.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act, this parish became a member of the Burton upon Trent Poorlaw Union.

Probate Records

In 1884, the Will of Joseph ORCHARD of this parish was proved in Probate. He had died on 1 Jan 1884.

In a Will of 1889 William ELWOOD of Dumfries, who died in Repton, Colour Sergeant Scottish Borderers, Drill Instructor, mentions:

  1. Wife Jane alias SMITH


  • A grammar school at Repton was founded in 1557 under the will of Sir John PORTE of Etwall on the remains of the priory.
    (Ref: A History of Derbyshire, Gladwyn TURBUTT, 1999)
  • David DIXON has a photo of the Repton School Chapel at Geo-graph, taken in May, 2017. He provides a brief history in the photo caption.
  • Reprton also has the Repton preparatory school, Foremark Hall.