SCARCLIFF, (or Scarcliffe) a parish in the hundred of Scarsdale, county Derby, 6 miles N.W. of Mansfield, its post town, and 8 S.E. of Chesterfield. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the river Poulter. The inhabitants are wholly agricultural. In the vicinity is a spring designated Owlsditch.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield, value £68. The church, dedicated to St. Leonard, has a square tower containing four bells. The interior of the church contains a monument to the Fretcheville family of the 11th century. The parochial charities produce about £30 per annum. Earl Bathurst is lord of the manor.”

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

Scarcliffe is served by the Mobile Library on route N, which makes a stop on Main Street every fourth Friday in the mid-afternoon.

You may find the Library at Shirebrook to be more useful. It is open most days of the week and has its own Local Studies section to help you.



  • The parish was in the Shirebrook sub-district of the Mansfield Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 2148
1861 R.G. 9 / 2424
1891 R.G. 12 / 2649

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Leonard.
  • The church was built in the 12th century with work continuing into the 13th century.
  • The church spire was taken down in 1842 during a partial restoration of the church.  The tower was rebuilt in this restoration.
  • The church was partially restored again in 1903.
  • A new church tower was added in 1930.
  • The church seats 300.
  • The church is a Grade II listed building with British Heritage.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of St. Leonard's Church on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2008.
  • Peter WOOD has a nice photograph of St. Leonard's Church on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2014.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. Leonard's church tower on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1680 for all entries.
  • We have a pop-up window of a partial extract of Parish Register burials in a text file for your review. Your additions are welcomed.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Staveley.
  • The Primitive Methodists built a chapel here in 1858, but when that denomination withered away, the building became the parish school.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

"SCARCLIFFE is a parish and village, in the same hundred as Bolsover, about 2 miles S.S.E. from that town. The Earl of Bathurst is lord of the manor; and the patronage of the church living, which is a vicarage, is possessed by the Duke of Devonshire. The church is dedicated to St. Leonard, and contains an interesting monument, of the 11th century. Population of the parish, according to the census taken in 1831, 524."

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

The parish lies 135 miles north of London and covers almost 4,000 acres which includes the hamlets of Palterton and Hillstown. The river Poulter rises in the southern part of this parish. The village has its own website with photographs.

Philip THOMPSON has a photograph of the village main street on Geo-Graph, taken in July, 2005.

Andrew HILL has a photograph of the bus shelter next to St. Leonard's Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2011. Now all you have to do is find which buses stop at this stop.

J. THOMAS has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.

The nearby hamlet of Palterton has its history listed at Bygone Times. Palterton has a Village Hall (which is the Parish Hall also). The Hall can be booked for your family re-union. You should stop by and ask to see the schedule of forth-coming events because the Hall is also used for lectures on local and family history.

Hillstown is also a hamlet in the parish, 1 miles north-west of Scarcliffe. On maps, it appears to be a suburb of nearby Bolsover.

You can see pictures of Scarcliffe which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



Much of Scarcliffe village has been designated as a Conservation Area. An online map is at the Bolsover District Council site listed under Politics.

J. THOMAS has a photograph of The Horse and Groom pub on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.

Trevor RICKARD has a photograph of The Elm Tree Inn on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2011.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK494687 (Lat/Lon: 53.213073, -1.261726), Scarcliffe which are provided by:


Military History

  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010.
  • There is a plaque inside St. Leonard's Church to Andrew Blythe BING.
  • Alan HEARDMAN has a photograph of the RAF Memorial in the Hedgerow on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2008. The memorial honours the three men of a Halifax aircraft (LK930) No 1664 which crashed near the site on 22nd March 1944.

Military Records

For a photograph of the Scarcliffe War Memorial and a list of the names on it, see the Roll of Honour site.

Palterton has its own War Memorial Plaque.

In the church is a memorial plaque to Andrew Blythe BING, MD, who served in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in South Africa. He died of fever there in June, 1900, at age 26. Andrew was born in Stapenhill, DBY, in November, 1873, the second son of Robert Henry and Edith BING.

The other names on the churchyard War Memorial are:

  1. William BLACKNELL
  2. Frederick James HINCHCLIFFE
  3. James STEEPLES
  4. Victor EVANS

Srgt. Victor EVANS is a WW2 casualty who is buried in the local churchyard. An inscription has been added to a headstone to honour him.


Names, Geographical

  • The name Scarcliffe is from the Old English Scaerd and Scandinavian clif, or "Cliff or steep slope with a gap". In the 1086 Domesday Book, the village is given as Scardeclif.
    [A. D. MILLS, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991].

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Derby county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • This parish was partly in the ancient Scarsdale Hundred (or Wapentake).
  • You may contact the local Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but please do NOT ask them to do family history lookups for you. It is not their function.
  • This parish is a member of the Bolsover District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Chesterfield petty session hearings every Saturday.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, this parish became part of the Mansfield Poor Law Union.


A Public Elementary School was erected in Scarcliffe in 1868 and it was enlarged in 1894 to hold 172 children. Average attendance in 1911 was 165.

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

An infants Public Elementary School was erected in Palterton in 1910 for 120 infants.