“SWARKESTONE, a parish in the hundred of Repton, county Derby, 5¾ miles S.E. of Derby, its post town. The village is near the junction of the Derby canal with the Grand Trunk canal, and at the old bridge on the river Trent, which has 29 arches, and is 3,912 feet in length, though the river is here only 514 feet wide, the additional arches being intended to secure a passage over the low grounds, which are usually flooded in winter.
At this place Sir J. Gell defeated the royalists in 1643. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield, value £182. The church, dedicated to St. James, contains some monuments to the Harpur family, whose mansion was garrisoned by the royalists in the reign of Charles I.”
from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Parish Reading Room on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2018. It is now a private residence.
- The parish was in the Melbourne sub-district of the Shardlow Registration District.
- The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No. 1841 H.O. 107 / 192 1851 H.O. 107 / 2140 1861 R.G. 9 / 2489 1891 R.G. 12 / 2720
In the 1871 census of Abbotts Bromley STS, the following "stray" is noted: On folio 18 page 2 schedule 9 Market St Harriett BATES asst. unmar. 20 drapers asst. b Swarkestone DBY
- The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint James.
- It appears that the church was originally built in the 12th century.
- The church was restored and rebuilt in 1876.
- In November, 1967, the church was listed Grade II* by English Heritage.
- In November, 1977, the church was included in the Swarkestone Conservation Area.
- Peter SHONE has a photograph of St. James Church on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2005.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Church of St. James on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2018.
- The Anglican parish register dates from 1604.
- The early years of the registers above are virtually unreadable and the Bishop's Transcripts should be consulted.
- Marriages at Swarkeston, 1604-1837 are available in Nigel BATTY-SMITH's database of scanned images of Phillimore's Parish Registers, volume 8.
- Mike SPENCER has provided a partial extract of burials found in the parish register. John NEWBOLD and I have added to it. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.
- The church was in the rural deanery of Melbourne.
- Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
- The parish was in the Melbourne sub-district of the Shardlow Registration District.
"SWARKESTON, as before-mentioned , is an adjoining parish to Stanton, in the same hundred as Melbourn, about three miles from that village. Swarkeston bridge is supposed to be the longest in Europe, extending nearly a mile over the meadows and low grounds to Stanton; it was originally very narrow, but has been widened so as to allow carriages to pass each other. The Trent and Mersey canal runs through the parish, and is here joined by the Derby canal. The church is dedicated to St. James: the living is a rectory, in the same patronage as Stanton. Population, by the returns for 1831, 308."
[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]
The parish covers about 850 acres and lies on the north bank of the Trent River some 5 miles south-by-east from Derby city. Its famous bridge, once the longest in Europe, was originally built in the 13th century. The bridge is Grade I listed with British Heritage.
Andy JAMIESON has a photograph of Swarkstone Bridge on Geo-graph, taken in August 2005.
Jonathan CLITHEROE has a photograph from a different angel of Swarkstone Bridge on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2014.
Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2015.
- Rosemary LOCKIE provides a transcription of the Swarkestone entry under Melbourn from Pigot & Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire (1835).
- Ann ANDREWS provides a transcription of the Swarkestone entry from Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Notts, Leicester and Rutland (1891).
- The transcription of the section for Swarkestone from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin HINSON.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Swarkestone to another place.
One famous son of Swarkestone was the English poet Thomas BANCROFT, born here circa 1596. He died in Bradley, DBY, in November, 1658.
You can see the administrative areas in which Swarkestone has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
The Swarkestone Bridge was nearly three-quarters of a mile long' but with only 138 yards actually spanning the river. It was probably first built in the mid-twelfth century. In 1339 royal permission was granted to charge tolls to raise money for the repair of the bridge which had fallen into a sad state. In December 1745 a small party of Scottish "Jacobites" (supporters of Charles Edward Stuart) managed to reach the bridge. This army had marched south as far as Derby, where it stopped to evaluate it's options. This bridge was the furthest south that the army penetrated into England.
Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the 14th Century Medieval cross in the churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2018.
The site of Swarkeston Old Hall is now occupied by a farm house, but in 1891 considerable remains of the old mansion still existed.
Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the remains of Swarkestone Old Hall on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2018.
The Derbyshire Record Office has released Tithe maps on CD that include this parish. In 2009 this cost £15 plus £1.50 P&P if ordered by mail.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK372286 (Lat/Lon: 52.853617, -1.449013), Swarkestone which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- OldMaps (Old Ordnance Survey maps.)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
- John M. has a photograph of the Bonnie Prince Charlie Memorial just west of Swarkestone on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2010. This parish marks the southern extent of the Prince's sortie into England in 1745.
- There is a Roll of Honour in the nave of St James's Church on Church Lane listing the 20 men who served from the parish in World War I.
Inside St. James Church on the south wall of the nave is a tablet memorial to Fl. Lt. Sidney Rex BURTON, Royal Flying Corps. He died 11 Sept. 1917 at age 27. The plaque was unveiled in October, 1920.
Jane TAYLOR of Redcar offers this article from the Derby Mercury of 28 October, 1802. DIED: "On Tuesday se'nnight, at Swarkestone, in this county, Mr. John MASSEY, farmer and grazier, in the 44th year of his age."
Jane TAYLOR of Redcar provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 2 December, 1802. DIED: "On Sunday se'nnight very suddenly, whilst on a visit at the house of a friend in Hull, Mr. William DAVYS, timber merchant, of Swarkestone, in this county."
Jane TAYLOR of Redcar provides this snippet from the Derby Mercury of 13 December, 1804. DIED: "On Wednesday last, at Swarkstone, in this county, Mr. Thomas GRIMES, aged 63. He was formerly house steward to the late Henry HARPUR, of Calke, which office he filled with great credit upwards of 25 years; and his death is universally regretted by a large circle of friends and acquaintance."
- 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 Repton aud Gresley Hundred (or Wapentake) in the southern division of the county.
- The citizens of Swarkestone do not have a formal parish council, but they hold periodic Parish Meetings for all the citizens to discuss civic and political issues.
- District governance is provided by the South Derbyshire District Council.
- Bastardy cases would be heard in the Derby petty session hearings every Friday.
- We have a pop-up window of 1820 Paupers receiving parish relief in a text file for your review.
- As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act reforms, this parish was in the Shardlow Poorlaw Union.
- In 1837 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union reviewed the case of: "Swarkeston Henry MEAKIN wid 81 res Chellaston."
- In 1837 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union reviewed the case of: "Swarkeston Sarah NEWBOLD wid 66 "very unwilling"."
- In 1837 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union reviewed the case of: "Swarkeston William SMITH wid 47 Elizabeth 16, Hannah 15, Rebecca."
- In 1837 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union reviewed the case of: "Swarkeston John HOLT wid 46 Catharine 10, John 9, Eliza 8."
- In 1837 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union reviewed the case of: "Swarkeston James SNOW wid 38 Seven children under ten."
- In May, 1837 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union reviewed the case of: "Melbourne Mary CASTLEDINE wid 40 res. Chellaston. Mary, Ann, William, father working with Mr. SMITH, Swarkestone."
- On May 7th 1838 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union decided that: "Richard SNOW (of Swarkestone) has been allowed 3/- and 20lb bread on account of a bad leg. Went back to work, allowance withheld, leg agin (SIC) worsened, it is supposed allowance should be continued. Relief at discretion of Relieving Officer."
- In 1840 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union reviewed the case of: "Swarkestone Elizabeth THRUTCHLEY 41 res Castle Bridge settlement Alvaston, wid. husband Thomas died last August, was a boatman. Supported herself by the sale of her husband's horse and boat articles. Reside with her father. Has Hannah 5, George 3. Settlement disputed."
- In 1840 the Board of Guardians from Shardlow Union reviewed the case of: "Swarkestone Sarah NEWBOLD 69 wid.
The information below reported by Michael SPENCER, UK.
In 1814, there is a Swarkestone Will for a John BULL.
Mentioned in a Will from 1859. #12 Charles WEBB of Swarkeston, innkeeper and farmer,mentions;
- wife Elizabeth
- John Moss WEBB witness
- Robert BENTLEY witness
In 1859, there is a Swarkestone Will for a Charles ADAMS.
In 1860, there is a Swarkestone Administration (died without a Will) for a Sarah SMITH.
In 1861, there is a Swarkestone Administration for a Mary Ann ORDISH who died in 1859.
In 1864 there is an Administration of an estate for: 062 Dorothy SUMMERFIELD, Swarkestone.
Mentioned in a Will from 1865, made in 1859. #137 Thomas BATES of Swarkestone, farmer, mentions;
- property at Chellaston
- sister Harriet BATES
- Edward BAILEY of Derby witness
- Charles NEWELL witness
In 1865, there is a Swarkestone Will for a Sampson MASSEY.
In 1868, there is a Swarkestone Will for an Elizabeth ADAMS.
In 1873, there is a Swarkestone Will for a John BENTLEY.
In 1874, there is a Swarkestone Will for a William SMITH.
In 1875, there is a Swarkestone Will for a Joseph TOMLINSON.
In 1876, there is a Swarkestone Will for a Noah ORDISH.
In 1877, there is a Swarkestone Will for a John GREEN.
In 1878, there is a Swarkestone Will for a Joseph PIPES.
In 1880, there is a Swarkestone Will for a Mary BENTLEY.
In 1888, there is a Swarkestone Will for a William BENTLEY.
In 1889, there is a Swarkestone Will for a George ADKIN.
In 1891, there is a Swarkestone Will for an Elizabeth WOODALL.
In 1893, there is a Swarkestone Will for a John POYSER.
In 1909, there is a Swarkestone Will for a Thomas LAKIN. And also one for an Emma SMITH.
In 1918, there is a Swarkestone Will for an Edith POYSER.
The "Derbyshire Hearth Tax Assessments 1662-70" Derbs. Record Society, Vol 7, 1982 list Swarkeston in 1662, on page 129.