WILNE, a parish in the county of Derby, 7 miles S.E. of Derby, and 4 S.W. of the Sawley railway station. The parish is situated on the Trent and Mersey canal, near the confluence of the rivers Derwent and Trent. It contains the liberties of Wilne Church, and Draycott, and the chapelries of Breaston and Risley, and the hamlet of Hopwell. There are cotton mills and salt works, also the workhouse for the Shardlow Union. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vic, of Sawley. The church is dedicated to St. Chad."

"CHURCH WILNE, a liberty in the parish of Wilne, in the hundred of Morleston, in the county of Derby, 7½ miles S.E. of Derby. It is situated on the river Derwent."

"HOPWELL, a hamlet in the parish of Wilne, hundred of Morleston, county Derby, 7 miles E. of Derby, and a short distance from the Sawley railway station. The principal residence is Hopwell Hall, the seat of Thomas Pares, Esq., who is sole landowner.”

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


Archives & Libraries

The Long Eaton Library has some records for Wilne that you can access. For example, the census returns for 1841 to 1901.





  • The parish was in the Spondon sub-district of the Shardlow Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 2140 & 2141
1861 R.G. 9 / 2491 & 2493
1881 R.G. 11 / 3391
1891 R.G. 12 / 2726

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Chad.
  • The church was built in the 13th century.
  • The church was across the River Derwent from the village. A small hamlet arose around the church and is known as Church Wilne.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of St. Chad's Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2017.
  • This church seats 350.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1540 and is in good condition.
  • The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has a typescript of the Wilne Parish Register for 1540 thru 1723, with a copy on microfilm 0824099.
  • The Family History Library has the Bishop's Transcripts for 1675 thru 1882 on microfilm 0428952 for hire.
  • Marriages at Wilne, 1540-1837 are available in Nigel BATTY-SMITH's database of scanned images of Phillimore's Parish Registers.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Ilkeston.
  • The New Connection Methodists built a small brick chapel here in 1816.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

"WILNE, a parish in the county of Derby, 7 miles S.E. of Derby, and 4 S.W. of the Sawley railway station."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin HINSON ©2003]

The parish is on the border with Leicestershire. The River Derwent runs past the village. The parish, often listed as Great Wilne or Church Wilne, contains the hamlet and township of Hopwell; Church Wilne is actually a hamlet in the the parish.

You can see pictures of Wilne which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • The 'The Derbyshire Village Book' tells us: "The Romans started it all. In order to get their Derbyshire lead from Derby to the river Trent at Trent Lock, they built a straight road between the two. A small community developed along it about six miles from Derby. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Draicott or Dry Cote. About a mile to the south by the river Derwent there was a settlement which we now call Wilne, the original name meaning `a clearing in the willows' which sounds a wet and marshy place. A church was recorded there in AD 822 dedicated to St Chad."
  • Wilne is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book as one village.
  • In the 1700s and 1800s the parish had a number of cotton mills which produced cloth.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK447315 (Lat/Lon: 52.879116, -1.337246), Wilne which are provided by:


Military History

The men who fell in the World Wars are remembered at a shared War Memorial in Draycott.



Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this notice from the Derby Mercury of 15 August 1804: "MARRIED: On Monday se'nnight, at Wiln, in this county, Mr. PORTER, of Borrowash, to Miss LANCASHIRE, of the former place."



Jane TAYLOR in Redcar provides this announcement from the Derby Mercury of 23 December, 1802: DIED: "On Saturday last, after a lingering illness which he bore with true fortitude, Mr. Joseph THACKER, of Wiln Mills, in this county, aged 56.- His loss will be ever regretted by his family as a husband and a father, and by a numerous circle of acquaintance as a friend."


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient Township in Derbyshire and it was incorporated as a separate, modern Civil Parish along with Draycott in December, 1866.
  • This parish was in the ancient Morleston and Litchurch Hundred (or Wapentake).
  • You may contact the joint Shardlow and Great Wilne Parish Council.
  • District governance is provided by the South Derbyshire District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Derby petty session hearings every Friday.
  • As a result of the Poorlaw Amendment Act of 1834 reforms, the parish became a member of the Shardlow Poorlaw Union.


A Board School was erected in Draycott in 1854, for 330 children.