The Siddalls of Curbar

By Rodney Shaw, © Copyright 2004
Curbar, Siddalls Farm
Siddalls Farm, Curbar
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SIDDALL has long been a common name in Curbar and surrounds. Several children of an Antonious (Anthony) Siddall were recorded as being baptized in Baslow in the 1600s. One Siddall family farmed for several generations in Curbar, and their fields apparently played an important role in Derbyshire history. Evidence of this is available on the Peak District Landscapes (Peakscan) website, where Siddall's Fields are mentioned as an example of Enclosure of Commons in the early 18th century.

This Cubar farming line led eventually to George SIDDALL (1763 - 1840s), who married Martha CROWDER in 1805, and they produced two children, William (1805 - 1889) and Ann Siddall. During the 1820s George Siddall was also listed as a 'Licenced Victualler' within Curbar (see Curbar - Licensed Victuallers 1822-1827)

In due course son William Siddall inherited the farm, and also ran the village grocery. William married Mary BUXTON (1808-1883), herself the daughter of another large Curbar farming family, and together they had seven children: Martha, George, Anne, Elizabeth, Harriet, William and John.

The Duke of Rutland was the actual landowner at that time, and in 1846 William Siddall farmed around eight fields of crops and pasture, and paid an assessed annual rent of two pounds, four shillings and sixpence in lieu of tithes.

Youngest son John Siddall (1853-1895) is believed to have attended the small school at nearby Stanton Ford as one of ten endowed scholars (as referred to in White's 1857 Directory of Derbyshire), and his surviving book of schoolwork shows evidence of the remarkably advanced scholarship and penmanship of those times - see the separate account of Stanton Ford School for examples of this from his school exercise book.

By the late 1800s only one of the Siddall children was still living in Curbar, the rest having moved to the more industrial regions of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and mainly to the greater Sheffield area. The original Siddalls Farm now lies derelict in the centre of Curbar village, close by the church.

In 2003 Kenneth Siddall of Fence Farm, Sheffield (a great-grandson of John Siddall), located and restored the old overgrown well still referred to by locals as "Siddall's Well", and placed a carved stone plaque in commemoration.

The well can be seen by the side of "Dukes Drive" - the road that older villagers have always called "The Coach Road", which winds upwards from beside All Saints Church, passing behind Calver Mill, to the upper part of Curbar. Formerly a private road owed by the Duke of Devonshire, it became public after one severe winter a farmer who lived at Broomclose Farm died, and with heavy snow on the ground, undertakers had no choice but to carry his coffin to church this way. And once a dead body has traversed a private road, it can no longer remain private and must be made open to public use.

  Curbar, Siddalls Well
Siddalls Well, Curbar
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Contributed by Rodney Shaw (also a great-grandson of John Siddall), and reproduced with his kind permission. Additional notes on "Dukes Drive" have been provided by Olive Harvey.

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