Stoney Middleton

Extract from Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1932.
Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004

"STONEY MIDDLETON, on the road from Buxton to Chesterfield, is a township and parochial chapelry in the parish of Hathersage, from which it is separated by that of Eyam, and is 3 miles from Grindleford station on the Dore and Chinley branch of the London, Midland and Scottish railway, 4 miles north from Hassop station, 5 north-north-east from Bakewell, 5 east from Tideswell and 162 from London, in the Western division of the county, hundred of High Peak, rural district, petty sessional division and county court district of Bakewell, rural deanery of Eyam, archdeaconry of Chesterfield and diocese of Derby.

The church of St. Martin, situated at the lower end of the village, is an octagonal building erected in 1759, in place of an earlier structure, consisting, as far as is known, of a simple chancel and nave. The embattled western tower, a low structure in Late Perpendicular style, remains and contains 3 bells, all cast in 1720, and a clock placed in 1898. There is an inscription in the church to Mrs. Denman, but no monuments eariler than the 18th century. A mural tablet of Derbyshire marble was placed in the nave in 1888 by the members of the Clerical Greek Testament Meeting, as a memorial to the late Rev. Urban Smith M.A. incumbent of this parish 1834-88. The church was repaired in 1898, at a cost of £50, and in 1900 a new organ was erected, at a cost of £200. The churchyard is very small, but a new cemetery has been laid out at a distance of about a quarter of a mile, and was consecrated by the Bishop of Lichfield, 11 Oct. 1878. There are 250 sittings.

The register, which is in fair condition, dates from the year 1715 far all entries. The living is a perpetual curacy, gross yearly value £350, including 1½ acres of glebe, with, residence, in the gift of the vicar of Hathersage, and held since 1888 by the Rev. John Barnett Riddlenden M.A. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, who is a surrogate. These is a Reform Wesleyan chapel, built is 1827. The parish reading room, erected and opened in 1898, was enlarged and reconstructed in 1910, and is now managed by a committee of nine members. A charity of £7 yearly, left in 1818 the Rev. F. Gisborne, a former rector of Staveley, is for clothing; Whyte's charity of £10 yearly, £3 of which is distributed to the poor in bread and bacon on St. Valentine's day and Easter Eve, 10s. to the overseers and £6 10s. to the vicar and parish clerk.

The village has a very picturesque appearance, some of the houses being situated one above another on the ledges of rock, and others at the foot of the overhanging precipices which rise above them. For 1½ miles before reaching the village from Tideswell, the road runs along a narrow valley, on each side of which rise steep grassy slopes, partially covered with brushwood, and above these are perpendicular rocks overgrown with ivy, in many places upwards of 200 feet in height; near to the village on this road, and at the foot of a hill, is a fine spring, discharging a great volume of water, which in a dry summer is of great service to the district when other springs in the locality are dry. In a narrow cleft in the rocks called Middleton Dale is a lofty rock known as the Lover's Leap.

In the village is a warm spring, with a temperature of 60 degrees, and possessing all the properties for curing rheumatism, for which Buxton (of 80 degrees of warmth) is so much frequented. Baths were erected by the late Lard Denman on the site of an ancient bath of supposed Roman origin. Here are places for the manufacturing of boots and shoes and barytes, and in the dale are limekilns. The Derbyshire County Council have extensive stone quarries here. Stoney Middleton Hall, the property of Lord Denman P.C., G.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., and now occupied by Thomas Shaw esq. is a gabled mansion of stone, in grounds of about 4 acres, through which a brook meanders and creates a waterfall, and when the mines do not discharge too much refuse, trout abound in the brook which flows into the Derwent.

The Duke of Devonshire K.G, P.C., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., T.D. (lord lieut.), who is lord of the manor, Lord Denman, P.C. G.C.M.G., K.C.V.O. and Peter Furness esq. are the principal landowners. The land is on limestone, and mainly in grass. The hills abound with lead. The arm is 1,181 acres; the population in 1921 wee 532.

Post, M.O. & Tel. Call Office. Letters through Sheffield.
Eyam nearest T. office
Police Station
Conveyances meet trains at Grindleford station daily"

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