Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire

White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derby, 1857

Reproduced with kind permission of Neil Wilson, © Copyright 2003
from White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derby, 1857.

STONEY MIDDLETON is a township, chapelry, and romantic village, 5 miles N. by E. from Bakewell, 5 miles E. from Tideswell, and 12 miles S.W. from Sheffield. It is a parochial chapelry, in the parish of Hathersage, from which it is separated by the parish and township of Eyam, and it is partly in that parish; a brook running through the village divides the townships. It is a singular village, the houses being situated one above another on ledges of rock that seem to be almost inaccessible; and others scattered as if by chance at the base of the eminences that rise high above them. It contains 1124A. 3R. 17P. of land, on limestone, abounding in lead, and in 1851 had 134 houses and 593 inhabitants, of whom 303 were males and 290 females; rateable value £1618 18s. 6d. The Duke of Devonshire is lord of the manor, an owner, and impropriator; the tithe was commuted in 1840; the large for £30; the small belongs to the vicar. Lord Denman, Messrs. Jno. White, Thos. Hinch, Peter Furness, and Jno. Smith, are also owners. The Church, dedicated to St. Martin, is a small stone edifice with a low square tower and three bells. It has an octagon body added in 1767, which consists of a nave, chancel, centre aisle, and gallery. The living is a perpetual curacy valued in the King's book at £2 6s. 8d., now £100, has been augmented with £200 benefactions, £800 Queen Anne's bounty, and £1000 Parliamentary grant. It is annexed to the vicarage of Hathersage. Rev. Urban Smith, M.A., incumbent, who resides at the Parsonage, a neat house on a good eminence east of the Church. In the churchyard is an ancient stone font. A National school was erected in 1835, and enlarged in 1845, at a cost of about £ 200, and will accommodate 100 children; the average attendance is about 50, who pay from 2d. to 4d. per week each; Hy. Jones, master. Feast, Sunday before Old Michaelmas day. Immediately on passing the last house in the village, to the west, a deep ravine opens its marble jaws, the entrance to Middleton Dale. The crags that form the right side of Middleton Dale are boldly featured. Half way from their base they are much broken, and present many projections and recesses; above, rises a lofty range of perpendicular rock, the different strata of which are distinctly defined. The best view of this stupendous piece of rock scenery is obtained from near the base of the ascending ground that forms the left side of the dale, about half a mile from the village. Before you, seen in the distance, is the chasm through which the road winds to Tideswell and Buxton; on the right is the Delve, a deep dell whose rocky sides are partly covered with verdure and adorned with underwood, elm, ash, and sycamore. A little nearer the foreground is Eyam Dale, one side of which is strongly characterised with castellated rock; the other is created with fine fir and ash. Directly opposite this dale, another branches out on the left; the whole scene presenting a singular combination of rocks, hills, and deep ravines. The wild scenery of Middleton Dale is often greatly improved in picturesque effect, by the fires of the lime kilns, which are numerous; the smoke which rises from them curling about the rocks, and occasionally obscuring their summits, gives to the whole scene a character of great sublimity. Immediately on entering the dale from the village, on the right hand, is a high perpendicular rock, called the Lover's Leap. From the summit of this precipice, about the year 1760, a love-stricken maiden, of the name of Baddeley threw herself into the chasm below, and, incredible as it may appear, she sustained but little injury. Her face was slightly disfigured, and her body bruised by the brambles and rocky projections that interrupted her fall; but, with a little assistance, she was enabled to walk home. Her bonnet, kerchief, and cap were left at the top of the rock, and some fragments of her torn garments marked the course of her descent. Her singular and almost miraculous escape, made a serious impression on her mind; her fit of love subsided, and she afterwards lived in a very exemplary manner in the vicinity of the place which had been the scene of her folly, and died unmarried. Near this rock is a cavern, in which the skeleton of a Scotch pedler was found upwards of fifty years ago. it is supposed that he was murdered by some parties whom he had legally stopped from vending their wares at Eyam wakes. Nothing was known of this murder until his body was found, when it was conveyed to Eyam Church, where it lay in a box for several years unburied. The buckles of his shoes and other articles of his apparel proved it to be the body of the well known pedler. The manor belonged at an early period to the Bernakes of Upper Padley. Richard de Bernake sold it in the reign of Edward I., to Thomas de Furnival. It has ever since passed with the adjoining manor, to which parish it certainly properly belongs; or more properly it is a distinct parish. In the chapel are memorials of the family of Finney, dated 1704 and 1790. The late Dr. Joseph Denman married one of the daughters and eventually sole heiress of Richard Finney, Esq., and possessed the estates which had belonged to that family. In the dale are two cupolas for smelting lead ore, a manufactory of barytes, and several lime kilns. On the right of the road from Bakewell, at the entrance to the village, is an ancient stone mansion with pointed gables, delightfully situated in the meadows, a little east of the Church, the seat and property of the Right Hon. Thos., Lord Denman, who succeeded his father, the late Lord Chief Justice Denman, who died Sept. 23rd., 1849, aged 74 years, and was buried at Stoke Albany, Northamptonshire. Immediately behind the house are the Baths, which were fitted up in a handsome manner by the liberality of the late Lord Denman, on the site of an old one, supposed to have been originally established by the Romans when they occupied the station at Brough. Here is an excellent Inn and Posting-house, "The Moon", kept by Mr. Robert Heginbotham, where visitors and tourists will find superior accommodation, and the most polite attention. Here are several lead mines in the immediate neighbourhood, known as the Sallads, Red Rake, Shepherds, Sough, and Enterprize mines, the latter of which have been recently opened, at an outlay of about £1000. They are worked by a company to whom Mr. R. Heginbotham is secretary. One Great Barmote Court is held annually in April, alternately at the Moon Inn and at the Bull's Head, Eyam, for the Liberty of Stoney Middleton and Eyam, of which H.G. the Duke of Devonshire, the Marquis of Chandos, and Sir Richard Tufton, Bart., are the lords. Joseph Hall, Esq., of Castleton, is the steward; and James Longsdon, Esq., of Little Longstone, barmaster.

   CHARITIES.- Thomas Whyte, by will, in 1692, gave his messuage, lands, and premises situated at the Booths, within the parish of Hathersage, to five persons and their heirs on trust, that they should yearly, for ever, pay to the curate of the chapel of Stoney Middleton, the sum of £6, on the feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle, and the day of Penticost, by equal portions, provided that the curate should come into the cure with the consent of Benjamin Ashton and the major part of his trustees, otherwise, the £6, during such time, should be applied to charitable uses; he also directed 10s. should be paid to the clerk of the chapel, twenty sixpenny brown loves on the feast of the purification to twenty poor housekeepers of the chapelry, dwellers within the parish of Hathersage, in addition to which, the same poor were to recive flesh meat to the amount of 1s. each; on Easter-eve the same number of loaves and quantity of flesh meat were to be distributed again, and that 10s. should be paid on Easter-eve to the person who should provide and distribute the same; and that his trustees may take the remainder of the rents and profits, to be equally divided amongst them. The estate consists of 32 acres of old enclosed land, to which, in 1808, at the enclosure, 9 acres were allotted, now let together for £25 per annum, so that the trustees have £15 to be divided amongst themselves. On the two days above named, the trustees send to the overseers of the poor twelve sixpenny loaves, and bacon to the value of a shilling, which is given to the most indigent.

   Robert Turie, by will, 1720, gave to the inhabitants of Stoney Middleton, and their successors, a yearly rent charge of £3, issuing out of two messuages in Derwent Dale, (See Derwent chapelry). The sum of £2 is received by the schoolmaster from the incumbent of Derwent, for which he teaches six poor children to read, but the donor's will expresses that nine are to be taught to read. The school was built on the waste land by subscription.

   Ashton's Dole.- An annual sum of £10 is paid by John Spencer Ashton Shuttleworth, Esq., of Hathersage, to the chapelwardens and overseers of this chapelry, by whom it is distributed on St. Thomas's day to the poor, in sums varying from 2s. to 10s. This, the returns of 1786 state, arises from the will of Benjamin Ashton, the great grandfather of the late Major Shuttleworth.

   Rev. Francis Gisborne's Charity.- (See Bradley). The annual sum of £5 10s., received by the incumbent, is laid out in coarse woollen and flannel, and distributed to the poor about Christmas.

Post Office, at Mr. Samuel Marsden's; letters arrive from Bakewell at 7.30 a.m., and are despatched at 5.45 p.m.
Those marked * are in Eyam Township.

Lord Denman, Right Hon. Thomas
* Barnes William, blacksmith
Bentley Robert, mineral agent
Chapman Daniel, barber
* Cooper Benjamin, cooper
* Furness Peter, gent.
* Grattan William, lodgings
Jones Henry, schoolmaster
Marples Isaac, saddler
* Marsden Geo., saw handle maker
Mottram Joseph, plasterer & slater
Sellers John, parish clerk
Smith Mr. John
Smith Rev. Urban, M.A., incumbent
Wallis Charles, currier
Washington George, relieving officer for the Northern division of Bakewell Union.

Inns and Taverns.
* Ball, Mary Bradshaw
* Bull's Head, Sarah Cocker
* Grouse, George Barker
* Lover's Leap, Samuel Mason
Miners' Arms, Joseph Pursglove
Moon Inn, Family, Commercial, and Posting Hotel, Robert Heginbotham
Royal Oak, Alexander Joseph Sellers
Stag's Head, John Hallam
Sun, John Lancake
Barytes Manfrs.
Heginbotham Robert, (and agent to the Birmingham Fire office)

Beesom Makers.
* Jackson & Johnson
* Jupp William

Boot & Shoe Mkrs.
Cocker James
Hallam Benjamin
Heginbotham Joseph
Johnstone John
Maddock John
Robinson Jasper
Sellers Alexander Joseph
Swindell Charles

* Barker George
Hancock Francis
Pursglove Joseph

Ashton Geo., (& stone mason)
Booth George, High Field
* Elliott Alice
Hallam James
Hallam John
Farmers (cont'd).
Hallam Jonathan
Hallam Wm.
Hancock Francis
Hancock Joseph
Hancock Thomas
Heginbotham Henry
* Hinch Thomas, (and corn miller)
Hulley John
* Moseley John
Moseley William
Pinder Robert

Lead Smelters.
Barker T. R. & Rose
Wyatt William
Lime Burners.
Hancock & Bennett
Mason & Pinder

Bagley John
Cocker Francis
Goddard William
Hancock Francis
Jackson James
Lancake John
Marshall Michael
Redecen Thomas
Morton Henry
Unwin Edwin

Tallow Chandlers.
* Furness Thomas
* Goddard Thomas

Wheelwrights and Joiners.
Buxton George
* Mason William
Sellers Thomas, (and timber dealer), The Dale

From the Moon Inn, To Sheffield, the Lucy Long, daily at 4 p.m., during the season; and during winter months, on Tues. and Satur., at 8 a.m.
To Buxton, daily, during the season, at 11.30 a.m.

To Chesterfield daily, Robt. Heginbotham
To Sheffield, Tu. and Sat., Wm. Hallam, Hy. Goddard, Geo. Marsden, and Peter Elliott.

Transcribed by Neil Wilson in 2003 and reproduced with kind permission.

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