Extract from Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1932.
Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2006

YOULGREAVE (or Youlgreave), anciently "Giolgrave", is a parish 4 miles from Rowsley station on the Ambergate and Manchester section of the London, Midland and Scottish railway, 5 from Bakewell and 157 from London, in the Western division of the county, hundred of High Peak, petty sessional division, rural district, county court district and rural deanery of Bakewell, archdeaconry and diocese of Derby. The rivers Bradford and Lathkill flow through the parish, uniting at Alport. The water supply for the inhabitants of the parish is derived from springs rising in Blackley Wood.

The church of All Saints, a building in mixed styles, from the Norman work of the 12th century down to the debased alterations of the 15th, consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch, and a massive and lofty embattled tower, with pinnacles, containing 8 bells, recast, with additions, from the former peal of 5, and hung at Easter, 1870, at the cost of Mr. and Mrs. Thornhill, of Stanton Hall.

Of the Early Norman church, probably erected between the years 1130 and 1150, the circular Norman piers supporting the arcades of both aisles remain. The arches on the south side are Norman, but on the north Decorated. The south aisle, widened late in the 13th century, has three Early English windows; the south doorway porch and one in the north aisle are also of this date.

The chancel arch is Decorated, but the chancel itself appears to have been rebuilt throughout in the Perpendicular period, when various windows were inserted in other parts of the building, the nave lengthened westward, the tower erected and the whole church new-roofed, the total interior length being, with these alterations, 125 feet.

In the east wall of the north aisle are the mutilated remains of a piscina; another, square-headed, remains in the south aisle, removed from the chancel in 1869. Close to the western pier in the north wall of the nave is a niche containing a draped figure carved in stone.

The font, dating from c. 1150-1200, consists of a basin of porous red sandstone, with a small projecting stoup cut from the same block and held, as it were, in the jaws of a dragon, sculptured in relief on the side of the basin, which is supported on a circular base, with four surrounding circular shafts on moulded bases.

The most ancient monument in the church is the stone effigy of a cross-legged knight, holding a heart in his clasped hands and girt with a cross-hilted sword; it is now placed on a substantial stone base against the north wall of the chancel, and is supposed to represent Sir John Rossington, of Rossington, near Doncaster.

More exquisite, as a monument, is a small altar tomb of alabaster, 3½ feet only in length, on which is the figure of a man in armour, finely and skilfully carved, with his head resting upon a helmet and wearing round his neck a Yorkist collar of suns and roses; this effigy represents Thomas Cokayne, who died in 1388, and was carefully restored and the tomb adorned with emblazoned shields in 1873 by the present representatives of the family.

In the north aisle is a remarkable mural monument with twenty-one small figures carved in relief and a marginal inscription to Robert Gilbert, of Youlgreave, and Joan his wife (1492), and recording the erection by him of a screen round the east end of the south aisle, where is now a small brass, with effigy, to Frideswide Gilbert (1620).

In the north aisle is a monument, once richly coloured, with kneeling figures, of Roger Rowe, of Alport, in this parish, and his wife, and an inscription, dated 1613; and in the tower is an inscribed stone to Raphael Bradbury, of Youlgreave (1685).

The east window is filled with stained glass from a very fine design by Sir E. Burne-Jones bart. There is also a window inserted in 1912, to the memory of Major McCreagh Thornhill.

In 1869-70 the church was admirably restored, under the direction of R. Norman Shaw esq. R.A. involving the insertion of several new windows, new benches, flooring &c. at a cost of £4,650, and in 1897 an oak screen was placed under the tower as a memorial to the Rev. Richard Clarke Roy M.A. vicar 1871-94. There are 500 sittings. South of the church remain the steps of an old cross, with its base, now supporting a sundial.

The registers date from the year 1558 for all entries, and are for the most part in excellent preservation. The churchwardens' accounts are perfect for a long period, beginning in 1604 and continuing to 1755, and from 1722 to 1786: the constables' accounts extend from 1702 to 1829, and those of the overseers from 1713 to 1754; there are, besides, many other parochial documents, classified and bound in separate volumes.

The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £206, including 71 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Duke of Devonshire K.G., P.C., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., T.D. and held since 1907 by the Rev. Lockhart Wilson Greenshields B.A. of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

There is a Congregational chapel, built in 1853, with 80 sittings; also Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist and Reformed Wesleyan chapels, with schools attached. In the year 1857 a reading room was erected by subscription, at a cost of £220, on a site given by W. P. Thornhill esq. for the gratuitous use of the members of the Literary Society.

The charities, respectively left by the Rev. Francis Gisborne, sometime rector of Staveley, in 1818, and Messrs. Hancock, Roberts, Staley and Cook, amount to about £15 yearly. Miss Mary Knowles left a sum of £200, now in the hands of the Charity Commissioners; the interest on one half is given to the poor, and the remainder is distributed among the choir and bell ringers of the church.

The principal landowners are the Duke of Devonshire K.G., P.C., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., T.D. (lord lieut.) and the Duke of Rutland. The soil is light limestone; subsoil, shale and stone beds. The crops are chiefly pasturage. The area of the township is 2,387 acres of land and 11 of water; the population in 1921 was 1,214 and of the ecclesiastical parish, 1,479.

MIDDLETON, with Smerrill, forms a township in the parish of Youlgrave, a mile and a half south-west from Youlgrave, in the hundred of Wirksworth. The village is supplied with water from the Bradford spring, the water being pumped up to a reservoir and led to the village in pipes; the works were constructed by T. W. Bateman esq.

The chapel of ease of St. Michael and All Angels, situated here, and for many years disused, was restored in 1899. There is also a Congregational chapel here, erected in 1826 by Thomas Bateman esq. who, together with his wife, was interred at the back of the chapel. There is also a Primitive Methodist chapel.

In this parish is a perfect Druidical circle known as "Arbor Low", 150 feet in diameter and formed of a number of immense stones, now lying flat, and in the centre are masses of stone, perhaps originally forming a cromlech; the circle is surrounded by a fosse 18 feet wide and a rampart 6 or 8 yards in height from the inner base; there are north and south entrances, and about 300 yards distant and connected with the circle by a continuous earth bank, is a sepulchre mound, called "Gib Hill", which has been examined.

There are also many barrows, in which Celtic antiquitiess have been discovered. Middleton Hall is the seat of Capt. Charles Waterhouse M.C., M.P., J.P. who is the chief landowner. The acreage is 2,956; population in 1921, 240.

Post, M.O., T. & T.E.D. Office. Letters through Bakewell.
Open sundays, for telegrams only, 9 to 10.30 a.m.
County Police

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