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Alfreton, Derbyshire

Historical Description

Alfreton, a market-town, a parish, and head of a petty sessional division and county court district in Derbyshire. The town stands on the brow of a hill, about a mile from the branch railway connecting the Erewash line with the main Midland, and 14 miles NNE of Derby. It is said, but without good reason, to have got its name and origin from a residence of King Alfred. The town is governed by a local board, and is well paved. The parish church is variously Early English, Decorated, and Early Perpendicular, was restored and enlarged in 1869, and contains a handsome reredos of Derbyshire alabaster. The town has a railway station, a head post office, two banks, a market-hall, and two weekly newspapers. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the collieries and ironworks in the neighbourhood. A weekly market is held on Friday, and a horse and cattle fair on 31 July, a cheese fair on 7 Oct., and statutes for hiring servants on 24 Nov. The parish contains also the townships of Somercotes, Swanwick, Biddings, and Ironville. Area of the parish, 4626 acres; population of the civil parish, 15,355; of the ecclesiastical, 6091. The manor of Alfreton belonged successively to the De Alfretons, the Chaworths, the Babingtons, and the Zouches, and now belongs to the Palmer-Morewood family. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Southwell; net value, £314 with residence. The ancient parish church belonged to Beauchief Abbey. There are chapels for Congregationalists, Wesleyans, Roman Catholics, Primitive and United Free Methodists. Alfreton Park is a handsome residence, beautifully situated near the town. The parish is represented on the Derbyshire County Council by an alderman and 2 councillors.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDerbyshire 
Ecclesiastical parishAlfreton St. Mary 
Poor Law unionBelper 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


A cemetery of 41 acres, in Roger lane, was opened in 1891.

Church Records

The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at Alfreton 1706-1837, Derbyshire, is available to browse online.

There are no registers earlier than the year 1706., in conjunction with the Derbyshire Record Office, have the Church of England Baptisms (1538-1916), Marriages and Banns (1538-1932), and Burials (1538-1991) online.


Church of England

St. Martin (parish church)

The church of St. Martin is an edifice of stone consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aistes, south porch, vestry and a western tower containing a clock and 8 bells, dating from 1627 to 1901, and a small sanctus bell: one of the oldest portions or the church is the arch opening from the tower to the nave, which may certainly be attributed to the commencement of the Early English period; the only other memorial of that period is a slab, incised with the head of a sepulchral cross; it was found beneath the pavement of the chancel, and in 1894 was fixed in the chancel wall and protected in front by a sheet of plate-glass: the nave is separated from the aisles by arcades of five arches of the Decorated period; on circular columns with octagonal bases, erected about 1320, the eastern-most arches being added in 1868, when the chancel was extended: to this period also belong the south doorway: the tower is a fair specimen of Early Perpendicular, and was probably built at the beginning of the 15th century: the windows of the south aisle are Perpendicular; of the same period is the vestry, which is boldly vaulted with stone and rubble: built into the north wall of the chancel is a large slab of gribstone, with brass shield of arms and Latin inscription to John Ormond esq. (1503) and Joan his wife, daughter and heiress of William Chaworth kt. (1507): in the north aisle are monuments to Anthony Morewood, gentleman (1636), and others of that name: there is a reredos of Derbyshire alabaster, into which has been skilfully worked a large slab of alabaster formerly on the chancel floor: there are also seven memorial windows, that at the east end being a memorial to Charles R. Palmer-Morewood esq. of Alfreton Hall, who died in 1873: in the vestry is a memorial window, erected in 1890 by Mrs. Lee, to her son, the Rev. James Percy Lee, a former curate of this parish: there is also a window, erected by the parishioners in 1884, to the wife of the Rev. William Henry Draper M.A. then vicar of this parish; and in 1894 a stained window was erected to the memory of Tom Herring Bingham, Son of the late Dr. Bingham, who was drowned at Eastwood, Notts, on Friday, 12 Aug. 1892, while attempting to save the life of Cecilie Barber, aged 5 years, who had fallen off a steam launch at Lamb's close: in 1895 a memorial window was placed by Mr. William Wilson, of The Bank, Alfreton, to Lucy, his wife, and there is another, erected in 1907, to William Wooding Nelson and his son, who were drowned at Sutton-on-Sea, Aug. 1906: in 1844 two carved oak reading desks were placed in the church by subscription: in 1885 a brass lectern was given by the Hon. Mrs. Palmer-Morewood, and in 1912 carved oak choir stalls were provided from a legacy from Miss Lucy Palmer-Morewood: the church plate was given in the last century by various members of the Turner family, of Swanwick Hall, in 1868-9 the church was thoroughly restored and considerably enlarged, at a cost of £3,200, and in 1901 the chancel was enlarged and an organ chamber built, at a cost of upwards of £1,300: there are 560 sittings.


Congregational Chapel

The Congregational chapel, founded in 1708, has 400 sittings. In 1906 the chapel was enlarged, Sunday schools added, and an Assembly Hall erected, at a total cost of £1,700.


Primitive Methodist Chapel, Derby Road
Primitive Methodist Chapel, Nottingham Road
United Methodist Chapel, King Street
Wesleyan Chapel

Roman Catholic

St. Mary, Park Street

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Alfreton from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Derbyshire is online.


Online maps of Alfreton are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Derbyshire papers online:

DistrictAmber Valley
RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtDE55
Post TownAlfreton