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Ault Hucknall, Derbyshire

Historical Description

Ault-Hucknall, or Hault-Hucknall, a scattered village and a parish in Derbyshire, on the verge of the county, adjacent to Hardwick Park, 5 miles ENE of Claycross railway station, and 6½ SE of Chesterfield. The parish contains the hamlets of Rowthorne, Stainsby, Hardwick, Hardstoft, Astwith, and Dol Lea, and its post town is Heath under Chesterfield. Acreage, 4429; population of the civil parish, 1388; of the ecclesiastical, 1791. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Southwell; net value, £151. Patron, the Duke of Devonshire. The church is good, and contains monuments to the first Countess of Devonshire and to the philosopher Hobbes.

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 
Poor Law unionMansfield 

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

Church Records

The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at Hault Hucknall 1660-1812, Derbyshire is available to browse online.

The register dates from the year 1660 for all entries., 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. John the Baptist (parish church)

The church of St. John the Baptist, situated at the northern extremity of the parish, is a building of stone in the Norman and Early English styles, consisting of chancel with south or Hardwick chapel, nave, aisles, vestry, and a low central battlemented tower, with pinnacles at the angles, containing 5 bells, 4 dating from 1590 to 1664 and the 5th 1887: the nave is separated from the narrow north aisle by two semicircular Norman arches, and at the east end of the nave, opening to the crossing, is a fine Norman arch of considerable span: the exterior of the church also affords many evidences of its Norman origin, the most remarkable being the tympanum of the west doorway, now built up, which is carved with rude mythological figures: the west window and nave and chancel roofs are Decorated, and the remainder of the church, including the tower, Perpendicular: in the Hardwick chapel, beneath a plain slab of black marble, is the tomb of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, known as "Hobbes of Malmesbury," born there 15 April, 1588, and subsequently tutor to the 2nd and 3rd Earls of Devonshire and to the young Prince Charles: his most famous philosophical work was the celebrated "Leviathan," but he is better known to Derbyshire readers as the author of a descriptive Latin poem called "De Mirabilibus Pecci;" he died at Hardwick Hall, 4 Dec. 109, aged 91: at the east end of the chapel is the tomb of Anne (Keighley), wife of William, first Earl of Devonshire, ob. 1628, and in the chancel a slab with inscription in brass to Richard Pallison or Pauson, a former vicar of Hucknall, dated 1536: the chapel retains a small almery: there is another in the north aisle, and in the chancel an Early English piscina: in the vestry is a fragment of an ancient screen, as well as the original font: in the east window of the south chapel are the remains of good ancient stained glass, with precatory inscriptions, to John Savage, Richard Pauson and John Hardwick (1528), father of Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, and the emblazoned coats of Savage, Hardwick and others: the church was restored and reseated in 1887 by William, 7th Duke of Devonshire K.G., P.C. at a cost of £2,650: there are 250 sittings.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Ault Hucknall 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 Ault Hucknall 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:

RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtS44
Post TownChesterfield