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Bakewell, Derbyshire

Historical Description

Bakewell, a market-town and parish in Derbyshire. The town stands at the foot of a hill, on the river Wye, adjacent to the Buxton railway, 11 miles W by S of Chesterfield. Its name is a corruption of Bath-well, originally Bath-quelle, and was derived from a mineral well, used for the supply of baths, and supposed to have been in repute prior to the year 924. The manor of it was known to the Saxons under the name of Badecanwylla; probably had a Roman station, and certainly had a castle of Edward the Elder, on Castle Hill, on the road to Chatsworth; was given at the Conquest to the family of Peveril; passed to successively the Gemons and the Vernons; and belongs now to the Duke of Rutland. The town is clean and pleasant, has most picturesque environs, and is much visited by strangers, both for its own sake, and for the sake of the splendid neighbouring scenery. It is a seat of petty sessions, and has a station on the M.R., a head post office, three banks, a parish church, four dissenting chapels, an endowed grammar-school, two other schools, an hospital and other charities, a workhouse, a six-arched bridge, a public library and reading-room, a museum, public baths, a cemetery, and several good inns. The parish church stands on an eminence; is a spacious cruciform structure, in Norman and Early English style; has transepts, and octagonal tower and spire, erected during 1841-52, when the church was thoroughly restored; and contains an ancient font and interesting tombs of the Vernons, the Foljambes, the Mannerses, and others. A very ancient cross, 8 feet high, decorated with rude sculpture, but much mutilated, is in the churchyard. The public baths were rebuilt by the Duke of Rutland, contain good accommodation, and include a large swimming bath, and separate shower and warm baths. The water from the mineral spring is chalybeate and slightly tepid; and that for the warm baths may be had of any temperature by artificial heating. A pleasant promenade is attached, called the Bath Garden, well laid out in walks and grottoes. The public museum contains a great variety of British, Roman, and Saxon relics, obtained from places in the neighbourhood, and a private museum, connected with a shop, exhibits splendid specimens of spar ornament and inlaid marble. A number of the inhabitants are employed in the working of marble and chert, and others in a cotton mill. The town, which is governed by a Local Board, is supplied with water from a reservoir, paved, and lighted with gas. A weekly market is held on Friday for butter, and on Monday for corn and cattle, and fairs for horses, cattle, and cheese, on Easter Monday, Whit Monday, 26 August, the Monday after 10 October, and the Monday after 11 November. The township of Bakewell includes the town, together with a circumjacent tract. Acreage, 3064; population of the civil parish, 2748; of the ecclesiastical, 3236.

Two objects of great interest in the neighbourhood are the ducal seats of CHATSWORTH and HADDON-HALL. Mines of lead and zinc, and quarries of stones and marble are worked. Rocking stones and a Druidical circle occur on Stanton manor. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Southwell; gross value, £426 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield.

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 parishBakewell All Saints 
HundredHigh Peak 
Poor Law unionChapel-en-le-Frith 

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


The Cemetery, of 4 acres, situated to the south-west of the town, belongs in part to the parish of Over Haddon; it has two mortuary chapels and a lodge, and is very tastefully laid out and well planted.

Church Records

The parish register, which is in bad condition, dates from the year 1614., 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

All Saints (parish church)

The church of All Saints, standing on an eminence above the principal part of the town, is a large cruciform embattled structure, about 150 feet in length, and 105 feet in breadth, including the transepts, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, porch, transepts and a central tower, rising from a square lower stage into a battlemented octagon, with an elegant and lofty spire, and containing 8 bells, all re-cast in 1796, and again in 1895: the fabric exhibits remains of Norman work, including, at the west end, a fine Norman doorway, with an arcading above it, and other portions belonging to a very early church, the first alterations in which took place in 1250, when the Early English style was well advanced: at this time the tower piers were in part cut away and rebuilt with pointed arches; the upper part of the tower and the whole of the south transept being at the same time taken down and the transept lengthened: the chancel was rebuilt and considerably lengthened towards the commencement of the Decorated period, about 1300 or earlier; and the Vernon chapel, forming an eastern aisle to the south transept, built about 1360: the octagonal tower and spire were erected on the Early English base, at the end of the 14th or beginning of the 15th century, when also the clerestory was added, the roofs lowered and the whole of the parapets embattled: in 1825-6 the spire was removed, and in 1830 the tower also, owing to the unsafe condition of the piers; in 1841 extensive repairs of the whole fabric were begun, and completed in 1852, for a sum of £8,600; in the course of this work the old piers of the nave were mostly renewed in a lighter style, the tower piers taken down and the tower and spire rebuilt, together with the south transept and the Vernon chapel, the original forms being carefully reproduced: in 1881 the chancel was thoroughly restored and stalls added, and a richly carved oak screen and reredos erected, and in 1886 the choir seats were placed under the tower; within the south aisle there was anciently a chantry, founded by Sir Godfrey Foljambe, who died in 1377 and was there buried; a small and beautifully finished monument to him and his second wife, Avena, is now against one of the piers, with half-length alabaster figures of both, beneath canopies; Mr. Blore, in 1803, added to this monument an inscription on black marble; other members of the Foljambe family are also buried here: the next earliest monument is that of Sir Thomas Wendesley, consisting of a table-tomb, bearing his effigy clad in plate armour, with a shirt of chain mail, and wearing a collar of SS.; the marginal inscription records the fact of his death at the battle of Shrewsbury, 23 July, 1403, when fighting with the Lancastrians against the insurgents, under Henry Percy: of the Vernon monuments, which are in the Vernon chapel, the earliest is that of John Vernon, a small but well-carved table-tomb of alabaster, with angels holding shields, and a marginal inscription dated 1477; in the centre of the chapel is a large table-tomb, with the recumbent effigies of Sir George Vernon knt. usually styled, from his magnificent hospitality at Haddon Hall, "the King of the Peak," and his two wives: he died 9 Aug. 1567, but the inscription on the tomb has never been dated, although blanks were left for that purpose: at the south end is the monument of Dorothy Vernon and her husband, Sir John Manners, whose romantic marriage brought Haddon to the Manners family; the kneeling figures of Sir John and his lady face each other beneath an arch in the centre; between them is a pedestal with an inscription recording the decease of the knight in J61I and of his wife in 1584; above is a shield with 16 quarterings; on the cornice are other shields, and below the central figures are those of their four children; a still larger and more costly tomb is that of Sir George Manners, their eldest son, against the opposite wall, which has also figures of the knight and his lady kneeling at a lectern; behind is a long Latin inscription dated 1623, at the top of the monument the 16 quarterings of Manners, and below the figures of four sons and five daughters, arranged in two rows, with scriptural texts above each: the east wall bears a mural monument to John Manners, third son of Sir John and Dorothy, ob. 1590: the south transept has numerous monuments of the 17th and 18th centuries, consisting chiefly of small brasses to various retainers of the family of Manners, with others to Latham Woodroffe (1648) and Basset Copwood, of Bubnell Hall (1628): in the chancel is a brass to Bernard Wells, with inscription, dated 13 June, 1653: in pulling down different ancient portions of the church, a large number of early gravestones and other remains were found among the masonry, 65 of which are preserved in the porch; 55 others having been removed to the Lomberdale museum; of these many are earlier than 1100 and none later than 1260: in the porch, a Decorated work, are a few ancient floor tiles, and above the entrance a sun-dial of 1793: the font is a large octagon bearing on each of the eight faces full-length figures under canopies, rudely carved, and may be assigned to the close of the 13th century: immediately below the Foljambe monument is an almery, and in the south chancel wall three sedilia, with seats of varying elevation, and beyond these a finely-worked piscina; another, of Early English date, being found in the Vernon chapel: an elegant traceried screen separates the Vernon chapel from the south transept, and is the finest piece of woodwork in the church; there is also an ancient parish chest, of pre-Reformation date, with numerous locks and braces: several stained windows, including an east window to John Henry, 5th Duke of Rutland, were inserted in 1862, since which others have been placed in the church: there are 700 sittings: in the churchyard, near the east wall of the Vernon chapel, stands a fine cross, 8 feet high, exclusive of the base, and about 2 feet wide, sculptured with scriptural and other subjects on the fronts, and on the sides with an elegant spiral pattern, and not much later than the 8th century: the vestry was erected in 1898 from designs of Messrs. Naylor and Sale: in the churchyard are also several stone coffins. The ancient custom of ringing the curfew is still observed here every evening and a bell is also rung at 6 in the morning.


Congregational Chapel, Buxton Road

The Congregational chapel, in Buxton road, built in 1809 and rebuilt in 1840, has 300 sittings.


Primitive Methodist Chapel, Water Street

The Primitive Methodist chapel, in Water street, built in 1891, has 150 sittings.

Reformed Wesleyan Chapel, Buxton Road

The Reformed Wesleyan chapel, Buxton road, built in 1888, has 250 sittings.

Wesleyan Chapel, Matlock Street

The Wesleyan chapel, in Matlock street, erected in 1866, and seating 400, has a preacher's house and school-rooms in the rear.

Roman Catholic

The English Martyrs, Granby Road

The Catholic Church, in Granby road, built in 1890, is an iron structure, dedicated to the English Martyrs, and is served from Hassop.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bakewell 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 Bakewell 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:

DistrictDerbyshire Dales
RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtDE45
Post TownBakewell