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Bonsall, Derbyshire

Historical Description

Bonsall, a village and a parish in Derbyshire. The village stands near the river Derwent and the Cromford Canal. It has an ancient market cross, and a post and money order office under Derby; telegraph office and railway station, Cromford, 1½ mile distant. The parish includes the hamlets of Upper Town and Slaley. Area, 2447 acres; population, 1329. The scenery is picturesque, and the rocks include much limestone and some valuable ores. The inhabitants are employed chiefly in stocking-making, in merino and paper mills, various paint and colour works, and in limestone Quarries. Traces exist of the Roman road to Manchester. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Southwell; net value, £169 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Southwell. The church is ancient, has a tower and fine spire, and was beautifully restored in 1863. There are Baptist and Primitive Methodist chapels. An endowed school, founded in 1717, has now accommodation for 110 boys.

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 parishBonsall St. James 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1628, and is in good condition, 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. James (parish church)

The church of St. James, standing on an eminence, is a building of stone, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of three bays, aisles, south porch, and an embattled western tower with spire, and containing a clock and 6 bells: there is a marble tablet to Miss Dorothye Prince, and one to the Ferne family, dated 1733, above which hangs a helmet of the 16th century: in the chancel is a brass to Henry Hopkinson, 1634, and in the south aisle part of an ancient headstone and two stone coffin lids. The church was restored in 1863, under the direction of Ewan Christian esq. architect, when a commemorative window was placed in the north aisle at the expense of the rector and churchwardens: the chancel retains a piscina and there are 300 sittings.


Baptist Chapel


United Methodist Chapel
Wesleyan Reform Chapel

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 Bonsall 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 Bonsall 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 districtDE4
Post TownMatlock