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Wirksworth, Derbyshire

Historical Description

Wirksworth, a market-town, a township, and a parish in Derbyshire. The town stands in a valley, nearly surrounded by hills, at the terminus of a branch of the M.R., and at the southern extremity of a mining region, 13½ miles NNW of Derby, 4 from Matlock, and 140 from London. It was known to the Saxons as Werchesvorde, belonged before the Norman Conquest to Repton Abbey, passed through the Ferrers and others to the Duchy of Lancaster, is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and is governed by an urban district council. It has a head post office, a railway station, three banks, a police station, a moot-hall of 1814, a temperance hall, a church of the 13th century, Baptist, Congregational, Free and Primitive Methodist, Wesleyan, and Reformed Wesleyan chapels, a recreation ground of about 8 acres, a town-hall erected in 1871, an institute with reading-room, erected in 1889, a cottage hospital, a cemetery, an endowed grammar school with £200 a year, almshouses with £70 a year, other charities £180, a weekly market on Tuesday, and six annual fairs principally for cattle. There are lead mines in the neighbourhood which have been worked from very early times, and extensive stone quarries. The manufacture of smallware and tape is also carried on. The township comprises Bole Hill, Longway Bank, Godfrey Hole, Gorseybank, and Millers Green. Acreage, 3027; population, 3725; of the ecclesiastical parish, 4259. The parish contains several other townships. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Southwell; gross value, £140 with residence. Patron, the Bishop. The church is a cruciform building in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel with aisles, transepts, clerestoried nave, aisles, S porch, and central tower with small spire. It contains a piscina, two fonts, and several stained memorial windows. The chancel was restored in 1855, and the rest of the church in 1876, under the direction of Sir Gilbert G. Scott, R.A.

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 parishWirksworth St. Mary 
HundredHigh Peak 
Poor Law unionBelper 

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

Church Records, 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.

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 Wirksworth 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 Wirksworth 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