Ilkeston (St. Mary)
ILKESTON (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, in the union of Basford, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch, S. division of the county of Derby, 8½ miles (W. by N.) from Nottingham; and 128 (N. W. by N.) from London; containing, in 1841, 5326 inhabitants. This place, anciently called Elchestane, obtained a grant of a market and a fair in 1251. It is situated on a hill, near the river Erewash, commanding beautiful prospects in every direction: the Erewash divides the parish from the county of Nottingham. Here is a mineral spring of considerable power, said to be different from any other spa in England, and to resemble the Seltzer water of Germany. The spa is at the north end of the town, where a building with a neat front has been erected, affording every accommodation for bathing; many persons afflicted with rheumatism, lumbago, and paralysis, resort annually hither, and derive much benefit from the warm baths, and from drinking the water. The parish comprises 2474a. 1r. 37p., of which 55 acres are woodland; it abounds with various and extensive veins of coal and ironstone. The principal branches of manufacture are those of stockings, lace, silk gloves, and mittens, the last being very much on the increase; these products employ about two-thirds of the labouring population, the remainder being chiefly engaged in mining operations. The Erewash and Nutbrook canals pass through, and the Erewash-Valley railway has a station here. The market, which is chiefly for fruit, vegetables, and earthenware, is held every Thursday; and there are fairs on March 6th, Whit-Thursday, and the first Thursday after Christmas-day, for horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs. Courts leet and baron for the manor are held under the Duke of Rutland.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 7. 9.; net income, £250; patron, the Duke of Rutland; impropriators, his Grace, the family of Denison, and the possessors of Mr. Outram's property. The tithes were commuted for land and money payments in 1794. The church is a very handsome specimen of the early decorated style, and contains a beautiful stone screen supported on pillars of Petworth marble, and monuments of a Knight Templar and the founder of the edifice: the tower, which is lofty, was erected in 1737, when a large part of the church had fallen down. A district called Cotmanhay was formed and endowed in 1845, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. There are places of worship for General Baptists, Independents, Ranters, Unitarians, and Wesleyans; the last have two. A school, now amalgamated with a national school, is endowed with £10 per annum from a benefaction by Richard Smedley, who in 1744 gave a rent-charge of £60 for the establishment of this and other schools, and for the foundation and endowment of almshouses for six women. About £40 are distributed annually in doles to the poor.