Fanshawe Gate

Village: Holmesfield
Parish: Dronfield
Hundred: Scarsdale
County: Derbyshire
Country: United Kingdom



HOLMESFIELD (Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835)
    "Holmesfield township and village, in the parish of Dronfield, is very pleasantly situate, about one mile from that town, and between seven and eight miles north-west from Chesterfield: it cannot be marked as a place of trade, but the neighbourhood is highly respectable, and contains several very genteel habitations. The population of the township in 1831 was 499, being the exact number of inhabitants as returned at the preceding census."



DRONFIELD (White's 1857 Directory of Derbyshire)
    Dronfield is a considerable and ancient village and township, pleasantly situated in a romantic valley, on the Chesterfield road, 6 miles S. by W. from Sheffield, the same distance N. by W. from Chesterfield, and 156 miles N.N.W. from London. The township contains 2,414 acres of land, and in 1851, had 515 houses and 2,469 inhabitants, of whom 1,336 were males and 1,133 females; rateable value �6,340. The manorial rights are vested in the Cecil family, and the land belongs to various owners. The air is said to be remarkably salubrious, and in the village are some fine springs of water. The place is fast improving, and becoming quite a populous neighbourhood; several old cottages have been taken down and new ones erected, principally at the north end of the village, but other places in proportion. The inhabitants participate largely in the edge-tool, scythe, and sickle manufactures; and here is an iron foundry, chemical works, corn mill, and spindle and flyer manufacturers, &c.  The vicinity is noted for its superior coal, greatly in request for converting and refining steel. It formerly had a market, but from its proximity to Sheffield and Chesterfield, has long been disused. In 1854 the old Market Cross was taken down, and a monument of stone, to the memory of Sir Robert Peel, was erected on its site, at a cost of about �30, raised by subscription. A fair is still held on April 25th, and a hiring for servants is also held on the 3rd of November. The Church, dedicated to St. John Baptist, is a vicarage, valued in the King�s book at �10 2s. 1d., now �224. In 1730 it was endowed with �200 benefactions, and �200 Queen Anne�s bounty, and and in 1811, with a subscription of �200, and a parliamentary grant of �600. The Lord Chancellor is the patron, and the Rev. W. D. B. Bertles, M.A., incumbent. The Church is a large and handsome gothic structure, 132 feet long, situated on an eminence, and has nave, chancel, side aisles and tower; (in which are six bells,) surmounted by a spire of the same height... The General Baptist Chapel, erected in 1853, at a cost of �130, raised by subscription, is a neat stone building, with seats for 150 hearers, of which 100 are free. The Independent Chapel, erected by subscription, at a cost of �1000, is a good stone building, with galleries, and will accommodate 500; attached to which, is a day school, built in 1826, at a coat of �100, which will hold about 100. The Wesleyans have also a chapel here, erected by the Society of Friends, several years ago; it is a large square handsome building, with galleries, and will hold about 300. The Grammar School is an ancient building, a short distance from the church; it is endowed with lands, &c., left by Henry Fanshawe, in 1567, now worth about �230 per annum. It is open to all the children of the parish, 30 of whom are instructed free. The number of scholars at the present time is 51. The Rev. John Cockerton, M.A., is the head master, and Mr. John Garland, second master.

                                    The Henry Fanshawe School Henry Fanshawe School
                                                                             The Henry Fanshawe Grammer School, Dronfield

The manor of Dronfield belonged to the crown till the reign of King John, when it was granted to William Briewer; it was afterwards successively held by the Cromwell, Hastings, Seliokes, Morewoods, Burtons, and Rossingtons. Samuel Rotherham died seized of it in 1795; he was sheriff in 1773. His sister and heir bequeathed it to Mr. Joseph Cecil, in whose family it still remains.


The term "Hundred" dates back to the time of the Saxons. Under the Saxon organization of England, each county or shire was comprised of an indefinite number of hundreds, with each hundred containing ten tithings, or groups of ten families of freeholders. The hundred was governed by a high constable, and had its own court; its most remarkable feature was the corporate responsibility of the whole for the crimes or defaults of the individual members. The introduction of this plan of organization into England is commonly ascribed to the King Alfred of Wessex (871-99), but the idea, as well of the collective liability as well as of the division, was probably known to the ancient German peoples, as the same thing was established in the Frankish kingdom under Clothaire. The English carried the practice of using Hundreds to the early Virginia Colony, but its use quickly became obsolete.

The 55 Parishes Of The Scarsdale Hundred






Near Holmesfield
Barbrook II dates back to the Neolithic and Bronze Age, and, like Stone Henge, includes alignments with the May Day/ Lammas (Beltane/Lughnasa) Sunrise/Sunset. All of three Barbrook Circles are believed to date back to 1500-2000 B.C.
     Barbrook Stone Circles and Cairn
         Barbrook Moor, the Stone Circles
Ancient Sites Directory - Barbrook Stone Circles

DERBY UK - Internet Guide To City of Derby, England







    DERBYSHIRE GENUKI (UK & Ireland Genealogy)



FANSHAWE'S RESTAURANT - The Sandpiper Hotel in Chesterfield, Derbyshire