A Guide to Tideswell and Its Church

By Rev J.M.J. Fletcher

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2013


THE Neolithic implements which have been found at Tideswell show that there was a population here in prehistoric times.

Tideswelle is mentioned in Domesday Book, A.D., 1086, as one of the berewicks, or hamlets, within the limits of the Royal Manor of Hope. The district is stated to have then produced lead, stone, and honey.

Tideswell, General View
(from near Slancote Lane)
The Manor

From the King it seemed to have passed to the Peverils, who, at the time when the Domesday survey was made, had a considerable amount of 'land' in the neighbourhood; e.g. in Castleton, in Bradwell, in Hazlebadge, in Hucklow, and in Abney. But afterwards the estates of the Peverils were escheated. The Manor of Tideswell was granted in 1207 to Thomas Armiger, who also bore the names of “The Squire” and of “Lamely”, on payment of the sum of 60/- annually. His daughter, Joan, married Paulinus Bampton, or Taunton, to whom the grant of the Fair was made in 1250. He sold the Manor to Richard Daniel some time before the year 1283. His grandson, another Richard Daniel, had no male heir; but he had three

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daughters, Elizabeth, Katharine, and Joan. Elizabeth was married to Thomas Meverell. Katharine became the wife,- 1st of Thomas Courson,[1] and secondly of Reginald de Marchington. And Joan was married to John de Turville. One of these thirds of the Manor passed to Sir Nicholas de Stafford, through his marriage with Elizabeth, who was “kinswoman and heir” of Richard Daniel. This Elizabeth, the wife of Sir Nicholas de Stafford, was daughter of Thomas Meverell (the younger), and grand-daughter of the above mentioned Thomas Meverell and Elizabeth Daniel. It was her son, Nicholas Stafford, to whom the grant of the Market and Fair was confirmed in 1391. Eventually, however, the whole of the Manor was vested in the Meverells, in whose hands it remained for two centuries and more. Before the year 1638, it passed, by his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Meverell, to Thomas Cromwell, who was fourth Lord Cromwell and first lord Ardglass. Lord Cromwell died in 1653, and his son, Wingfield, fifth Lord Cromwell, was not long after coming into possession of the property, before he sold the Manor of Tideswell to Robert Eyre of Highlow. One of his descendants, William Eyre, took the name of Archer:- and after the death of his son, John Archer, in 1802, the Manor was sold by his heirs, under a decree of Chancery, to the then Duke of Devonshire. Since that year succeeding Dukes have been Lords of the Manor of Tideswell.

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A Manor House was in existence in 1730. It was one of the residences of Sir John Statham. When, in that year, Sir John tried to let the house, he described the neighbourhood, in his advertisement, as being “the finest part of England for Health, Hunting, Shooting, and other Diversions. The only and Epidemical Distemper that ails the inhabitants there is AGE”.

and Fair

In 1250, Tideswell became a Market Town, the right to hold a Market on Wednesdays, and a two days' Fair at the Festival of the beheading of S. John the Baptist (Aug. 29th), having been granted to Paulinus Bampton in that year. This grant was confirmed to Nicholas Stafford in 1391, and to Sampson Meverell in 1432, though the date of the Fair was then changed. In consequence of the lack of Railway communication, &c., the market has almost fallen into disuse.- The fairs, though not what they once were, are still much thought of by the inhabitants. (The dates are now May 15, the second Wednesday in Sept., and 29th Oct.) The Wakes are held during the week commencing with the Sunday nearest to the Festival of S. John Baptist (June 24th).

The neighbourhood at one time was of considerable importance, and there were evidently some number of wealthy and influential inhabitants.

During the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries most of the principal Courts of the district were held here.

Visits to

During the 13th and 14th centuries Tideswell was visited by several of our Kings. In the summer of 1275, King Edward I. spent several days here - and fifteen years later, in September and October, 1290, the same Monarch paid other visits to the town. King Edward III. was in

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Tideswell for three days in the September of 1331, and King Henry VI. was here from August 1 to 7, 1402. Nor was he, then, altogether a stranger to the neighbourhood, for it is recorded of him that in 1352, before he ascended the Throne, he bought a greyhound at Tideswell for 20d. from Benedict Tatton.

During the time of the visit of the late King and his Queen to Chatsworth, in January, 1905, a diversion was made in the route from Buxton to Chatsworth, on January 7th, in order that the Royal Party might be able to pass through Tideswell.

No doubt the early Royal Visits to Tideswell may be in measure accounted for by the proximity of the Forest of the Peak. And that there was a Royal Residence here of some kind, a sort of “hunting box” perhaps, seems probable, from the old records, in which we find it ordered that venison was to be taken from the “King's larder at Tydeswelle” and to be carried to the King's larder at Westminster. (The greater part of the Venison was usually salted down for the Winter).

Queen Philippa had property in Tideswell and in Wormhill, for it is stated that here, in 1352, her “parks and closes were broken by evil doers”.

But now, the large houses, which formerly existed in Tideswell, are all of the past, and Wheston Hall, which has for long been a farm house, is the only residence remaining that was of any repute in bygone years.


There were some turbulent spirits in and about Tideswell in the middle of the fifteenth century, and some of them too were, evidently, men who had no sense of reverence.

In 1444 there was a disgraceful scene in Tideswell Church when a considerable number of men who had broken into

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the house of Nicholas and Henry Bradshaw, and, not finding them there, “came armed, and in array, to the Church of Tideswell in a quarrelsome manner”, and apparently during the time of Service, with their bows stretched, sought for them before the altar.

“The men and tenants of the manor of Tideswell”, in 1483 obtained, as tenants of an “ancient demesne”, great consideration, for, on July 12th, a royal mandate was issued from Westminster directing them to be set free from what would be now equivalent to all dues, tolls, rates and taxes, and from the obligation to serve juries, &c. (excepting in their own manorial courts).


A Church was evidently in existence here in 1192: for in that year King John, whilst yet Earl of Montaigne, bestowed the Church of Hope with its Chapel of Tideswell on the Bishop, Hugh, of Lichfield and Coventry. We find that one “Robert” was “Parson of Tideswell” during the reign of King John (i.e. sometime between 1199 and 1216). By 1254 Tideswell had been separated from Hope, and became a distinct Parish with a Vicarage house, &c. The Vicar in return for certain emoluments was to officiate in person in the Church, and to maintain at his own cost a priest and sub-deacon to help him.

The earliest known history of several of the Peak Churches is the account of disputes with the monks of Lenton Priory, near Nottingham, and Tideswell had its share, These disputes, which in reality were differences between the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield and the authorities of Lenton Priory as to the right to the possession of the tithes in Tideswell, Wormhill, Hucklow, Bradwell, Bakewell and other places, lasted over three centuries. The Cluniac Priory of Lenton had been

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founded by William Peveril, the natural son of William the Conqueror, who, on his death bed, endowed the Monastery with two thirds of the tithes of whatever was titheable in his demesnes in various parts, including his possessions in the Peak district of Derbyshire. When the estates of the Peverils were escheated in the time of Henry II., they were given by that monarch to his second son, John Earl of Montaigne. As stated above, he bestowed Hope and Tideswell, &c. on Bishop Hugh. And in 1207, after he came to the Throne, he confirmed the grant to Bishop Geoffrey. By William de Cornhill, who succeeded Geoffrey in the Episcopate and died in 1223, various Churches, including Hope and Tideswell, were made over to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield. The consequent litigation between the Cathedral body and the Monks of Lenton was (1) as to the extent of the Lordship of William Peveril, (2) as to whether he had the right of bequeathing the future tithes of land which was not in his time under cultivation, and (3) how far the Charters of the Earl (or King) over-rode those of William Peveril, whose descendants had suffered sequestration,

At times bodily force was resorted to in order to settle the mailers in dispute. The sympathies of the Tideswell people appear to have been with the Dean and Chapter; and a MS. preserved at Lichfield tells of a disgraceful scene witnessed in 1251, when the Monks of Lenton attempted to seize some sheep. The Church itself (the older building, not the present one) was invaded, and its ministers beaten and savagely wounded. Sheep and lambs were killed under the feet of horses, and both Church and Churchyard were polluted with blood. So that for a time all religious rites had to be suspended, until the building and its precincts could be formally 'reconciled' by the Bishop.

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The Monks of Lenton appear to have had a small establishment near to Millers Dale. One of the valleys running down to the River Wye still bears the name of “Monks Dale”. And on the hill side, just above this valley, some remains of a monastic building were found about seventy years ago. A beautiful fragment of traceried screen work (stone) was at that time taken from the site where it was found, and placed in the Vicarage garden at Tideswell where it remained until the year 1905. It may now be seen in the Parvise of the Parish Church where it has found a more permanent resting place.

[1] It is interesting to know that the Curzon family have again, and until recently, been connected with the neighbourhood; for Lord Searsdale was Lord of the Manor of Litton. The Manorial rights only passed away from the family when his son, the late Earl Curzon of Kedleston, sold the Litton property in 1918.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in March 2013.

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