Some history on Chapel-en-le-Frith in the county of Derbyshire




Map of Chapel-en-le-Frith; [1898]

1912 Kelly's Trade Directory

Chapel-en-le-Frith is a small market and union town and head of a county court district and parish, 6 miles north from Buxton and 166 from London by road, in the High Peak division of the county, hundred of High Peak, head of a petty sessional division, rural deanery of Buxton, archdeaconry of Derby and diocese of Southwell. The London and North Western and the Midland railways have stations here; the former is three quarters of a mile from the town. The Dore and Chinley branch of the Midland railway, opened in 1894, is 20 miles in length and gives direct communication between Dore [on the Sheffield and Ambergate branch] and Chinley and Milton ;near Chapel-en-le-Frith, on the Manchester and Ambergate branch]; the line passes through Hathersage, Hope, Castleton, and Edale, passing over a fine viaduct at Chinley, and through two very long tunnels, one at Tetley 3¾ miles in length, and one at Cowburn 2 miles long : the engineers were Messrs. Parry and Storey, of Derby and Nottingham. The Peak Forest tramway, for the conveyance of minerals and goods only, passes through the parish. The town derives its water from springs rising in Combs Moss, a hill about one mile to the south-east; the water being stored in a reservoir and conveyed to the town in pipes by the Chapel-en-le-Frith Water Company. Gas is supplied from works on the north side of the town, the property of the Chapel-en-le-Frith Gas Company.
The church of St. Thomas à Becket is a building of stone, consisting of chancel, dating from 1224, nave of four bays, aisles, south porch and a western tower with pinnacles, containing a clock and 6 bells, with chimes: there are several mural tablets to the Bagshawe family, dating from 1628 to 1818, and stones in the churchyard dating from 1662: the church was restored in 1886 and 1890 at a cost of £1,300, again in 1894, and further restored during the period 1895-8, at a cost of about £3,000, and now affords 750 sittings. The registers date from the year 1620, and are in good preservation. The living is a vicarage, with 75 acres of glebe, net yearly value £275, and residence, in the gift of the ratepayers, and held since 1901 by the Rev. Josiah Clifton Stredder M.A. of Jesus College, Oxford. Christ Church, situated at the extreme north-east of the parish, adjoining Whaley Bridge, is a building of stone, erected at a cost of £1,600, and consisting of chancel, nave and porch and a small turret with spire: there are 250 sittings: the church is served by the clergy of the parish church. There are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels, the former being a stone building with turret, in the Decorated style : there is also a Wesleyan Methodist chapel at the Combs. The Town Hall, a large building of stone, erected in 1851, at the sole expense of the late Thomas Slack esq. M.D. and enlarged in 1882, contains suites of rooms wherein the County court and magistrates' meetings are held; the net receipts from rents of this building were left by Dr. Slack for the benefit of three schools in the neighbourhood, viz. the National, Chapel-en-le-Frith, the Bowden head school and Chinley Congregational Sunday school. In the Market place is a plain stone cross dated 1634 Here are manufactories of buckram, wadding and iron, a brewery, and a fustian factory.
At Barmoor Clough is an ebbing and flowing well, which is an object of much interest. The ancient custom of ringing the curfew is still observed here every evening. A wool fair is held on the 7th July, and a cattle market on the first and third Thursday in each month. A charity left in 1696 by Mary Dixon realizes £27 1s. yearly, of which £25 1s. is administered by the Board of Education, and £2 to the poor; William Walker in 1625 left £9 17s. 8d. yearly to the poor; Francis Mosley in 1704 left £26 a year, two-thirds for the incumbent and one-third to the poor; Gisborne's charity, left in 1818 by the Rev. Francis Gisborne, sometime rector of Staveley, amounts to £7 5s.; there are also a number of minor charities amounting to about £38 yearly. The late Dr. Bennet, of Buxton, left the vicar of Chapel-en-le-Frith £200 for the poor.
Bank Hall, rebuilt by the late Henry Constantine Renshaw esq. J.P. is unoccupied. Bowden Hall, the property of the Misses Slacke, of Fulshaw House, Wilmslow, Cheshire, is the residence of Wilfred Becker esq. Eccles House is the seat of Miss K. E. Goodman; it has been in the family over 400 years, and was rebuilt in the latter end of the 17th century. Ford Hall, the seat of William Henry Greaves-Bagshawe esq. D.L., J.P. whose family have been resident in this parish at Bagshawe Hall, The Ridge and Ford Hall since the reign of King John, is delightfully situated in a well-wooded dell; portions of the house date from the end of the 15th century, and others are Elizabethan. The Ridge, a modern house, finely seated on a hill overlooking the town, is the residence of James Walter Lowe esq. J.P. who is also the owner. Bradshaw Hall, now a farm house, is the property of Charles Eyre Bradshaw Bowles esq. of Nether House, Wirksworth, the lineal descendant of the ancient family of Bradshaw, who held the attached estate of about 300 acres from a period anterior to the reign of Edward III. as appears from numerous deeds in the possession of the present owner ; the house has often been erroneously represented as once the residence of John Bradshaw the regicide, who was baptized at Stockport in 1586, and died 11 Oct. 1659, and was descended, with the present owner, from a common ancestor, William Bradshaw of Bradshaw, who died c.1562-3; the last of the name who lived here was Francis Bradshaw, high sheriff in 1630, who was second cousin to the regicide, and died sine prole in 1635. H.M. the King is lord of the manor in right of the Duchy of Lancaster. The principal landowners are W. H Greaves-Bagshawe esq. D.L., J.P. Stephen Jackson esq. Henry Kirke esq. of Oxford, Miss Barnes Slacke, Samuel Needham esq. Robert Hill Hyde esq. and Charles Eyre Bradshaw Bowles esq. of Nether House, Wirksworth, and Abney Manor, Hathersage. The soil is dark loam; subsoil, grit and limestone. The land is chiefly used for grazing purposes, the arable growing oats. The area of the township is 9,674 acres of land and 78 of water; rateable value, £33,194; the population in 1901 was 4,626, including 7 officers and 95 inmates in the workhouse; the population in 1911 was 5,140. Sexton, Thomas Bramwell.
Cockyard is a small hamlet half a mile on the road to Manchester. Tunstead Milton is 1¼ miles on the same road. Chapel Milton is partly in this parish and partly in Chinley, about three quarters of a mile on the Glossop road, and Sparrow Pit is partly in this parish and partly in Peak Forest and about 2 miles from the town.
Dove Holes, 3 miles south, and 3 north from Buxton, is situated in three parishes, viz. :- Chapel-en-le-Frith, Peak Forest and Wormhill, but is principally in the former parish, of which it forms a hamlet. There is a station here on the L. & N. W. railway. The Peak Forest tramway, worked by the Great Central Railway Co. terminates here, and is used for the conveyance of mineral produce and goods to Bugsworth. The hamlet is supplied with water from works at Combs Moss, the property of the Rural District Council of Chapel-en-le-Frith. St. Paul's church, erected in 1878-9, at a cost of £1,976, 83 a chapel of ease to Chapel-en-le-Frith, is a plain building in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and a turret containing one bell. The Rev. David George Douglas M.A. of Durham University, has been curate in charge since 1908. The parsonage house was built in 1893. There is also a Primitive Methodist chapel and several lime works.¹

Photographs of Chapel-en-le-Frith

Chapel-en-le-Frith : View from The Eaves [c.1912]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

A view of Chapel-en-le-Frith from The Eaves, a residence on high ground to the south-east of the town. At the time of this photograph The Eaves was occupied by the East India merchant and cotton manufacturer, Richard Juson Kerr. Born in India, his wife, Emily, was one of the militants of the Suffrage movement, and the founder of the Housewives' Union which was formed after the First World War to bring about a reduction in the price of foodstuffs.

Chapel-en-le-Frith : Shepherd's Demonstration [1908]
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There is plenty of fancy dress and merriment during the Shepherd's Demonstration, seen here in the Market Place of Chapel-en-le-Frith. There has been a pause in the parade in order for the photograph to be captured - and what a priceless record it is. A team of horses are pulling a waggon, the centrepiece of which is a framed charter of the local branch of Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds. A copy of this charter is still displayed inside the Reindeer Inn, a pub that was to the left of this gathering. An inn sign for the Black Greyhound Inn can also be seen in the distance. The Shepherd's Demonstration was an annual event in Chapel-en-le-Frith, this occasion being captured on photograph in June 1908. The local lodge of this order was known as the "Welcome Friend." The friendly society was founded in Lancashire on Christmas Day 1826. Based nearby at Cheadle Hulme, the society has continued into the 21st century. A key aim of the organisation, according to the website, is "to relieve the sick, bury the dead, and assist each other in all cases of unavoidable distress, so far as in our power lies, and for the promotion of peace and goodwill towards the human race." The annual event in Chapel-en-le-Frith was a key date in the social calendar of the town. In the Victorian age, the New Inn tended to be the hostelry that hosted a dinner for the occasion. After marching around the town behind the Volunteer Band, adult members would sit down to a knife and fork tea. Juvenile members would enjoy a bun fight at the National Schools.

Chapel-en-le-Frith : Drapery and Tailor's Shop of James Goddard on the corner of Church Brow [c.1914]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

A lovely image of the drapery business and tailor's shop of James Goddard, the premises being located on the corner of Market Street and Church Brow. The retail premises still stand, in 2022 it housed a pizza restaurant called "Coco". A 1912 trade directory lists James Goddard as tailor, draper and collector of King's taxes. However, by this time he would have been in his mid-50s. Therefore I suspect that the man standing in the shop doorway is his son, also named James Goddard. Indeed, the Goddard family had been tailoring in the town for generations. The James Goddard who ran the business at the turn of the 20th century, and probably the father of the man pictured here, became one of the most familiar figures in the local area for he was the income tax collector for over 55 years. He had succeeded his father in the official position. He was tragically killed in December 1931 when he was run over by a lorry in the main street of Mr. Goddard died as the result pf injuries sustained through being run over by a heavy motor-lorry in the main street of Chapel-en-le-Frith. An obituary in the Derbyshire Times stated that "many people in the Hope Valley will remember Mr. Goddard. He was one of the smartest men in the High Peak. He was tall and straight and had a commanding appearance. He was a noted vocalist and pianist."² From the look of the young man in this photograph, his son would have a similar bearing. He would later be a civil servant for the inland revenue and lived with his wife, Nellie, at a house named Glenside on Eccles Road.

Chapel-en-le-Frith : The Park and Warm Brook [c.1907]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

I do not know the names of the individuals photographed here in Edwardian times. The women are sporting their best hats so I assume it was a Sunday afternoon at The Park. This was an area to the south of the wadding mill and dye works at Smithfield. Straddling Warm Brook, the footbridge on which the women are stood is marked on an Ordnance Survey map published in 1898. A footpath behind the houses on Westbrook Close, emerging on Lower Eaves View, follows the same route over the brook.

Chapel-en-le-Frith : Bagshawe [c.1930]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

This photograph was taken in the hamlet of Bagshawe to the east of Chapel-en-le-Frith but within the parish. Bagshawe Hall was the seat of a family with roots stretching back several centuries. The lane seen here went past a cluster of cottages, a small chapel, and down the hill to the hall. The house was occupied by the Joule family during the Edwardian period. Upper Bagshawe Farm can be seen in this photograph.

1. "Kelly's Trade Directory" 1912, Pages 92-6.
2. "Income Tax Collector Over 55 Years" Derbyshire Times, 19th December 1931, Page 18.

Contemporary Photographs

Chapel-en-le-Frith : Church of St. Thomas à Becket [2003]
© Photograph taken by author on April 4th, 2003. DO NOT COPY

Chapel-en-le-Frith : Town Hall [2003]
© Photograph taken by author on April 4th, 2003. DO NOT COPY

Chapel-en-le-Frith : Market Place [2003]
© Photograph taken by author on April 4th, 2003. DO NOT COPY

Chapel-en-le-Frith : Church Brow [2003]
© Photograph taken by author on April 4th, 2003. DO NOT COPY

Chapel-en-le-Frith : Hearse House [2003]
© Photograph taken by author on April 4th, 2003. DO NOT COPY

Breweries of Chapel-en-le-Frith

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Related Newspaper Articles

"A sad accident occurred on Tuesday morning last, near Chapel-en-le-Frith station, on the London and North Western Railway. Eight labourers were engaged in removing railway rails which had been unladen there and sent down the embankment for use on the Midland line in course of construction, which at that place passed under the Buxton line. Whilst so occupied they incautiously pulled out a rail from the bottom which apparently held up the rest, for the whole of iron instantly slided down upon the unfortunate men. Two of them were fairly pushed out of the way and escaped injury; the other six were crushed down and frightfully mangled. One of them had both legs broken, another an arm and a leg, another his arm broken in two places; and they, as well as the rest, were crushed and mutilated in a dreadful manner. In the absence of the railway surgeon. Dr. Crighton with his accustomed promptitude quickly visited the poor men and rendered them all the assistance his skill suggested. It is very doubtful whether two of them will survive."
"Shocking Accident"
Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal : September 7th 1866 Page 7

"The new Drill Hall for Chapel-en-le-Frith Volunteers will soon be an accomplished fact. Operations have now been commenced by the members of the company themselves, who have done the excavating, and the contract for the erection of the building itself has been entrusted to Messrs. Skipworth and Jones, of Manchester. The estimated cost is about £500, a portion of which has been already raised by voluntary donations, and the Government have been asked to make a grant. The site has been generously given by Major Simpson. Last night concert was given in the Town Hall in aid of the building fund, the artistes being Miss Hall, L.R.C.M., Miss Evelyn Avestone, Miss Marie Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton, Mr. G. Sington, and Mr. W. B Bunting."
"Volunteer Concert"
Derbyshire Times : February 7th 1903 Page 8

"The Rev. J. Clifton Stredder, M.A., Vicar of Chapel-en-le-Frith, is unable to perform his parochial duties owing to injuries received in a cycling accident. The rev. gentleman was cycling in Combs, an outlying part of his parish, when he was thrown from his machine, and fell in the road, his head alighting on a stone. He was badly cut and bruised, and was removed to a house near, where his injuries were attended to, after which, he was taken home. He is now progressing satisfactorily."
"Accident To The Vicar Of Chapel-en-le-Frith"
Ashbourne Telegraph : April 29th 1904 Page 4

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