This is a parish and township, in the hundred, petty sessional division, and county court district of Wirksworth; county council division of Matlock; union, rural district, and deanery of Bakewell. The parish council consists of six members, and the parish also elects one district councillor.
The total area, according to the Diocesan Calendar, is 1,788 acres; there are 1,108 acres under assessment, the rateable value of which is £1,989. The population in 1891 was 767. The Duke of Portland is lord of the manor; and the Rev. Chas. Wooley-Dod, Charles Childers Radford Esq., J.P., and the trustees of Unwin Heathcote Esq., are the principal landowners. The soil is of excellent quality, and a considerable portion of it is occupied by nurseries, where forest trees, and shrubs both native and exotic, ash, larch, oak and ornamental rhododendrons are extensively grown from the seed. Gritstone is abundant and extensively quarried, and coal has been found on Tansley Moor.
Tansley (Taneslege in the Domesday Book) was, at the time of the Norman Survey, a berewick of the royal manor of Metesforde (Matlock). It was afterwards granted to the Knights Templars, and on the suppression of that order it was transferred to the Hospitallers, who retained it till the dissolution of the religious orders at the Reformation. Subsequently it was granted to George or Francis, Earl of Shrewsbury; and passed by the marriage of one of the coheiresses of Gilbert, 7th Earl, to William, Earl of Pembroke, who sold it to the Earl of Newcastle, from whom it has descended to the Duke of Portland.
The village is situated on the edge of Tansley Moor, and about 1¼ miles E from Matlock. It possesses a copious supply of excellent water and bracing atmosphere, and these, together with its proximity to the beautiful scenery of our English Switzerland, make it a pleasant resort for visitors and invalids. A hydropathic establishment has been carried on here for some years under the direction of Mr. Wm. Mycock, who gained his experience under the modern founder of the mild water cure. The house is seated on an eminence overlooking Matlock, with Riber Castle in the distance. The internal arrangements are of a very superior character, and every improvement that experience can suggest has been adopted. Surrounding the house are tastefully-laid-out grounds, with tennis courts, croquet lawns, &c., for outdoor recreation. A cotton mill was erected here at an early period. The manufacture of tape is now carried on, on a most extensive scale, by Messrs. Lowe & Scholes, and the same firm has also a wide reputation for the manufacture of the choicest woollen shawls, which rival in beauty the far-famed productions of the East.
The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected 1839-40, and a parochial district allotted to it. It is a neat structure of stone in the Gothic style, with a pinnacled tower at the west end. There are nearly 300 sittings, of which 148 are free. The living is now a rectory, worth £180 net, with a good residence, in the gift of the vicar of Crich, and held by the Rev. J.B.S. Mais. There are eight acres of glebe; the tithe rent-charge is £42.
The Wesleyan Methodists have a chapel here, with burial ground attached; and the members of the Methodist Free Church have also a place of worship in the village. The National School, with master’s house, was erected in 1843, chiefly through the exertions of the late E. Radford, Esq., and the will of that gentleman endowed it with 6½ acres of land in 1867.
On Tansley Moor there was recently dug up a pig of lead, bearing the following inscription in raised Roman Characters:- “P.R. ABASCANTI METALLI LVTVDARES,” Near the place where it was found is a narrow lane known locally as the “Roman road,” but probably an old British trackway which was utilised by the Romans for the conveyance of lead from the mines.
Post Office; Francis Dennis, postmaster. Letters via Matlock Bath, arrive at 7-0 a.m. and are despatched at 6-15 p.m., weekdays only. Postal orders are issued but not paid.
Bacon John James, proprietor of traction engine and thrashing machine
Smith Joseph Arrow, nurseryman, Moor Edge nurseries
Haslam Job, senior
Haslem Job, junior
Taylor Thomas, Heathy Lea
Taylor Thomas, The Cliff
Some historical bits
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