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Pedigree of Wolley of Allen Hill



Allen Hill Farm was the home of one branch of the ancient Derbyshire family of Woolley or Wolley[1]. The last of the line was Adam Wolley "who was a celebrated antiquary, and an eminent Lawyer[2]". Adam Wolley lived at Matlock Bath and died there on 21 July 1827; he was born in 1758[3]. During his lifetime he amassed a huge collection of pre 1828 Pedigrees, Charters, Documents, Deeds & Wills which he left to the British Museum[4]. These are known as the Wolley Manuscripts. Adam Wolley had no sons to carry on the family name so his son in law changed his name from Hurt to Wolley[1].

Perhaps the most interesting story about the Wolleys of Allen Hill is the Memorial Inscription in St. Giles' church for an earlier Adam Wolley and his wife Grace. The couple were married for 76 years and survived the English Civil War. Adam was born about the time Queen Elizabeth I ascended the throne and died, aged 99, when Oliver Cromwell was the Protector of the Realm. His wife Grace was born during the reign of Elizabeth and died after Charles II had returned from exile; she was 110 years of age[5].


Allen's Hill, no. 2


Early references to the property are to Alleyn Hill in 1601 and to Allens Hill in 1621[6]. The last of the Wolleys linked with Allen Hill was George, who died in 1807, aged 80[7]. A year later Anthony Holmes of Allen Hill was named as one of a group of people showing people the trees to be felled on Matlock Bank as part of a timber for a sale at the New Bath Hotel[8].

During the nineteenth century the names associated with the farm were those of Sybray, Stevens, Slack and Taylor[9]. Frederick Taylor seems to have been the last of the farmers at the property, which had ten rooms[10]. The parish registers also record burials for Scorers and Knowles in the period 1820 - 1834.


Allen's Hill, no. 3


The property had several date stones, identified by Basil Sowter and John Simpson, a Matlock architect and surveyor - the latter in 1921[12]. A date stone over a window next to the door read A. W. G. C. 1674 (thought by Simpson to be 1624 and Sowter agreed that this could have been the case). A stone over the door had the numbers and letters 16.A.O.M.74 carved on it. In addition, John Simpson told Sowter that there was a stone with the date 1653 over the stable door and a further stone in the gable of the same building "which is comparably modern" I[or J?].W. 1774[11]. Allen Hill Farm, the home of the Wolley family, was demolished in 1934[12]. According to a lady interested in local history, but who does not wish to be named, the date stones are still around the property that replaced Allen Hill Farm and the one over the front door is now in a side boundary wall.



Allen Hill Farm from Masson, 1890s


Photographs scanned by and © Jane Leslie from her personal collection especially for this web site.
Additional photo from Gilly Sanders' collection.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured hyperlinks are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] Pedigree of Wolley of Allen Hill.

[2] Footnote to p.30 in William Adam's "Gem of the Peak" (1840).

[3] Adam Wolley was baptised in 1758 and buried in 1827 at Matlock. View his baptismal record | burial record | MI in the church | Reference to his Will - see Pre 1858 Wills. Date of death published in both the "The Standard", Wednesday, July 25, 1827 and "The Morning Chronicle", Thursday, July 26, 1827.

[4] See the Wolley Manuscripts, Matlock | Documents relating to the WOLLEY family in the Wolley Manuscripts. The Documents held at the British Museum are also referred to as the Wolley Charters, but the Charters are only part of Adam Wolley's collection.

[5] Read the MI for Adam and Grace Wolley at St. Giles'

[65] Cameron, Kenneth (1959) "The Place Names of Derbyshire", Part II - English Place-Name Society Volume XXVIII Cambridge University Press

[7] George Wolley was buried at St. Giles', Matlock. He wrote a Will - see Pre 1858 Wills.

[8] "The Derby Mercury", Thursday, January 14, 1808.

[9] Nineteenth century occupants of Allen Hill Farm included:
John and Robert Sybray who advertised in Bagshaw's 1846 Directory | Kelly's 1848 Directory;
Edward Stevens was listed in the 1815 census | White's Directory 1852;
Charles Stevens was in the 1861 census | White's Directory 1862 | and 1871 (address recorded as Dimple);
Edward Slack in Kelly's Directory 1891.
Frederick Taylor and his brother farmed the land at the beginning of the 20th century. There are references to them in Kelly's Directory 1908 | Kelly's Directory 1916 | Kelly's Directory 1925 (not transcribed).

[10] The building was described as having 10 rooms in the 1911 census - see FindMyPast

[11] From a Scrap Book by Basil Sowter (Allen Hill, D2386Z, County Record Office), about 1920/1. John Simpson had written to Basil Sowter on 30 Aug 1921.

[12] Dates provided with these photographs.