Picture Gallery> Derbyshire Pictures Index> This page
The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Derbyshire
A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Shirland Parish Church, St. Leonard's interior

Lysons brothers, writing an historical account of the county in 1817, mentioned some of the monuments that then existed inside the church.

"In the parish church is a handsome monument for one of the Grey family, Sir Henry de Grey, of Shirland, who was summoned to Parliament as a Baron in the reign of Edward III. In the chancel are several monuments of the family of Revels, of Shirland and of Ogston in the adjoining parish of Morton ; and that of Jonathan Burnham, 1797"[1]. In another section of their work the Lysons record that the Grey monument was "under a richly-ornamented arch on the north aisle" and was probably dedicated to Sir Henry Grey (died 19 Rich II). Whilst the knight's effigy was mutilated by 1817, it was "richly ornamented with scrolls of foliage and "the side is covered with shields of arms"[1]. The recess is of greater age than the present building[2]. The effigy disappeared many years ago and all that remains today is a large ogee recess in the chancel's north wall that contains the chest with the shields[3].

Of personal interest to the web mistress are two other marble memorials, one below the other beside the altar in the chancel. They commemorate two of the Burnhams, Jonathan (mentioned by the Lysons) and his wife Hannah:

Near this place rests / the mortal part of / JONATHAN BURNHAM Esq / who died November 29th 1797 / aged 75 years / By honesty punctuality and / indefatigable industry in London / he acquired an affluent fortune / He was a good husband / and hospitable neighbour.

HANNAH BURNHAM / his widow / Truly respected for her tender regard / and / the part she filled in / their domestic concerns / died 11th of Aug 1798 / aged 83 years.

Jonathan had been christened in Alfreton in 1722; Hannah (Ann), the daughter of Sam Brian of Alfreton, was slightly older than him. The couple were married at St Andrew, Holborn, in 1744 and returned to Derbyshire when Jonathan decided to retire. He had been, according to obituary notices, an eminent distiller. There were no surviving children of the marriage but the pair were very generous to their relatives and acquaintances. Whilst no relationship to my Bryon/Bryan ancestors and relatives who are buried in the churchyard at Shirland has yet been proved, Jonathan Burham would have known my 4x g grandfather John Bryon well. They were both members of the South Wingfield Association (Shirland), for example, a group existing at the end of the 18th century. John's wife was also one of Jonathan Burham's beneficiaries.

In the south aisle of Shirland parish church is a more personal memorial, a marble tablet dedicated to the memory of the 3 x great grandfather of the web mistress and his two married daughters.

In affectionate /remembrance of the late / JOHN CLAY Gent of Shirland / who departed this life / January 29th 1865 aged 74 years / also MARY daughter of the above / JOHN CLAY and the beloved wife of the / Rev ISAAC HENSLEY BRAY Rosliston / who died September 22nd 1855 aged 31 years / also SARAH daughter of the above / JOHN CLAY and the beloved wife of / WILLIAM LEE Esq. Bayswater London / who died August 21st 1858 aged 32 years / and are all interred in this churchyard[4].
[The web mistress comments: John Clay was the fourth generation of the Clays who lived in Shirland or Higham.]

On the wall to the left of the lectern, seen in the above picture, is a handwritten Roll of Honour to the 24 men of Shirland and Higham who died in the 1914 -18 war. Their names are also on a plaque on the church gates. They were:

Joseph Beardall
Samuel Greaves
George Ludlam
Wm Woodward
Robert Woodward
Fred Summers
James Cupit
Cecil Baines
Frank Bradley
Richard Warriner
Wm Bradley
Wm Brothwell
  John Newborough
Wm Attenborough
Albert Thompson
Alfred Silkstone
Wm Palmer
Henry Tagg
Charles Coupe
Frank Mellor
Alfred Sharrett
Alfred Wheatcroft
Herbert Tomlinson
Reginald Wood

There are a number of other memorials inside Shirland church[5].

Other Derbyshire churches where the Clay family worshipped, were christened, married, buried or otherwise associated with, can be seen by clicking on the images below:

Ault Hucknall




North Wingfield


Our Genealogy
includes an image of the crest my Clay family used. It is the same crest granted to John Clay of Crich.
The direct Clay ancestors of the web mistress moved from Shirland following the untimely death of my 2x geat grandfather in 1872.
See the Matlock & Matlock Bath section of this web site.

Shirland is mentioned in the following on-site transcripts:

Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811, Parishes P-S, which has more about the village.
Kelly's 1891 Directory, Shirland

The Gentleman's Magazine Library - Derbyshire to Dorset, includes Shirland and its Church.
Derbyshire, Shirland - Trade Directory extracts of Shirland names, including Higham, Hallfeld Gate, Stretton, Stonebroom and Toadhole Furnace over the years.

The Wolley Manuscripts, Derbyshire
- Charters, Documents & Deeds : Places S - T, mentions Shirland (two entries)
- Names G - L | Names R - S | Names T- Z
- Wills, Revell

List of the Rectors of Shirland's parish church. The first Rector at Shirland was appointed over a thousand years ago. Who they and their patrons were.
South Wingfield Association, 1796, for the prosecution of felons. Also included Shirland and Higham and other nearby parishes or townships as part of the group. Both Jonathan Burham and John Bryon were members.

"Shirland Church" [interior]. Published by Kodak, No.3. Unused.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] Lysons, Rev Daniel and Samuel Lysons Esq. (1817) "Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire" London: Printed for T. Cadell, Strand; and G. and A. Greenland, Poultry.

[2] Cox, J Charles (1875) "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol I, Hundred of Scarsdale", Chesterfield: Palmer and Edmunds, London: Bemrose and Sons, 10 Paternoster Buildings; and Derby.

[3] Neither Cox nor Pevsner provide a date, just noting that it had disappeared many years ago.
(Cox, John Charles, (1915, 2nd edition, revised), "Derbyshire" - Illustrated by J. Charles Wall, Methuen & Co., London.
Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953), "The Buildings of England, Derbyshire", Penguin Books.)

[4] The mason of the Clay memorial was Petts of Fritchley. Isaac Petts, born at Crich, was shown as a 35 year old stone mason in the 1861 census and was still there 10 years later.

[5] To check the surnames of those commemorated at Shirland, please see the list provided by the Derbyshire Ancestral Research Group on the GUKUTILS website.
Alternatively, transcripts are available from the Derbyshire Family History Society (see Links, Derbyshire on this web site).

Derbyshire Pictures Index
Next page
Previous page
Also see
Our Genealogy
Images of
Matlock & Matlock Bath

Map of Derbyshire, 1824 - Mr. Rhodes's Excursions