For the Barlow pages from White's &
Kelly's directories between 1852 and 1941 go to the Old
Directories page. For the history of Barlow pubs go to the Fishing
& Leisure page.
Barlow village in north Derbyshire has, during the last century, been
transformed from a mining village to a centre where hunting, fishing and
holidays loom large in the economy of the area. The Barlow Hunt meets
regularly, self catering holiday accommodation is widely available and Barlow
Trout and Coarse fishery has developed into one of the largest mixed fisheries
in the north of England.
On the edge of the Peak District, Barlow lies on the B6051, about
4.5 miles south of the Sheffield City boundary and roughly 4 miles to the north
of the market town of Chesterfield.
The road through the village runs for about 1.5 miles from
the boundary at the Chesterfield end near Engine Hollow to the Crowhole boundary
to the north east, heading out towards Holmesfield and Sheffield.
Practically all the properties in the village are clustered along, or
just off, this main thoroughfare.
The old centre of the village is marked by the protected
Coronation tree, which was planted to commemorate the crowning of King George V
in 1911. The tree can be found
almost opposite the 1840 village pump near the bottom of Wilkin Hill.
Barlow is an ancient village, which was mentioned in the
Doomsday Book of 1086. At that time
the village was known as Barleie. After
enduring a variety of different spellings such as Barlee and Barley the village
became known as Barlow some time during the 1600’s. However, the old names
persisted, and to this day, it is not uncommon to hear some of the older
residents refer to the village as Barley.
Round about 1100 the village was owned by the d’Abitot
family. They eventually became the de Barley’s a few generations down the
During the 1800s, and probably before
that, Barlow was divided into Little Barlow and Great Barlow. White's
1857 directory of Sheffield and Derbyshire had this to say :
"Little Barlow is a small village and township intermixed with the
parish of Great Barlow 4 miles N.W. by N. from Chesterfield and 10 miles
south from Sheffield. The Dronfield parish (Little Barlow) contains 486
acres of land and in 1851 had 12 houses and 68 inhabitants of whom 41
were males and 27 females. Notwithstanding the houses are completely
intermixed with Great Barlow and the land without any particular
boundary, yet it keeps its own poor." Great Barlow was in the
Staveley parish and had 675 souls and 3372 acres.
The Church of St. Lawrence, which dates from the mid
1100’s, stands in the centre of the old village. The chantry chapel was added
to the original Norman church in 1340 and a full restoration was carried out
The church contains the tomb of Robert Barley and his wife, Margaret, dated
1467. This is often confused with the memorial to a later Robert Barley
who was the first husband of Bess of Hardwick. (1527 - 1608 ) Robert died in
1542 and Bess went on to marry a further three
times. Inheriting money from her very rich husbands, she went on to build
Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall.
In more recent times, during the early 20th
century, in addition to agriculture, Barlow became a mining village with over a
dozen opencast sites and pits. None are in evidence now. Barlow Trout and Coarse
fishery now occupies the 50 acre site of one old mine.
The properties along Rutland Terrace were once the homes of
miners, but since their restoration in the mid 1970’s they are now privately
owned. It is very doubtful whether any of them are currently occupied by
actively employed coal workers.