This is a parish and township of considerable extent, comprising 3,954 acres, of which 3,765 are under assessment; rateable value £10,610, and population (1891) 1,157. The principal landowners are Earl Bathurst (lord of the manor), Cirencester; Major Hallowes, Glapwell Hall, Chesterfield; Edward Chaddock Lowndes Esq, Castle Coombe, Wiltshire; Mrs Jane Scorer, Scarcliffe Park; Samuel Skelton, Warsop; and Joseph Shacklock, Palterton. The parish is in the hundred of Scarsdale, county council division of Heath, county court district and union of Mansfield, rural district of Blackwell, petty sessional division of Chesterfield, and deanery of Staveley. For carrying our the provision s of the Parish and District Councils Act, seven parish councillors and one rural district councillor have been assigned to Scarcliffe. The Midland railway passes through the parish. And the new east to west line, now in course of construction, will also intersect it. The latter railway will be carried through the hills by a tunnel between Scarcliffe village and Bolsover. The Langwith colliery is in this parish. The seam worked is the Top Hard, a considerable number of hands are employed.
The manor of Scarcliffe was held at the time of the Domesday Survey, by Ralph Fitzhubert. His grandson, Hubert Fitzralph, built a church here, and gave the advowson to Darley Abbey; to which also the rectorial tithes were subsequently appropriated. A co-heiress of this, or another Hubert Fitzralph, married Anker de Frecheville, whose grandson of the same name joined Simon de Montford, and the other rebellious barons, against Henry III. His lands in Scarcliffe were seized by the King, and divided between the Prior of Newstead and Robert de Grey. The former had a park here in 1330. In 1544 the manor was granted to George Pierrepoint, and in 1690 it was purchased, by Sir Peter Apsley, from whom it descended, through a female, to the Bathursts.
The village of Scarcliffe is situated six miles N.W. from Mansfield, eight miles S.E. from Chesterfield, and two miles from Bolsover station, on the Clown and Doe Lea branch of the Midland railway. The church (St Leonard’s) is an ancient edifice of stone, and consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, and tower at the west end. The old tower, which was surmounted by a spire, having become unsafe, was taken down in 1842, and rebuilt as at present. It contains four bells, one of which bears the invocation “Santa Maria, ora pro nobis,” and is evidently of pre-Reformation date. The arches of the aisle are a portion of the original Norman church, and the inner door of the porch is of the same period. The chancel arch is pointed, as also are some of the windows, nut those of the aisle are plain square ones. The most interesting object in the church is the well-preserved fill length effigy of a lady holding a child on her left arm. She is habited in a long gown and mantle and her head, which rests on a lion, is adorned with a coronet. Her right hand holds a fold of the mantle, and the left arm is pressed round the child, whose right hand is held up to its mother’s face. The left hand holds a long scroll, on which is engraved an inscription in Latin verse. She was the Lady Constantia, and probably a member of the baronial family of Frecheville, who held the manor of Scarcliffe for some time. On a slab above the monument it is stated that she left five acres of land for the purpose of ringing the curfew at Scarcliffe forever. This land is known as Bell Rope Land, and provides for the ringing of the curfew every night in the winter months.
This gift probably gave rise to a legend formerly current, that the mother and child lost their way in the neighbouring wood, and were in danger of perishing there, when she heard the curfew bell, and, guided by the sound, she found her way back to Scarcliffe.
The registers date from 1684. After the dissolution of Darley Abbey, Henry VIII granted the rectorial tithes and the estate of Scarcliffe Grange, part of the abbey lands, to Sir Francis Leake. The living is a vicarage, worth £95, in the gift of the Duke of Devonshire, and held, in conjunction with the rectory of Langwith Bassett, by the Rev. E H Mullins. The Primitive Methodists have a chapel in the village, built in 1858. The National School was built by subscription in 1868, and is endowed with six guineas yearly. There are two departments, mixed and infants, and about 200 children attend. The feast is on the 5th November. The first yearly sale of cattle, sheep etc was held at The Horse and Groom, on Tuesday, January 30th 1894, and it is proposed to hold a periodical cattle market, if sufficiently well supported.
Palterton is a small village and estate in this parish. It forms a separate manor, which is held conjointly with Scarcliffe. There was formerly a chapel here, which Hubert Fitzralph gave to the Abbey of Darley. A sick club is held at the Hare and Hounds, and the members, attended by a band of music, walk in procession to Scarcliffe Church, on the 29th May annually. The village feast is held on the Sunday between the 19th and 26th of October. Hillstown is the name given to about sixty houses and shops recently built. Lanes is a small hamlet in the parish, and another place bears the name of Riley.
Charities:- Kithe Vaughan, in 1813,
left £20 a year out of her freehold estate to the parish of Scarcliffe, £14
thereof to be distributed in clothing on the 21st September, £6
towards the support of the school. Samuel Lawrence, in 1697, left 20s yearly to the poor.
Dame Frances Pierrepoint, in 1620, left 40s a year to be given in
sums of 20s each to the most indigent persons in the parish.
John Ludlam left 50s yearly to the most indigent and deserving
persons of the parish. Richard Johnson
left 10s yearly to the poor, and Elizabeth Saxton gave the interest of £10
towards the support of the school.
Scarcliffe, Chesterfield – letters delivered about 9a.m. and despatched at 5p.m., weekdays. George Elliott, receiver. Telegraph Office, Bolsover.
Palterton Chesterfield – Delivery 7.40 a.m. despatch 5.45p.m. Edwin Haywood, receiver. Telegraph Office, Bolsover.
New Palterton – Letters and Telegraph Office, Bolsover
Scarcliffe Lanes – Postal Address, Mansfield
Parish councillors – J W Shacklock, R W Crawshaw, H Palfreyman, H Ashford, C H Turner, Joseph Robinson, -- Humphrey, miner.
District Councillor and Guardian – William Godber
(Marked 1 are at Palterton, 2 at New Palterton, 3 at
Lane, and the rest at Scarcliffe)
William, grocer & beer retailer, Nesbit Street, Bolsover
To Chesterfield – H
Palfreyman from Palterton on Saturday; Charles Spray from
Palterton on Saturday
To Mansfield –
Charles Spray on Thursday
Mansfield – George Chappell on Thursday & Saturday
To Mansfield –
George Wright on Wednesdays
& Sutton) Thomas Cant, station master
Edward, Scarcliffe Lanes
Tree, Rueben Reddish
Askew, Thomas & Sons (George & John)