Idridgehay is a small residential community, situated on the main
Duffield to Wirksworth road in Derbyshire.
Fifty years ago Idridgehay was a working village earning its living
the land. Today all the small farms are gone and farm houses have been
converted into 'desirable' country residences. Part of the village is
a conservation area and contains most of the older stone built houses
which lie on the steep hill to the west. Included is South Sitch, a two-storey cottage with 1621 GMM engraved in its north side.
There are virtually no clubs or societies in Idridgehay as such and the
Parish Council meets at Turnditch Parish Hall. St James Church provides the community hall, enquiries should
be made to the Wirksworth Team Ministry on 01629 824707 The former school hall, often a useful
substitute for a village hall is now a private house and the large
Victorian vicarage, which might have provided a room occasionally, was
demolished after the last war because of structural damage caused, when
a land mine fell nearby.
A disused quarry in the grounds of Alton Manor may have supplied the
stone for many of the houses in the parish as it did for the manor
itself. This was built by George Gilbert Scott in an Elizabethan style,
after he had declared himself a fugitive from Darley Dale, where he had
previously lived, because the coming of the railway 'made it no longer
fit for a gentleman to live there'. The Midland Railway's
Duffield-Wirksworth branch passed close to the Manor a year after he
died in 1866.
Idridgehay village is more fortunate than many of its size in having not
only a bus service but also a village shop. The Black Swan, formerly a
pub, built about 1840, is now a restaurant.
The last regular passenger
train between Duffield and Wirksworth halted at Idridgehay in June
The stations main building is still standing, now converted into private
housing. The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway now
operates the line and heritage trains stop at Idridgehay station once
again. (See the railway's website at www.e-v-r.com for details)
Idridgehay's most prominent building is St James Church, designed by
Henry Isaac Stevens of Derby and consecrated in 1845. George Turner the
Victorian landscape painter from Barrow on Trent is buried here as is
Sir Peter Hilton, a former incumbent of the manor house.