Updated 8 Dec 2011

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 584


Close-up of Alton Manor c 1920.

Posted 1923. Alton Manor, looking North across the Lake.
Beyond the Manor is the wood containg the walled garden.

From 1895 OS map

Walled garden in a wood next to Alton Manor.
The initials AWH and EIJ are visible.
Alton manor today


               Newcastle STS
         Peter      1792     Mary
         WALTHALL=====v===== SWINNERTON
                  |       |
                 1796    1805 Darley Dale
                 Peter   Anne
                 1825    1855
      Ashover             |
        1793  Youlgreave 1805
        James    1826    Anne
        1866       |     1855
 |           |           |             |
1828        1829        1833          1835
James     1 Henry       Ernest        Alfred
Walthall    Walthall    Swinnerton    James
1829        1916        1908          1873

1 Henry seems to have changed his surname from Milnes to Walthall
between 1851 and 1861, aged 22-32

Notes from Ince page 075a:
Peter WALTHALL Esq of Darley Dale
Rev Peter WALTHALL MA Rector of Wistanton Co Chester.
only son Died here 17 Jan 1825 aet 29
Anne only dau & heiress apparant mard at Darley
James MILNES of Ashover & Matlock attorney at law
James Walthall MILNES eldest son Died an infant 22 Apr 1829
..... M[ILNES] 2nd son bn 25 Sep 1829
.... son bn 2 Oct 1835

Alton Manor, Idridgehay.

Alton Manor was built about 1846 in the Elizabethan style for the Milnes/Walthall family. It was designed by the renowned architect George Gilbert Scott for the first owner James Milnes. The stone came from a quarry on the estate, see the Auction flyer

Milnes was born at Ashover and practised as an Attorney-at-law in Matlock. He married Anne Walthall the year after she became heiress apparant when her elder brother Peter died at the age of 29 in 1825. Peter had been Rector of Wistaston, Cheshire.

Milnes 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". Milnes died in 1866 and the Midland Railway's Duffield-Wirksworth branch was opened in 1867, passing 430 metres East of the Manor.

James Milnes son was baptised Henry Walthall Milnes. After Henry's 21st birthday, he seems to have confusingly changed his name to Henry Walthall Walthall, both with and without a hyphen. In 1873 he was the 5th largest owner of land within the Wirksworth area, with 647 acres and a rental of £848.

By 1881 Henry Walthall Walthall esq of Alton Manor, Idridgehay was County Magistrate for Wirksworth Petty Sessional Division. In 1901 Henry Walthall-Walthall was High Sheriff of Derbyshire. He did not marry, and his household held over 7 servants on occasion.

Henry died in 1916, and some time after the manor was occupied by Edward Charles Walthall Delves Walthall until he died in 1961 The relation between Henry and Edward has not been established. Edward's entry in Burke's Peerage is impressive:

Colonel Edward Charles Walthall Delves Walthall was born on 24 April 1874. He was the son of Edward Walthall Delves Walthall and Caroline Marion Stewart. He married Isabel Sybil Edwards, daughter of Lt.-Gen. Sir James Bevan Edwards, on 11 November 1902. He died on 22 October 1961 at age 87, without issue. Colonel Edward Charles Walthall Delves Walthall was educated at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, England. He was educated at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, Kent, England. He fought in the Boer War between 1899 and 1901. He was decorated with the Companion, Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) in 1900. He gained the rank of Colonel in the service of the Royal Artillery. He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Derbyshire. He fought in the First World War, where he was mentioned in despatches six times. He gained the rank of Temporary Brigadier-General in 1917 in the service of the Royal Artillery. He was invested as a Companion, Order of St. Michael and St. George (C.M.G.) in 1918. He was decorated with the Order of Danilo of Montenegro (3rd class). He was decorated with the Croix de Guerre. He was decorated with the Legion of Honour. He gained the rank of Honorary Temporary Brigadier-General in 1921. He lived at Alton Manor, Idridgehay, Derbyshire, England. From thePeerage.com
"A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe"

For many years the manor has been occupied by the Hilton family. Nearby is a walled garden inside a small wood, with ornamental box hedges spelling out AWH and EIJ.


     Thomas        Mary
     -DELVES    |  1785
               Delves   1808 Elizabeth
             2 BROUGHTON==v==BATT
               1825       |  1857
                         Delves   1847 Penelope
                       3 BROUGHTON==v==HAMMOND
                         1889       |     1883
                                   Walthall     Caroline
                                   Delves  1870 Marion
                                4  WALTHALL==v==STEWART
                                   1897      |
 |         |         |         |         |        |
 |         |         |        1874       |        |
 |         |         |      5 Edward    1876      |
Helen     Rhoda     Alice     Charles   Brian     Henry
Louisa    Janet     Dorothy   Walthall  James     Douglas
Delves    Delves    Delves    Delves    Delves    Delves
1942      1933      1940      1961      1948      
unm       unm       unm                 unm

1 6th Baronet Broughton of Broughton STS
2 12th child of 14
3 Lived at Wistaston Hall CHS
4 Name changed in 1887 by Royal Licence from Broughton to Walthall
5 Lived at Alton Manor

Scott designed the house for James Milnes, who had fled from Darley Dale because the arrival of the railway had made it "no longer fit for a gentleman to live there". Milnes lived at Alton for nearly 20 years, and presumably laid out the beautiful 26-acre park, with its lake and fine variety of trees. He died, on the eve of the opening of the Wirksworth branch of the Midland Railway, which passes close to the house, in 1866.

Milnes had no children and the estate passed to his wife's family, the Walthalls. Henry Walthall Walthall, a wealthy bachelor, inherited the Manor and lived a secluded life there for many years surrounded by innumerable servants. On his death, just before the first World War, his nephew, the future Brigadier General E.C.W.D.Walthall, CMG, DSO, succeeded. In 1952 the General sold the estate of some 3000 acres and 22 farms. Lady Desborough bought the manor and its park, the General continuing to live there as life tenant. In March 1959, the present owner, Colonel Peter Hilton, MC, bought the house, and moved in with his wife and two sons three years later, after the General's death. It is curious that a house that is ideal for children should have waited nearly 120 years before being occupied for the first time by a family.
from Derbyshire Homes, March 1966 page 20:

WALTHALL & MILNES families in Census

Census 1911 for Alton Manor Idridgehay Derby 
WALTHALL, Henry Walthall Head    Single M 81 1830 Landower I P D L Ashover            Derbyshire   
CROFTS,   Joseph         Servant Single M 70 1841 Butler           Holbrook           Derbyshire   
WALKER,   John Edward    Servant Single M 26 1885 Toolman          Winthorpe          Notts   
WRIGHT,   Emma           Servant Single F 57 1854 Housekeeper      Greasley           Derbyshire   
WOOD,     Alise          Servant Single F 32 1879 Housemaid        Sutton in Ashfield Notts   
WEBSTER,  Mary Emily     Servant Single F 24 1887 Cook             Eggniton           Derbyshire   
THOMAS,   Emily          Servant Single F 21 1890 Under Housemaid  Wolverhampton      Staffs   
KURT,     May            Servant Single F 18 1893 Scullery Maid    Highfield          Leicester  

Census 1901
#44---Alton Manor---[Idridgehay]---
Id44a  Henry W      WALTHALL     Head    S 71  M  Landowner,magistrate  Ashover Chesterfd
Id44b  Joseph       CROFTS       Servant S 60  M  Butler,domestic       Holbrook
Id44c  Frank H      WALL         Servant S 20  M  Footman domestic      Wirksworth
Id44d  Elizabeth    DOWNS        Servant S 61  F  Housekeeper domestic  Beeley Rowsley
Id44e  Charlotte H  MORTON       Servant S 28  F  Upper housemaid dom   Beeley Rowsley
Id44f  Kate         HAYNES       Servant S 19  F  Cook domestic         Oaker Darley Dale
Id44g  Ester        STURGESS     Servant S 16  F  Under housemaid dom   Derby
Id44h  Mabel E      MANSBRIDGE   Servant S 15  F  Kitchenmaid dom       Poynton CHS

Census 1891
#57---Alton Manor---[Idridgehay]---(page 11,ED 9, RSD "Wirksworth",RG12/2750)---
Id56a  Henry W      WALTHALL     Head    S 61  M  Magistrate landowner  Ashover
Id56b  Joseph       CROFTS       Servant S 50  M  Butler dom servant    Holbrook
Id56c  Josiah W     STEVENSON    Servant S 19  M  Footman dom servant   Darley Dale
Id56d  Frances      PORT         Servant S 74  F  Housekeeper dom serv  Burton Trent STS
Id56e  Hannah       SIMMONS      Servant S 28  F  Cook dom servant      Thorpe Acre LEI
Id56f  Kate         WALKER       Servant S 18  F  Kitchenmaid dom serv  Spondon
Id56g  Sarah        ANDREW       Servant S 27  F  Upper housemaid       MiddletonTyas YKS
Id56h  Harriet      RALPHS       Servant S 16  F  Under housemaid       Henstock SAL

Census 1881
#6---Alton Manor---[Idridghay]---(RG11-3420-9-p2)
Id06a  Henry W.     WALTHALL     Head    U 51  M  Magistrate landowner  Ashover
Id06b  Joseph       CROFTS       Servant U 38  M  Serv butler dom       Holbrook
Id06c  Thomas       OWEN         Servant U 18  M  Serv footman dom      Norbury SAL
Id06d  Frances      PORT         Servant U 62  F  Serv housekeeper dom  Burton Trent STS
Id06e  Mary         ALSOP        Servant U 24  F  Serv cook domestic    Alderwasley
Id06f  Anne         BINGHAM      Servant U 27  F  Serv housemaid dom    Tibshelf
Id06g  Elizabeth    TEMPEST      Servant U 20  F  Serv underhousemaid   Duffield
Id06h  Amelia       WALKER       Servant U 18  F  Serv kitchenmaid      Heage

Census 1871
#44---Alton Manor---[Idridgehay]---(page 11,ED 9, RSD "Wirksworth",RG10/3595)---
Id44a  Henry W     WALTHALL     Head    U 41  M  Magistrate,landowner  Ashover
Id44b  Henry       FLETCHER     Servant U 27  M  Butler,dom servant    Polesworth WAR
Id44c  Thomas      CLARKE       Servant U 18  M  Footman,dom servant   Langmar NTT
Id44d  Ann         RIDGE        Servant U 44  F  Housekeeper,dom serv  Newark NTT
Id44e  Jane        WEBSTER      Servant U 24  F  Cook,dom servant      Wigginton YKS
Id44f  Frances     DAVIDSON     Servant U 14  F  Scullerymaid,d serv   Alfreton
Id44g  Eliza       ARMSTRONG    Servant U 23  F  Housemaid,dom servt   Hoveringham NTT
Id44h  Ann         BLOOD        Servant U 17  F  Under housemaid,d s   Hilton

Census 1861
#5---Alton Manor---[Idridgehay]---(page 2,ED 9, RSD "Wirksworth",RG9/2518)---
Id05a  James     MILNES     Head    W 67  M  Landed proprietor     Ashover
Id05b  Henry W   WALTHALL   Son     U 31  M  MA Barrister not in active practice also Lieut 10 Derby Volunteers
Id05c  Ernest S  MILNES     Son     U 27  M  Cornet in Radbourne   Ashover      Yeomanry
Id05d  Harriet   HULL       Servant U 46  F  Housekeeper           Polesworth WAR
Id05e  Keith?    EVANS      Servant U 36  F  Laundrymaid           Corwen MER
Id05f  Hannah    BERRISFORD Servant U 23  F  Cook                  Marston on Dove
Id05g  Jane      EGLIN      Servant U 24  F  Housemaid             Barmston YKS
Id05h  Ellen     WOOD       Servant U 15  F  Kitchen maid          Wirksworth
Id05i  Joseph    BARTON     Servant U 27  M  Butler                Loughbro LEI
Id05j  Henry     BROWN      Servant U 21  M  Footman               Eastbridgefrd NTT
Id05k  William   BUTLER     Servant U 21  M  Groom                 Wirksworth

Census 1851
#003---Alton Manor---[Idridghay]---(p2, Wirksworth district 6, Enumeration district 5, HO 107/2145)
Id03a  James          MILNES         Head      M  57  M   Attorney, Farmer of Ashover  180 acres empl 
                                                                                       6 labs & 3 boys
Id03b  Anne           MILNES         Wife      M  52  F                       Newcastle STS
Id03c  Henry Walthall MILNES         Son       U  21  M   Undergraduate of    Ashover  Tun Col Oxford
Id03d  Ernest Swinner MILNES         Son       U  17  M   Solic artic  clerk  Matlock  Swinnerton
Id03e  Richard        BOWN           Servant   U  28  M   Footman             Hognaston
Id03f  William        HOLMES         Servant   U  17  M   Under footman       Matlock
Id03g  Jesse          FOULK          Servant   U  16  M   Stable boy          Leighton Buzzard BDF
Id03h  Hannah         BUTLER         Servant   U  31  F   Cook                Wirksworth
Id03i  Anne           TWIGG          Servant   W  28  F   Lady's maid         Matlock
Id03j  Mary Ann       BUTLER         Servant   U  30  F   Housemaid           Wirksworth
Id03k  Sophia         WALTON         Servant   U  17  F   Under Housemaid     Matlock
Id03l  Sarah          ELLIOTT        Servant   U  17  F   Kitchen maid        Matlock
Id03m  Milicent       BUCKLEY        Servant   M  56  M   Occasionl laundress Wirksworth

Census 1841
---Wood End---[Matlock]----------
Mk125a  James         MILNES         45  m  Y  Solicitor
Mk125b  Anne          MILNES         40  f  N
Mk125c  Ernest        MILNES         7   m  Y
Mk125d  Alfred        MILNES         5   m  Y
Mk125e  Hannah        HOLE           25  f  Y  F.S.
Mk125f  Hannah        BUTLER         20  f  Y  F.S.
Mk125g  Mary          BUTLER         20  f  Y  F.S.
Mk125h  Dorothy       CLAYTON        15  f  Y  F.S.
Mk125i  Joseph        YOUNG          20  m  Y  M.S.
Mk125j  George        BUXTON         15  m  Y  M.S.
Mk125k  Harriett      SWIFT          13  f  Y  F.S.

    The Derby Mercury (Derby, England), Wednesday, October 5, 1842; Issue 5753



    By Mr BREAREY,

    At the Red Lion Inn, Wirksworth, in the county of Derby, on TUESDAY, the 18th day of October next, at three o’clock in the afternoon, subject to conditions to be then produced;
    All that the MANOR or REPUTED MANOR of ALTON in the county of Derby, together with all rights, royalties, members and appurtenances thereunto belonging.
    And also the TOWNSHIP of ALTON which consists of a very compact and desirable FREEHOLD ESTATE, within a ring fence, comprising good and substantial Farmhouses and Outbuildings and also ARABLE MEADOW, and PASTURE LAND, in a high state of cultivation, in the occupation of very respectable Tenants and containing


    The above Estate is desirably situated, and commands most beautiful scenery, similar to that which is the ornament of Matlock, and possesses other advantages very rarely to be met with; arising principally from the excellent Turnpike-road from Derby to Wirksworth, which passes through the property, and from the occupiers being enabled to wash and irrigate the meadows from the River Ecclesbourn. Upon the Estate will be found an excellent Bed of Stone, suitable for all building purposes. It abounds with Game, and affords excellent Trout Fishing.
    Alton is situated within eleven miles of Derby, two of Wirksworth, and four of Matlock Bath; it is within half an hour's drive of a first class station upon the North Midland Railway, a line which communicates with all the leading Railways in the Kingdom.
    Any Gentleman desirous of residing in the best part of Derbyshire upon his own Estate, will find Aton a very desirable situation to build a residence upon, as the views are rih and extensive, over Estates belonging to his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, and Richard Arkwright, Esq.
    Full particulars, with Lithographic plans annexed, may be had at the Principal Inns in Derby, Wirksworth, Alfreton, Chesterfield, Ashborne, Belper, and Nottingham, 15 days previous to the time of the Sale.
    In the mean time any further information may be obtained on application to Messrs MOUSEY and SON, Solicitors Derby; Messrs FEW, HAMILTON and FEW, 2, Henrietta-street, Covent-garden, London; E. W. WILMOT Esq., Worksop, Nottinghamshire; and Mr FRANCIS SANDARS, Land Agent, Derby.

    Derby September 19th, 1842.

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