Updated 23 Nov 2011
WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900
Wirksworth Hall, demolished in 1922. An old lead mine was its undoing.
The Barmote Ledger for 1906 tells the story.
Stuart Flint writes:
The Butler to first the Price Woods and then to
Mead Waldo's was
John Benyons daughter Emma at age 21 years
a nurse to the
family..John Benyon went on to found Wirksworth Labour Party and was
a Labour Party Agent..
His son John Benyon married Millicent Harrison daughter of James and
Mahala Harrison nee Buckley.. Mahala's father and mother being George
and Millicent Buckley Millicent widow of my wifes kinsman John Butler..
nee Brookes.. George being of my own family, as were the Harrisons via
my Brookes and Land family of Bolehill.. John and Millicents nephew
Norman Harrison married Lilian Petts whose sister Ada married my Uncle
John Samuel Flint a convenor for A.S.L.E.F he a steam engine driver..
James and Mahala's son William John Harrison (Labour) when Chairman
of Wirksworth Urban District Council had the new road Harrison Drive
named after him, Norman Harrison (Labour) being his son who was oft
times Chairman of Wirksworth Urban District Council along with
Councillor W.Hubert Doxey J.P. M.B.E.
Norman Harrison was a Deacon with my father Harry Flint at Middleton
Congregational Church I also served as a Deacon at the Church with
Norman and Lillian Harrison up to their demise ..
The men employed on the Wirksworth Hall Repairs were
June 26th 1906
William Haines paid 3/4 (three shillings and four pence)
John Bacon 3/4
Jacob Doxey 3/4
S.J Sheldon 6/-
The same men worked through that week and following weeks up to
July 10th earning the same money
I have other letters concerning the subsidence
Material for the infilling of the shaft etc was purchased from
N Wheatcroft and Son
via an agent Jabez Hadfield at a cost of £11 -5 - 6 with an extra
cost of carting of same of
£4 - 17 -5 with a further load of Caulk for infilling of £3 - 4 -2
The work was completed by July 10th 1906 with the following letter
sent to the Agent of Price Wood
Middleton By Wirksworth July 10th 1906
I have today completed the work at the subsidence in Mrs Meade Waldo's
garden hoping the same will be found satisfactory
Samuel J Sheldon
Problems at Wirksworth Hall
Wirksworth Hall in Coldwell Street was demolished
in 1922, due to subsidence as it had been built over an old mine.
First inklings of the problems to come are found in entries in the
Barmote Ledger for April-May 1906.
(See Samuel Sheldon's family
and his Will).
At the time the Hall was being lived in by Cecily,
widow of Edmund Meade-Waldo.
Thanks to Stuart Flint for sending scans of the book from which these
transcriptions were made.
Wirsworth Hall about 1920
Wirksworth subsidence. April 25th 
I have today examined the
shaft that the sewerage pipes are at and find
some portions of it stand on wood.
The drainage that comes down here is not the
only cause of this subsidence.
About 35 feet down this shaft is an open
space about 12 feet wide but on the South
side of this space is an open joint or Rake Vein
that has been cut.
There is a shaft in this vein 7 or 8 yards
down to some sewerage deposit that comes
along the vein from the other houses nearer the
This I believe is the principal cause of
It must have been coming on here some time
as it has brought down the wall out of one end
of this shaft.
I have had an Iron rod down into sewerage
deposit 10 feet deep and find no solid bottom
to it whether this is only partly blocked down
and this sewerage lying on the top I cannot say
but I certainly should put Iron rails across as
it is down in the rock and uncertain what
Awaiting your instructions,
Samuel J Sheldon
Apl 25th 
Yours this morning. By all means with dry stone
fill no 1 shaft up. The danger is No 2 shaft this is
on another distinct vein running South West and North East
these two veins cross each other just on the back side of
this shaft and certainly at this point the veins would be
wider and in all probability be set off wood and with
this sewerage running on No 2 vein would certainly
rot this wood and draw down the refuse from above
the brake? may have started lower than I can see
but by all means stop any from from coming down from
If you decide decide to fill up both the shafts then all well
and good the stone would have to be let down then
lifted over this ridge of Limestone and ? into
the sewerage deposit.
My suggestion for Iron Rails was to look what
mischief there was beyond this point towards that
Big wall that has shown signs of coming down
This vein runs right under the corner of it
I enclose for your inspection just a rude sketch
Samuel J Sheldon
May 1st 1906, Wirksworth subsidence
35 feet down No 1 shaft is the floor of this shaft
as far as I can see and 10 or 12 feet wide this width is
extended till it takes in the side of the other vein
in which shaft No 2 is carried lower down.
7 or 8 yards lower down than the floor of
No 1 is this sewerage deposit that comes along
that vein No 2. Nothing coming down
No 1 would find its way into No 2 they are
two distinct veins with a ridge of limestone
Its no use poring [sic] anything down at the
other houses and expect to see it drain? No 1 shaft
this has no connection.
These houses are connected only with that vein
that goes towards the Royal Oak and the outlet
of that appears 7 or 8 yards lower than the floor
of No 1 shaft and more South.
If Mr Wood wishes the drains to remain in as they
are and run the risk of any further subsidence
then almost anything will do for filling up with.
No 1 shaft receives Hawley and no other.
No 2 shaft the other houses and can only be
seen by going down 35 ft and standing in the
vein along which the sewerage comes in the
sides of the vein you can see whence it has come down.
Samuel J Sheldon.
Source: Stuart Flint
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Sam Sheldon, who lost his foot in an accident.
The man sitting on the floor in Colconda Mine Coe examining
mineral is Samuel Joseph Sheldon [Stuart Flint's] Gr Gr Uncle.
Also the report of accident printed in Derby Mercury when S.J Sheldon lost
a foot when trapped under a loaded stone wagon on Middleton Top Incline
Derby Mercury c1919-20
TRAPPED BY WAGONS
Quarry Manager Injured on
High Peak Line.
Mr Samuel Sheldon, of Middleton-by-
Wirksworth, manager of the Bradwell
Quarry, Hopton, a former owner of the
Golconda Lead Mine, and one of the
Deputy Barmasters under the Duchy of
Lancaster, was seriously injured on the
High Peak Railway on Friday of last
week. Mr Sheldon was walking up the
Middleton inclined plane on the London
and North-Western Railway towards the
quarry, and, stepping out of the way of
descending wagons, was knocked down by
trucks being drawn in the opposite direction.
He was badly injured, one of his
feet being so nearly severed as to necessitate
amputation. He was conveyed to
Wirksworth Hospital, and later to Derby
Infirmary, where on Tuesday he was
reported to be making as good progress as
could be expected in view of his great age.
Mr Sheldon is a well-known public man,
and formerly represented Middleton on
the Ashbourne Board of Guardians. He is
a member of Wirksworth Old Age Pensions
Census 1841 Census 1841
1801 1801 1793 1802
Joseph 1821 Elizabeth Job 1824 Elizabeth
1848 | 1856 1859 | 1887
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
1824 1825 1830 1835 1841 1844 1848 1825 1826 1827 1829 1831 1838 1842 1844
Elizabeth John Martha Abernatha Emily Edith Samuel Ann Mary Martha Job Mabel Elizabeth Joseph Jane
Philip | |
Census 1891 | Census 1891 |
Joseph 1891 Jane
1911 Census for The Lanes, Middleton by Wirksworth, Derbyshire
SHELDON, Samuel Joseph Head Married 19 years M 63 1848 Barmaster And Mineral Agent Middleton by Wirksworth
SHELDON, Jane Wife Married 19 years F 66 1845 Ible Wirksworth
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