Updated 6 Aug 2009

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 592


592 The Holly Bush c 1905. Notice over door mentions Martha Needham as licensee.
Photo kindly supplied by William Holmes.

592c Unposted and undated. A popular place for trips also visiting "Cromford and the beautiful Via Gellia valley, return fare (from Matlock Bath) 1/6". Man with hands on hips probably Fred Needham, son of licensee. Coach on the right reads "H.Briddon".
(Photo courtesy William Holmes).

592a The Holly Bush in Nov. 2005. Photo kindly supplied by Phil Berry.

592d Herbert Briddon ran waggonettes and charabancs from the Fish Pond to nearby beauty spots. The business was taken over by his sons Fred and Cecil about 1900, and Herbert and his wife Elizabeth (nee Martin, they married in 1874) retired to Aberystwyth where they died (Herbert in 1921 aged 77 and Elizabeth in 1913 aged 67).
See the Census for: 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901

Holly Bush Inn, Grangemill

The Holly Bush Inn at Grange Mill stands on a crossroads where the Via Gellia from Cromford to Winster (A5012) crosses a smaller road from Longcliffe to Winster (B5056). The front of the Inn has hardly changed in the last 100 years, but extensions have been made round the back. Tradition says the Inn once had a lock-up for prisoners travelling between gaols. Across the road to the East is an old cheese factory, which still shows an old cheese press, and is now a bespoke oak furniture workshop. Two hundred yards to the south stands Grangemill Quarry, a huge scar on the landscape supplying limestone and crushed stone for building roads and houses.

The Inn can be traced back in this website's records to 1857, when the Inkeeper was Samuel Stone. Other Innkeepers are given to 1901.

However, a brief conversation with Steve Whittaker indicates that the history of the building may go back to the early 1800s or even to the 16th century - more later.

The 2008 Pub menu says:
"The Hollybush Inn is a historic 16th Century grade II listed former Coaching Inn set at the gateway of the Peak Park. For most of its time, it was used as a working farm/pub until the late 1970's and for years was also an overnight holding prison for the inmates being transported from Derby to Manchester. [Note the Bar Holes in the Stone Mullions]. The Old Derbyshire Portway [a 13th Century drover's route] passes past the pub, which is now part of the Limestone Way."

References to Innkeepers at the year given:
Samuel STONE 1857
John WALWIN 1871
George DAKIN 1881
Arthur COOK 1891
Alfred CHARLTON 1901

592b The Holly Bush stands at the Grangemill crossroads.

592e Trips from Matlock Bath via Cromford and the Via Gellia probably turned round at the Holly Bush, after thirsts were slaked. In 1910 a labourer would need to work 3 hours for 1/6.

Photo taken:
Source:William Holmes

Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)
Have any more information about this photo? 
Please e-mail the author on:


William Holmes writes:
I played about with the postcard [592] and the computer and can make out 'MARTHA ?TEEDMAN'. ? - I can't make out whether their is a letter like an S or if it's just a dash. 'Licensed Victualler' is under the name. I have looked in Bulmers 1895 Directory but found no mention of the Hollybush.

I have another card [592c] of the Hollybush (see attachment) which has no refernce to date or postmark. There is no licensee name over the door but I presume the licensee is standing in front of the doorway behind the carriage.

The wagonnettes on the postcards are labeled Imperial and Little Gem. I have a small booklet on Briddons of Matlock who used to run trips to local beauty spots, one of which was a two hour drive along the Via Gellia. I wonder if the wagonnettes belonged to this company - do you have info. on this subject?
Regards William

NEEDHAM family

Martha Needham ran the Hollybush Inn for some years.

                   Peter             Nancy
            1856              1853
            Joseph    1881    Martha
            1902        |     1920
 |           |          |          |        |
1883        1884       1886       1887     1891
Frederick   Beatrice   Adeline    Evelyn   Stanley
1915        m 1918     May F      m 1912   m 1922
m 1908      George T   m 1913     William  Elsie
Alice       STAFFORD   John       TAYLOR   PORTER
SPENCER                William

See 1901 Census for the Needham family living at Brassington.

592g Frederick Needham (hands on hips) outside the Devonshire Arms in Ashford.
(Courtesy of Lynn Hahn).
592h On the back, Fred writes to his mother Martha (who runs the Hollybush Inn).
(Courtesy of Lynn Hahn).

592f Reverse of 592. Signed F Needham, but possibly written by his sister Beatrice.


Lynn Hahn writes:
To add to my other e-mail, I have a photo [592g] of Fred Needham in front of the Devonshire Arms and he is standing the same as the man in the second photo [592c] who is in front of the doorway. I have attached a copy of that photo - Fred is on the far left. Unknown date. The writing on the back [592h] is not like that on your post card but I think I recognise the handwriting on yours as Beatrice's handwriting - she may have written it for Fred.
Yes, you have the dates right. Nancy Furniss was a Taylor - I have Martha's birth entry and it is given there. I haven't been able to find their marriage date or place.
Fred Needham would have written the postcard. He married Alice Spencer in 1908. At some point he ran the Devonshire Arms Hotel in Ashford-in-the-Water until his death in 1915. Two of his young children predeceased him, a son in 1911, a daughter two months before his own death in 1915. I have Fred's death entry and memorial card and he passed away at the Holly Bush at the young age of 32.
I have photos of Martha's daughters' (May and Evelyn) weddings. Evelyn was married in 1912 and May in 1913. Both photos appear to be taken in front of the Holly Bush. The wooden lattice over the door plus the board above it looks to be the same as is shown in the second unknown photo [592c] on your site. By 1912 hand crocheted edges in a zigzag pattern were on the blinds on the main floor windows, and as best I can tell they don't seem to be on the blinds in that second photo. My great Aunt wrote to me of the time before 1920 -referring to Martha's daughter Beatrice who helped her mother run the inn - "Cis was a good homemaker. The Holly Bush was so nice lots of comfy chairs pretty covers & curtains and crochet on the blinds window boxes crammed with flowers...."
Certainly, you may go ahead and put an outline of the Needham family on your site. You may use the information given above if it is of any use to you.
These are the first photos I've seen of the Holly Bush from that era. Thank you so much to you and Tony Holmes for sharing them. Thank you also for the scan of the back of the postcard - it is very much appreciated.
I just found your information about the Holly Bush Inn, Grange Mill. I have used your site for many years and must first thank you for all the work and effort you've put into your great site. It has certainly been of a great help to me over the years. My dad's family are from the Ashford, Middleton, Grange Mill, Ible area.
My great grandmother was Martha (nee Furniss) Needham and I was so surprised to see the 1905 photo [592] of The Holly Bush. Her father was Peter Furniss who ran the Bull's Head Inn in Ashford-in-the-Water in the late 1800's. Her husband, Joseph Needham, passed away in 1902. Martha ran the Holly Bush sometime after that until probably about 1920. Martha passed away in Dec 1920.
Is it possible to get a detailed scan of the two photos - the 1905 [592] and the one below it [592c] of unknown year. I'd like to see if I can recognise the woman by the doorway in the 1905 photo. My g-grandmother wore her hair severely pulled back into a bun in the photos I have of her. I wonder if the lady may be my grandmother or one of her sisters but I can't tell from this picture.
My grandfather's foster sister and her husband also ran the Holly Bush but I am not sure of the years - probably 1940's or 50's to the 1970's.

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