History of Litton Village in Derbyshire



Cressbrook Dale






Village Hall



The monument found on the village green is believed to have been placed there as a cross roads marker, not as a religious symbol

In 1086 the village was mentioned in the Domesday book as Litun. William Peverell was the owner the Manor at that time and it is believed that the property now called 'Hall Farm House' stands on the site of the original manor house. Later, the house passed to the Lytton family, who took their name from the village. Sir Robert Lytton was Under Treasurer of England during the reign of King Henry VI.

The Lytton family lived here until 1597; Lord and Lady Lytton are buried in Tideswell Church. John Alsop was the next owner of the manor, followed by Nicholas Bagshawe in 1606. It is believed that the Bagshawe family gained much of their wealth from lead mining in the area. Evidence of the mines can still be found in Tansley Dale and Cressbrook Dale. Nicholas Bagshawe married Isabel, daughter of Robert Brainbridge of Wormhill and had a number of children. In 1620 the manor was purchased by Frances Bradshaw, however William Bagshawe continued to live in the village and in 1625 married Jane, daughter of Ralph Oldfield of Litton. In 1627 Jane gave birth to a son also called William, who later became one of the first 'Nonconformist' ministers in the area, the Apostle of the Peak.

The estate was later owned by the Uptons, Strathams and Curzons until it was auctioned off in small lots by Lord Scarsdale in 1918
Employment in the area during the seventeenth century would have been found in the lead mines and in farming. By the end of the eighteenth century the infamous Litton Mills had been built by Ellis Needham. His cotton mill was run using the child labour of apprentice boys from London, many of whom died in his service! In the nineteenth century many houses in the village contained stocking looms and the village was visited regularly by a travelling buyer with his packhorses to collect what had been made.
Close to Litton at the northerly end of Cressbrook dale is Peter's Stone, also known as Gibbet Rock where the bodies of those hanged for serious crimes were displayed in a cage as a warning to others. Anthony Lingard was the last recorded gibbeting on Peter's Stone after being hanged for the murder of a local woman, Hannah Oliver in 1815.

The Red Lion Inn first opened as a public house in 1787 when a licence was granted to Thomas Sellars, prior to this the building was part of a farm. The inn continued to be linked to the farm for the next hundred years, as in 1881 the Landlord Jonathan Ashton is described as being a an Innkeeper and Farmer of 18 acres.

The Hare and Hounds located at the end of Green Lane ( also known as Little Lane) was a beer house run by Samuel Barratt in Victorian times, but it was only granted a full licence in 1943. The Hare and Hounds was closed on 31 March 1955 and is now used as two separate dwellings.


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