Doveridge is a very pleasant Derbyshire village, situated 16 miles west of Derby, off the busy A50 trunk road. It is named after the older of 2 bridges which cross the river Dove, the natural county boundary between Derbyshire and Staffordshire.
Doveridge, like many of Derbyshire's old villages was mentioned in the Domesday Book as having a parish church and a water mill. Today the church remains, but the mill was demolished in the 1970's after being left in disrepair for many years. It was once an integral part of the village's history was was sadly missed. In the centre of the village is a
working men's club, the village post
office, a general store, playing fields, an antiques shop and the village
hall. Doveridge also boasts a village school and a local pub called the Cavendish arms, a grade 11 listed building dating back to the early 19th century.
Parts, mainly the tower, of the present Parish church of St Cuthbert date back to the late 12th and 13th centuries, other parts to the early 14th and 15th centuries. Restoration work was carried out in 1840 and 1869. The interior has a four bay south arcade and a three bay north arcade, octagonal piers and capitals and double chamferred arches. It contains memorials to the local members of the Cavendish family. Outside the churchyard cross consisting of a square base set on five circular stone steps and a tapering shaft was probably erected in the 14th century though again restored in the 19th. Approaching St Cuthbert's by the main path you enter a 'tunnel' of
branches formed by an ancient yew tree, reputed to be some 1200 years
old. According to a local legend, Robin Hood was betrothed to his lady under
it's boughs. In recent times these boughs have been propped up with
timber and restrained by chains to prevent them blocking the pathway. The old vicarage, standing opposite the church, is now a private dwelling.
The village primary school is today housed in a modern building but in
the 18th century the few lucky children who received education were
taught in dame schools which were held in various houses throughout the
village, notably The Gables' in Lower Street, a fine old house which has
recently been carefully restored. In 1797 the first purpose-built village
school was completed, paid for with money from bequests by two village
ladies, Mary Burgh and Lucy Bakewell. This building is still standing and
is used as a private dwelling. Less fortunate was Doveridge Hall, which
fell into disrepair and was eventually demolished in 1938.
Heading from the centre of the village towards the church one arrives
at a crossroads on which stands Doveridge Well. The village has several
wells but this one is of most importance, being a handsome focal point
The well is now capped over and a garden surrounding it is maintained
throughout the year by members of the Doveridge Women's Institute
who also supplied a seat which was installed there in 1951 to mark
Festival of Britain Year.
There are still many fine houses dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries as well as new housing which has been built in the later part of the 20th century, mostly on two
pleasant estates, one of which was constructed on parkland once belong-
ing to Doveridge Hall. The parish contaned, in 1821, 843 inhabitants. In 1998 that had grown to 2400. Development has brought to the area many new
people who today add much to the pattern of life in Doveridge.
The road bridge over the river is of modern construction and lies side
by side with the original Dove bridge which was probably built in the 15th century with six arches constructed of local stone. The bridge is now used only by cattle and local farm traffic.