Pentrich is a quiet, rural Derbyshire village situated just a mile north of Ripley.
Pentrich is famous as the site of the last 'revolution' in England, which took place here in June 1817. Between about 200 and 300 local men, lightly armed, with pikes, scythes and a few guns, formed themselves into a small army and on the night of June 9th marched towards Nottingham where they had expected to meet up with many more on a great march towards London. They were met instead by a cavalry troop at Kimberley and were routed. There was no revolution and soldiers soon rounded up the rebels. Their leader was Jeremiah Brandreth and after a short trial, three of group were hung for treason at Derby, 14 sent to a penal colony in Australia and 6 were jailed. See www.pentrichvillage.co.uk/.
The Parish of Pentrich was an important centre before the revolution with evidence that the village was already settled when the Romans came through on their way to Chesterfield and the north in 200AD. The village belonged to Darley Abbey but then passed through the hands of the Zouch family before coming into the Cavendish family, later Dukes of Devonshire, in 1634. The village remained part of the Chatsworth Estate until 1950, when the tenants were able to buy their own houses during an auction by the estate. The rural character of the village today is owed in part to the fact that progress stopped in 1817, and nearby Ripley became the commercial centre.The Black Death visited Pentrich in 1349, when three vicars died in one year.
Pentrich Colliery was employing the men of the village from 1750, though mining could have taken place here in medieval times, as evidence of bell pits was found when the land was being reclaimed in the 1980ís.
Around 1790 the Butterley Engineering Ltd was founded as Benjamin Outram & Company, to develop the coal and iron deposits in the Butterley area. Around the same time, the the Cromford canal was built dividing Pentrich from Ripley. The village trail takes walkers along half a mile of the towpath. The Butterley Company used this section of the canal until it was closed for safety reasons in the early 1900ís.
The Dog Inn was part of village life before the revolution and inside it's Revolution Bar bears witness to the events of the time. Another pub that stood here before that fateful date was the White Horse Inn which was pulled down immediately after it. The site is believed to be opposite the churchyard.
Out of the several original farms in the village itself only Home Farm survives. The Congregational chapel opposite it had been used by nonconformists for over 100 years at the time of the revolution. A newer one now replaces it.
The Church of St. Matthew is sited above the village, close to the site of a Saxon cross. The church dates back to around the 12th century, while the profuse battlements on nave, aisles, porch and tower represent a major rebuilding in the Perpendicular period. Carved Saxon stones can still be seen in the church. It contains 17th and 18th century monuments to the Horne and Jessop families of Butterley Hall.
Pentrich Mill was completely rebuilt in 1878, after it last burned down. Apparently there has been a mill on this site for hundreds of years, with a possible mention in the Doomsday book.
Photographs from Pentrich at Derbyshire Photographs