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Tansley village in Derbyshire

Tansley is a Derbyshire village, two miles East of Matlock off the A615. Recorded in the Domesday Book as Taneslege, its name comes from the combination of the Old English words lega, meaning "wood or glade" and tan meaning "a branch of a valley".

Tansley grew during the Industrial Revolution, its main industry being the quarrying of millstone grit (for making mill-stones, now adopted as the symbol of the Peak District National Park).

Lumsdale is a treasure of Industrial Archaeology. It is valley which holds a complex of ruined water mills and ponds extending from near Highfields School on Chesterfield Road (A632 from Matlock to Chesterfield) to the A615 Matlock to Alfreton Road, 1 mile from Matlock and is approximately 1 mile long. A project by the Arkwright Society to preserve this former mill area begin in 1981 and continues today.

Like many Derbyshire towns and villages, Tansley has an annual well dressing ceremony; some of the springs and former wells in Tansley (which ones varies year to year) are decorated and blessed by the Parish priest in the first week of July.

Tansley has an informal twinning arrangement with the small town of Babadag in Tulcea County, Romania. The two communities have occasional exchange visits, and more frequent postal and email contact.

Holy Trinity church at Tansley was built of stone quarried locally, in 1839/40 by John Mason of Derby. The church is in Early English style with a miniature tower. Tansley church was enlarged in 1870 by adding a North Aisle. There is also a Methodist church.

Stuart Petre Brodie Mais was a writer and popular broadcaster whose wireless broadcasts for the BBC in the 1920s, 1930s and especially the wartime years of the 1940s, made him one of the most famous men in England at that time.

Mais came to live at the rectory, Tansley, near Matlock in 1889 at the age of 4 when his father the Rev Brodie Mais was appointed rector. He was enrolled in the village school, an experience he later recalled with some distaste. However, the hills and dales of Derbyshire awoke in him an unquenchable love and lifelong interest in the countryside. He was later to write lovingly of Derbyshire in his 'This Unknown Island' 'It is a sort of Lilliput England , enshrined in the very heart of England, with all Englands most characteristic beauties reproduced in miniature, her medieval manor houses, superb churches and compact, dignified villages. If all England were lost but this one small midland county, you could still in after years rebuild the old England from this perfect model of her, for she is not only in the heart of England , she is the heart of England' . There is a window was erected in 1941 by Mais, in memory of his mother Hannah Horden Mais and his father the Revd John Brodie Stuart Mais. More at Stuart Mais

There is a pub called The Gate, a large and impressive establishment which dates back to the 17th centuery, with old cobblestones on the forecourt still bearing signs of the route cows took to be milked. There is also a large Garden Centre known as the Scotland Nurseries complete with coffee shop.

Accommodation in Tansley

Tew Tree Cottage B&B Accommodation : AA award winning B&B located in the heart of Tansley. The 18th century cottage with stunning views and tranquil grounds has been sympathetically restored providing excellent standards of comfort and cleanliness while retaining originality. Memorable breakfasts are served in an elegant breakfast room. Read more at Yew Tree Cottage B&B Accommodation

Local links

Tansley Parish Council

For some excellent photographs of Tansley please visit Derbyshire Photographs


Tansley Church
Holy Trinity church at Tansley
SPB Mais
SPB Mais


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