Tideswell in 1837
Tideswell is a market-town and parish in the High Peak hundred, about half a mile out of the road from Derby to Manchester by Chapel-en-le-Frith, nearly 35 miles from Derby. It is a small town situated in a bottom amid bleak naked hills : immediately round the town are some well-grown trees.
The houses are low, irregularly situated, and ill-built, and the general appearance of the place indicates the absence of wealth, comfort, and cleanliness. A rivulet of clear water runs through the town; the ebbing well, which is supposed to have given name to the town, has ceased to flow.
The church is a fine building in the form of a cross, built about the middle of the fourteenth century, and principally in the decorated English style. The chancel is lighted by nine richly ornamented Gothic windows, and contains the monument of Robert Pursglove, suffragan bishop of Hull in the reign of Mary, and founder of a free-school and almshouses for twelve poor people at Tideswell. The tower of the church is at the west end : it is embattled, and has eight pinnacles. There was formerly a chapel of higher antiquity than the church, but the ruins were demolished some time since.
There is a market on Wednesday. That part of the parish which contains the town had in 1831 a population of 1,553, many of them are engaged in spinning and weaving cotton : previous to the introduction of the cotton manufacture, mining was the predominant occupation.
The hamlets of Litton and Wheston, and the chapelry of Wormhill, which are comprehended in Tideswell parish, had in 1831 a population of 866, 75, and 313, respectively, making the aggregate population of the parish 2,807.
The living of Tideswell is a vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the dean and chapter of Litchfield, in whose gift it is : the annual value is £109, with a glebe-house the perpetual curacy of Wormhill is of the annual value of £270, with a glebe-house, and is in the gift of trustees.
In 1833, beside the free-school (which contained 71 boys), there were four day-schools, containing about 60 boys and 100 girls ; and two Sunday-schools, one supported by the church people, containing 45 to 50 boys ; the other by the Methodists, containing 75 boys and 85 girls. In Wheston, Wormhill, and Litton, were four day-schools (one having a very small endowment), containing 70 to 80 children; and two Sunday-schools, containing about 100 children.