History of Fairfield


The Park at Fairfield
The Park at Fairfield

Photograph from a book on Fairfield by David G Owen

Fairfield in 1811
Fairfield is a chapelry in the parish of Hope, though situated near Buxton. The church is dedicated to St. Peter, and is a tolerably good edifice. The village is straggling and small; containing no more than sixty-three houses, and about 280 inhabitants.
It is in the Archdeaconry of Derby.

Fairfield 1831
Extract from Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries
FAIRFIELD, a chapelry in the parish of HOPE, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, 1 mile (E.N.E.) from Buxton, containing 482 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction and patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield. The chapel is dedicated to St. Peter. Anthony Swann, in 1662, bequeathed £4 a year for teaching ten children in 1693, Rowland Swann left a trifling sum for books and in 1771, the commissioners of enclosures allotted land of the annual value of £10, in augmentation of the master’s salary.

Fairfield 1891
From: Kelly’s Directory of the Counties of Derby, Notts, Leicester and Rutland
pub. London (May, 1891) – pp.206-208 Kelly’s Directory, 1891
FAIRFIELD is a township, parish and village, 1 mile east-north-east from Buxton, in the High Peak division of the county, hundred of High Peak, Buxton petty sessional division and Union and county court district of Chapel-en- le-Frith, rural deanery of Buxton, archdeaconry of Derby and diocese of Southwell. The river Wye divides this township and parish from the township of Buxton. A Local Board of nine members was formed in 1858. The church of St. Peter, built in 1839 on the site of a Late Perpendicular edifice, erected during the Tudor period, is a plain modern edifice of stone, rectangular in plan and has an embattled western tower with pinnacles containing 6 bells: there is a mural tablet to William Dakin, a merchant of London (1848) with the singular motto of that family, “Strike, Dakin, strike ; the Devil’s in the Hemp,” and a memorial window to Benjamin Badger and his children: there are 300 sittings. The register dates from the year 1738. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £200, including 53 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of trustees, and held since 1887 by the Rev. Joseph Eayrs of St. Bees. The Wesleyan chapel, built in 1887, at a cost of £2,000, is an edifice in the Early English style, from designs by Mr. Wills, of Derby, and will seat 200. Rowland Swan’s charity of £4 yearly is given in books to the poor: the Rev. Francis Gisborne’s charity of £6 10s. in warm clothing; William Vernon’s charity of £4 10s. and the interest of £100 left by Sarah Longden, are both distributed yearly in money. St. John’s church, Buxton, Wye house, Corbar house, the railway stations, the chalybeate spa and the Palace and George hotels are in Fairfield, but in the Buxton Local Board district. The Duke of Devonshire K.G. is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is a sandy loam; subsoil, limestone. The land is chiefly used for grazing purposes. The area is 3,975 acres ; rateable value, £29,802 ; the population in 1881 was 2,817 in the township, and 1,464 in the Local Board district of Fairfield : the remaining number are in Buxton Local Board district ; names of persons in that district are given with those of Buxton.

Parish Clerk, George Fanshawe.

RECEIVING OFFICE, M. O. 0., S. B. & Annuity & Insurance Office, Fairfield road, Buxton.-John Headington, receiver. Letters dispatched 9.40 a.m. & 12.50 & 7.20 p.m. week days only. Buxton is the nearest telegraph office

WALL BOX, Vicarage, cleared 9.40 a.m. & 12.40 & 7.15 p.m


Meet every 1st tues. in the month at the Local Board offices Clerk, Charles Slater, Fairfield
Treasurer, Clement Sorby, Sheffield & Rotherham Bank, Buxton
Medical Officer of Health, Charles J. Bennet, Buxton
Surveyor & Inspector of Nuisances, Wm. Beresford, Fairfield Collector, J. M. Willoughby, Buxton

Fairfield Endowed School, erected in 1862, for 300 children ; average attendance, 104 boys & girls & 95 infants. Anthony Swan of Bolsover, who died In 1662, left £4 yearly in trust to educate ten poor children belonging to the township, & when the inclosure of Fairfield common took place a portion was allotted by the commissioners for the benefit of the school, the income of which is now about £105; John William Souden, master; Miss S. A. Bramwell, infants’ mistress

CARRIER TO MACCLESFIELD.-William Fox, tues. thurs. & sat. in summer & two days in the winter, returning the same days


Ash Mrs. Ash cottage
Brittain Samuel Swan jun. North view
Brown Walter, 4 Clifton bank
Carrington William, 5 Clifton bank
Clapperton Rev. John Alexander M.A.. [Wesleyan]
Crossman Thomas, 1 Matlock villas
Dalton Edward, 4 Homer terrace
Eayrs Rev. Joseph [vicar], Vicarage
Findlay Henry Courtney C.E. Rock ho
Finney Mrs. 3 Brighton terrace
Gratrix Samuel J.P. Brook house
Heaton George, Heaton house
Hobson Edmund, Brown Edge lodge
Naylor Thompson, Windsor terrace
Rew Rev. Robert [Congregational], 3 Clifton bank
Simpson John Dicken, 2 Clarence cots
Simpson Joseph Arthur, Clarence villa
Slack Samuel, 2 Homer terrace
Slater Joshua, George’s villa
Smith John Samuel, 2 Brighton terrace
Wedgwood Josiah, 2 Belle Vue terrace


Allen Jn. lodging ho. Westmoreland ter
Allsop Joseph, lodging ho. 2 Atherton ter
Arthur Ann (Mrs.), lodging house, 1 Cromwell terrace
Arthur Jacob, greengro. Cromwell ter
Baggaley William, confectioner
Bailey James, farmer, Turner lodge
Bainbridge Joseph Walter, Prince of Wales P.H
Batty Elizabeth (Mrs.), lodging house, 14 Victoria terrace
Beard Joel, farmer, Red Gap farm
Belfield Samuel, lodging ho. Mt. Pleasant
Bennett Henry, wheelwright
Bennett Silas, builder & lodging house, 1 Brighton terrace
Bennett William, butcher
Beresford William, surveyor, & inspector of nuisances to the Fairfield local board, 4 Westmoreland villas
Beswick Thomas, farmer, Bailey flat
Blackwell Jas. lodging ho. 5 Marlow st
Blackwell John Davenport, L. & N.W. locomotive superintendent
Booth Frederick William, joiner & cabinet maker, Windsor road
Bould Fredk. lodging ho. 4 Marlow st Boulton Samson, beer retailer
Bowkett Walter Henry, lodging house, Northwood house
Brittain Saml. S. farmer, Green Fairfield
Brocklehurst George, lodging house, 2 Scarborough villas
Bulson Ann (Mrs.), lodging house, 11 Victoria terrace
Capewell Sarah (Mrs.), lodging house, 3 Homer terrace
Clayton Edward, lodging ho. Vine cot
Clayton John, lodging ho. Windsor ter
Collier Jeremiah, lodging ho. Denton ho
Critchlow Arthur, coal dealer
Cumming Thomas, lodging house, 4 Midland terrace
Dakin Jessie (Mrs.), lodging house, The Common
Dalton Ellen (Miss), lodging house, 1 Darlington villas
Dicken Ellis, farmer, Frome lodge
Dodd Mary (Mrs.), lodging house
Draper Thomas, fly proprietor, & lodging house, 6 Homer terrace
Eyre Robert, shopkeeper, Ratclilfe cots
Fagan Rose (Miss), draper
Fanshaw Geo. lodging ho. 1 Heath vils
Fanshaw George William, news agent
Featherstone Jas. farmr. Water Swallows
Ferguson Elizabeth Jane (Miss), dress maker, 8 Woodland view
Ferguson Jane (Mrs.), lodging house, 6 Woodland view
Ferraby Mary & Frances (Misses), lodging house, The Elms
Finney Thomas, farmer, Bleak hedge
Fletcher Thomas (Mrs.), lodging house, 1 Midland terrace
Fox Abraham, butcher
Fox William, farmer & carrier
Frisby S. & H. drapers, 3 Cambden vils
Frisby Sarah (Mrs.), lodging house
Gilman Abel, lodging ho. Chester vils
Gilman Annie (Mrs.), lodging house, 17 Victoria terrace
Gleadon Jsph. lodging ho. 24 Victoria ter
Goodwin Caroline (Mrs), farmer, Hardy barn
Goodwin John, lodging ho. The Hollies
Goodwin Sarah (Mrs.), farmer, Green Fairfield
Grindley Elizabeth (Mrs.), lodging ho. 2 Clifton bank
Hanson Ann (Miss), lodging house, 1 Westmoreland villas
Harrington John, grocer
Harris William, farmer
Headington John, grocer, Post office
Heath Joe, lodging ho. 3 Lichfield ter
Heath Samuel, Bull’s Head P.H
Heathcote Betsy (Mrs.), lodging house, Mount Pleasant villas
Hinch Philip, builder, & lodging house, Albert villa
Hodkin Geo. lodging ho. Church Hl. view
Hodsman Joseph, lodging house, 7 Woodland view
Holland John, gasfitter, & lodging house, 1 Scarborough villas
Holmes Mary (Miss), dress maker
Jacques Saml. Midland railway station master, Midland villa
Johnson Wm. ldg. ho. 2 Camborne vils
Kirkham Mary Ann (Mrs.), lodging house, 1 Marlow street
Leach Mary (Mrs.), lodging house, 5 Midland terrace
Lees John James, farmer, Woolow
Lomas John, registrar of births & deaths for Buxton sub. district, Fairfield vil
Lomas Joseph, farmer, Green Fairfield
Lomas Robt. Bagshaw, farmer, Town end
Marsh Annie (Mrs.), lodg. ho. Hope cot
Marshall Emily (Mrs.), lodging house, Windsor road
Martin Ada (Mrs.), lodging house, 15 Victoria terrace
Mellor John, butcher, 11 Midland ter
Mellor Thos. lodging ho. 13 Victoria ter
Midgley James, lodging ho. Denton vls
Morten Mary (Mrs.), lodging house, 2 Darlington villas
Mottershead Arthur, boot & shoe maker, & lodging house, Denby house
Mycock Chas. lodging ho. Wainwright ho
Mycock E. (Mrs.), lodging house, Mount Pleasant
Mycock Robert, farmer, Ark farm
Nadin Mary (Mrs.) Devonshire Arms P.H. Fairfield common
Needham Matthew, fly proprietor, & lodging house, 3 Atherton terrace
Nuttall Jas. lodging ho. 2 Lichfield ter
Owen Mary (Mrs.), lodging house, 3 Bellevue terrace
Pearson John Storey, fly proprietor, & lodging house, Beard villa
Pickering George, grocer
Pinder Abram, lodging ho. 3 Rock vils
Plant Wm. Chas. draper, 11 Victoria ter
Robinson Hannah (Mrs.), lodging ho. 1 Rock villas
Robinson John Henry (Mrs.), medical rubber, 2 Rock villas
Robinson John Henry, fly proprietor, 2 Rock villas
Robinson Thos. lodg. ho. 1 Atherton ter
Shirt M. & E. (Misses), lodging house, The Hollies
Shirt Mary (Mrs.), farmr. Water Swallows
Shirt Mary Ellen (Mrs.), lodging house, York house
Short John, boot maker, & lodging ho. 3 Alnwick terrace
Simpson John Dicken, valuer, architect &c. 2 Clarence cottages
Sims Henry, lodging ho. 12 Victoria ter
Sims Sarah (Mrs.), lodging house, 5 Woodland view
Slack Joseph, lodging ho. 3 Marlow st
Slater Charles, accountant & clerk to Fairfield local board & endowed school trustees, assistant overseer & vaccination officer, Fairfield common
Slater George, grocer & baker, Fairfield common
Slater Joseph, farmer
Slater Thomas, farmer
Smith Sawyer, farmer, Hawthorn farm
Smith John S. lodging ho. 2 Brighton ter
Stableford Mary (Mrs.), lodging house, 16 Victoria terrace
Stone George, lodging ho. 1 Albert ter
Swan Rowland, farmer, Low foot
Swindells Alfred, insurance superintendent, Cambden villas
Tennant Joseph, greengrocer
Thorp Martha (Mrs.), lodging house, 2 Midland terrace
Thorp John, lodging house, 3 Albert ter
Turner Joseph, joiner & lodging house, Homer terrace
Vernon M. J. (Mrs.), lodging house, 4 Windsor terrace
Vost James, lodging house, Windsor ter
Wadle Ralph, greengrocer
Watson William, blacksmith
Wheildon Jacob, lodging ho. 1 Lichfield ter
Wild Edward, lodging ho. 2 Albert ter
Wild George, lodging ho. 1 Derby villa
Wilson George, lodging ho. Heath vis
Woodman Alice (Mrs.), lodging house, 5 Brighton terrace
Wooliscroft, Joseph, farmer, Nunfield
Yates John, farmer, Brown Edge

Fairfield Tennis Club c1895
Fairfield Tennis Club c1895


Fairfield Band c1900
Fairfield Band c1900 (both photographs from Buxton of Yesteryear)


Fairfield 1912: Kelly’s Directory

By 1912 Fairfield in the High Peak.

St Peters Church has undergone some changes having a new organ errected in 1893 at a cost of £300, the addition of a porch in 1897, and in 1902 a fine oak pulpit was presented as a memorial to Dr Bennett. The church now seats a congregation of 500 people. The Verger & Sexton is Samuel Boundy of 19 Queens Road.

For the first time The Buxton & High Peak Golf Club is listed as having links on Fairfield Common, and close to the links is the club house, there are over 300 members. The Secretary was T Logan, Telephone Number Buxton 453.

Population in 1901 had been 2.969 which by 1912 had risen to 4.114

Post Office on Fairfield Road -Sub-postmaster George Headington. Post Office on Fairfield Common – Sub-postmistress Mrs E Withers.

North Road School is now named Fairfield Endowed School it had been erected in 1862 and was enlarged in 1895 at a cost of £1.100 for 450 boys & girls, the average attendance was 333 pupils. Income from the school was about £227 per year. In 1907 a new infants school was erected with an average attendance of 200 children. John William Souden, master. Miss S A Bramwell, infants mistress. Charles Slater, clerk.



Just before Britain announced that we were at War on the 4th August 1914 daily life in Fairfield was continuing much as usual. In July on Wednesday 29th there was an Historic Pageant an annual event that started in Fairfield and continued down to the ‘Crescent’ to meet the Buxton Pageant Day with the crowning that year of the Rose Queen Miss Ethel Brindley. The procession included many Floats and Fairfield Brass Band.

Wednesday 6th August saw the departure of men in the Buxton Territorials & Derbyshire Yeomanry depart from the Midland Railway Station.


Vicarage St Peters circa 1915
Vicarage St Peters circa 1915


In 1915 many local men had enlisted from Fairfield to do their ‘bit’ for King & Country however some on the front line wondered why more of the ‘Lads’ back home had not enlisted and a poem from Pte Jack Wood from Fairfield was published in the High Peak News

1. As we stand here in the trenches, All alert and on the watch, we often think of those back home who’re sipping on their Scotch, perhaps they sometimes think of us when emptying their cans, but thinking will not win this war – what we want is more ‘hands’.

2. Some people think that Tommy is always on the ‘grouse’, but if they came to help us ‘Twould beat sitting in the house, and taking up a paper, saying ‘Things are “as you were” They little think of lives that’s lost A-keeping of them there.

3. I know there’s lots of fellows left with feet beneath the table, who if they  visit Sergeant Green * Would soon be fit and able to join us in this warfare and to come to our aid, so buck up, lads, and show em ‘Tommy Hawley’s not afraid.

* Segeant Instructor Green father of Thomas Green, Grenadier Guards, who had lost his life on Christmas Eve 1914 ( taken from the book Buxton, Burbage, Chelmorton, Harpur Hil, Peak Dale, King Sterndale and Wormhill Remembered by Keith Taylor 2014).

Fairfield 2012 9th July


The Reverend Carl Edwards of Vicar of Fairfield and Churchwardens Marion Wright and Pat Mellor admired the re hung memorial tablet. (photograph available in Buxton Advertiser)








St Peter’s Church has re-hung a marble memorial tablet in memory of the Swann family – about whom it was once said: ‘There’s been a Swann in Fairfield as long as there’s been a Common’- which had been in storage for half a century.

It was restored to its rightful place as part of the church’s Petertide celebrations.

Removed in 1959 along with a section of rotten wood which was removed from the south transept wall, it marks the memory of the Swann family who were benefactors of Fairfield Church and the Parish for more than 300 years.

The first name on the tablet is that of Joseph Swann, of whom little is known other than that he was born in Fairfield in 1806 and was the Village Schoolmaster in 1834. In the 1841 Census returns he was listed as Schoolmaster living in Fairfield Village with his wife and children, all of whose names can be found on the newly erected memorial tablet.

It is possible that he and his family lived near where the Devonshire Arms is today where once there stood a row of single storey cottages. The school in which he taught would have pre-dated the North Road School built in 1862, with additions later and was demolished in 1977.

Tradition has it that it was Joseph Swann who designed the existing 1839 church as the previous church building had fallen into disrepair. Joseph Swann died in 1843 at the age of 38.

More is known about his youngest child, and only son Rowland, named after his great grandfather, a significant educational benefactor to Fairfield Church. Rowland Swann was born in 1837 and became an active member of the School Trustees from 1864 until 1893.

He was also a member of the Fairfield Local Board, when Fairfield had its own Town Council, and his obituary refers to a saying which quoted “There has been a Swann in Fairfield as long as there has been a Common.”

One of Rowland Swann’s legacies to the area can still be seen today. Rowland farmed at Lowfoot, a farm off Redgap Lane, Green Fairfield, until his death in June 1912. In 1895 following archaeological excavations by Micah Hall of the former Bronze Age barrow, trees were planted on the Great Low, known as Skeleton Wood, which can be seen across Buxton and beyond today almost 120 years on.

The Reverend Carl Edwards, Vicar of Fairfield, said: “As a church community, we are delighted that we can replace this missing link with the history of the church in Fairfield.

“We are also very pleased that the cost of re-hanging the memorial tablet has been paid for by a local historian, who is a good friend of St Peter’s Fairfield”.




Leave a Reply