Bonsall is a village of 1000 inhabitants in the Derbyshire Dales on the edge of the Peak District. It is five miles from Matlock and 18 miles from Derby.
Bonsall has a long history of lead mining, possibly going back to Roman times, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Bonsall inhabitants have been involved in the textile industry, pre- and post-Arkwright. In early modern times it was on an important salters' route, and was a staging post on the road between Derby and Manchester. Bonsall is still a working village, involved in agriculture, heavy goods transport and a range of forms of information technology.

e Map Project
The Map Project began early in 1996. A core group of around 30 villagers were involved in raising funds for printing, researching and putting together information. Far more information was collected than could ever fit on the map - so this is only the first part of an ongoing project. The map was completed in 1997.

The History Project
This ambitious project began in July 2002 with 26 members whose aim was to produce a written comprehensive history of the village.  A wide range of topics was covered:
Domesday to 1660
Censusses 1841 to 1901
Industry and work patterns
Schooling and Education
Changes in the village of Bonsall within living memory, part of an oral history project
The project culminated in the publishing of a series of six booklets and a book Bonsall: A Village and its History.
(The first edition is now sold out, but we are working on an updated second edition which will be available soon)

Bonsall Map Project
Bonsall Gallery
Bonsall Gallery
Village Shop
Village Shop
Village Shop
Token; John Balme - Butcher
Read more about butchers' tokens in our publication 'Bonsall at Work'  and the village book
Token: Henry Hille - Butcher
Bonsall History Trails and Leaflets Project
Bonsall History is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories grant.   The award of just over £9,000 is being used to fund The Bonsall History Trails and Leaflets to tell stories about the heritage of Bonsall, and will culminate in a series of six illustrated trail leaflets.
All Our Stories
was launched in 2012 in support of BBC Two's The Great British Story, and was designed to be an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage.
The project will include researching and walking the six trails; exhibitions of villagers' photographs and the Bonsall History Project's archive; a landscape photography workshop; a talk given by a wildlife expert; training in social media (so we can keep a record of the project as it happens); outings to educational and heritage-based destinations; film shows (archive footage of Derbyshire); and getting the people of Bonsall involved in researching the village's history - everything from lead mines to landscape to old shops and pubs.  The project will culminate in the production of six Heritage Trail Leaflets - each with its own theme. The History Trails Project will be an opportunity for older members of the community to record their knowledge of past days in Bonsall and for newer members of the community to learn about Bonsall and its heritage.
The History Group will be keeping people informed through the village newsletter Mutterings, posters in the village and on this website along with the WordPress 'Blog'

Hearth Tax
Hearth Tax
t'Owd Man of Bonsall
More Coming Soon
If anyone has images, documents or any memories of the village history we would really love to hear from you.
Family History and Genealogy
The Bonsall History Group members are not family historians. Inevitably the names of former residents are recorded in our publications but our sources are equally available to all researchers. These sources include the parish registers (baptisms 1634-1841,marriages 1675-1860 and burials 1657-1900) available on CD from Mrs Val Neal 50 Main Street Middleton Wirksworth DE4 4LU, and the Derbyshire Family History Society who's members have recorded the monuments in the Bonsall church and graveyard, also available on CD. The manorial records are available on microfilm at the Derbyshire Local Studies Library as are electoral lists, property valuations for rating, and the tithe map and schedule giving names of occupiers and owners in 1848.
The History Group does not have trained researchers and while we are willing to make your research results available on the website, if you wish, we are unable to assist with enquiries regarding family history and genealogy.

Token: John Dudlet - Grocer
Anglo-Saxon brooch found in Bonsall.
More details in our publication
'Bonsall in the Dim and Distant Past' and the village book

Heritage Lottery Fund
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