gallery/arkwright parish hall weathervane - 24 july 2014 (1003_270)

The Voice of Holbrook

Holbrook Parish Council

HPC Facebook Page
HPC Facebook Page

About the Parish of Holbrook


History of the Parish



Holbrook lies about two miles to the north-east of Duffield, the parish of which it was a part being within Duffield Frith. When the latter was seized by King Henry III following the rebellion of Robert de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby, it appears to have been spared. However, it became the property of Edmund Crouchback along with the rest of the Frith. It was sold by the Crown to various local copyholders in the reign of Charles I. It included the capital messuage, called Cocksbench, or Coxbench Hall.

Coxbench, which is a hamlet just to the south, is supposed to have been the "Herdebi" mentioned in the Domesday Survey, as held under Henry de Ferrers; and the adjoining part of the manor of Horsley is supposed to have been the "Herdebi" held under Ralph de Burun.

In 1863, Holbrook (or Holbrooke) was created as a separate parish from that of Duffield. The church of St. Michael is a simple construction in stone built in 1761 by Rev. S. Bradshaw. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1841 by the MP William Evans.

Source: Wikipedia



Although no longer directly on a major transport route, the ancient Portway and the old turnpike roads that run through the Parish, as well as the now closed Midland Railway station at Coxbench, bear witness to its relative importance in history.  The largest Roman kiln so far discovered was at Holbrook, while the large upper windows, still evident in some of its houses, recall times when it was a village of framework knitters.  Indeed, in the mid 1800's nearly a third of its 1,000 population produced cotton stockings, silk gloves, underwear and ties.  Elsewhere, work was available in local mines and quarries as well as on the land.  Today, the population, of around 1600, is mainly made up of commuters; although there is also a significant number of thriving small businesses based in the Parish.  Whereas in the past life would have been noisy and dirty, today it is a relatively peaceful place with a wonderful selection of local walks and scenic views.


The Story of Holbrook by Doris Howe (published by Scarthin Books) is an excellent source of historical information for the parish.  Although it is out of print, second hand copies can be found.


Today’s Parish                                       


Today, the Parish’s public facilities include:


  • Two Churches:  St Michael’s Parish Church and Holbrook Moor Methodist Church.
  • Four Public Houses:  The Wheel Inn, The Dead Poets Inn, The Spotted Cow - run by the Holbrook Community Society and The Fox and Hounds (Coxbench).
  • A Cafe: The Spotted Calf Cafe - run by the Holbrook Community Society.
  • Two Schools:  Holbrook CofE  Primary School and Holbrook Centre for Autism.
  • Holbrook Pre-School Playgroup.
  • Holbrook Baby and Toddler Group.
  • An Annual Village Fete - see here.
  • The Arkwright Village Hall  (see note below)*
  • Post Office - Chapel Street.
  • Newsagent and Convenience Store - Chapel Street.
  • Garage - Belper Road.
  • Two Football Clubs:  Holbrook St Michael’s FC and Holbrook Sports FC.
  • Holbrook Sports and Social Bowls Club — Shaw Lane.
  • Holbrook Table Tennis Club.
  • Village Walks Group - see here.
  • Holbrook WEA Adult Education Branch - see here.
  • Holbrook Womens Institute.
  • Holbrook Garden Group - see here.
  • Holbrook Green Team - see here.
  • Holbrook Friendship Club.
  • Knit and Stitch.
  • St Michael's Fellowship.
  • Neighbourhood Watch - see here.
  • 1st Holbrook Guides.
  • 1st Holbrook Scout Group.
  • 1st Holbrook Rangers.
  • Holbrook Rainbows.
  • Community Action Holbrook.
  • Mellors Lane Playing Field — with play equipment and youth shelter.
  • Gorsey Piece Nature Reserve - Belper Road.  See Fact Sheet.
  • Allotments.  There are two in Holbrook:  one off Stoney Lane and another to the West of Belper Road behind Venture Garage.  Both are privately owned.
  • Mobile Library - see Useful Links.
  • Holbrook Defibrillator - located outside Holbrook Sports and Social Club, Shaw Lane.
  • Bus Services to Belper and Derby - see Useful Links.


For more information on the above, look at the specific pages of this web site (see left-hand side of Home Page) or Holbrook Village Magazine (issued bi-monthly).


*Please note that bookings for the Arkwright Village Hall can be made via Glenys Briggs on 01773 823581, or, email your enquiry to


gallery/st michaels church, holbrook - 13 april 2014 (4lr)
gallery/holbrook moor methodist chapel - 24 july 2014 (1)


St Michael's Church, Holbrook



Holbrook Moor Methodist Chapel


Holbrook Parish
gallery/alpha villa and portway, coxbench - 9 march 2014 (1)

Map of the Parish of Holbrook

Alfreton Road, Coxbench, Leading to Portway

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2018 Village Fete

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2018 Village Fete

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2017 Village Fete

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The Spotted Cow, Town Street, Holbrook