The Voice of Holbrook
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.
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.
Today, the Parish’s public facilities include:
St Michael's Church, Holbrook
Holbrook Moor Methodist Chapel
The Spotted Cow, Town Street, Holbrook