In Smisby, Edwin had two carucates of land to the geld. There is land for 2 ploughs. There is now one plough in demesne and three villans have one plough. There is woodland pasture half a league long and six leagues broad. TRE worth 40 shillings now twenty shillings.
Two men from Smisby are buried in St. James churchyard:
This quotation is attributed to a visit Scott made to Coleorton Hall to visit Sir George Beaumont. They visited Smisby and climbed a now-demolished watchtower. Scott noted that a flat area towards Ashby Castle, but within Derbyshire, was reputed to be the place where ancient jousting tournaments had taken place.
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Use the search menu tab above to find what you're after, and there's a Site Map to help you find your way around over forty pages. Checkout the Interactive Map.For latest news in the village take a look at the the latest Newsletter in the Smisby Parish Council pages.This site contains pages of community organisations, things to do in and around Smisby, history of Smisby, St James' Church, places to eat, drink and stay in Smisby, as well as links to Smisby businesses.
The font is of 14th century octagonal design and was originally under the first arch, but was moved to its present position, on a new base to match its design, when the church was restored in the 1890s. At the same time the floor was raised so that the stone heating channels could be put under the floor. This is why the bases of the pillars are almost covered.
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The scene was singularly romantic. On the verge of a wood, which approached to within a mile of the town of Ashby, was an extensive meadow, of the finest and most beautiful green turf, surrounded on one side by the forest, and fringed on the other by straggling oak-trees, some of which had grown to an immense size.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Smisby in South Derbyshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Smisby".
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Smisby like this:
This is Smisby, in South Derbyshire, near Ashby de la Zouch, England
Within 200 metres of the village is a spot where a tournament was held that was described by Sir Walter Scott in his novel Ivanhoe. In chapter seven the text reads
Smisby is an ancient manor, civil parish and small village in South Derbyshire, England. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) from Melbourne and near the Leicestershire border and the town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The village including the outlying farms and houses has a population just over 200 that occupies some 110 properties. The population at the 2011 Census had increased to 260.
Please note: The church is at the top of a very steep path with stone steps at the bottom. The road to the left of the church gives access to a more gentle slope without steps. Parking is available at the side of the road throughout the village. Refreshments are available in the village pub. Visitors will need to arrange access in advance.
The first building was a chapel of ease, built by the Repton Monks in 1068. This now forms the South Aisle. Joanne Comyn, who married William Shepy in 1300 and became the owner of Smisby and its Manor when he died, added the nave and chancel. She died in 1350 and her memorial is next to the font. The tower was added in the late 15 century.
Smisby (Old Norse Smith's farm or settlement) is mentioned as Smidesbi in 1086 in the Domesday Book, which states under the title of "The lands of Nigel of Stafford":
Interested in Smisby family history? - Check out the link to a booklet containing the Church Headstone inscriptions in the St James' Church pages.
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The Tap House Bar, Restaurant & Brewery is set in a picturesque location on the outskirts of Smisby Village. Providing quality service, food and an atmosphere that will keep you coming back, The Taphouse is a real country pub and perfect for Sunday afternoon lunch, or just a friendly drink and chat. Dogs are welcome in the bar area.
The windows are of varying types and ages. The three light East window of the Chancel is an example of decorated work of around 1350, but the centre was filled with masonry before 1850. The East window behind the side altar is an early English Lancet window. The other windows are of a much later date.
Smisby has its own Village Website. If you click on the Parish Council link you can find recent Portable Document File newsletters about the village.
Boundary is a hamlet on the border with Leicestershire. It has since become its own Civil Parish.
In the 1960s, the old organ was removed and a new one built under the tower. A side altar was placed where the first altar had been, and a broken piscina was restored. The side altar was dedicated to Dr Mark Baker, the village's doctor, who gave his life trying to save two men trapped down a well. The memorial in the South Aisle is of William Kendall, great, great grandson of Joanne Comyn, and his wife Ann.