Photo: Rod Morris
Situated in the southeast of Derbyshire's picturesque Peak District, the ancient village of Bradbourne is five miles northeast of Ashbourne, just off the A5056, occupying a commanding position between the valleys of Havenhill Dale and Bradbourne Brook. The village was listed in the Domesday Book as Bradeburn, meaning 'broad stream' and was in the possession of the Norman nobleman Henry de Ferres. The Parish Church of All Saints is a fine early Norman building with Saxon foundations. Within the churchyard is an exceptionally rare Saxon Cross dating back over a thousand years with a very clear carving of the Crucifixion.
The population of the village has slowly but steadily declined from a high of 210 in 1821 to something approaching 100 today. At the time of the Great War of 1914-1918 this number was in the region of 130. Arthur Mee (Enchanted Land 1936) wrote that a total of 18 men went from the village to fight for King and Country. This represented a very large proportion of the able bodied men in this very rural community.
Photo: Rod Morris
There is no war memorial in Bradbourne and nothing to indicate that all their servicemen returned to the peace, tranquillity and beauty of their home in the Dales of their beloved Derbyshire. There is a single Great War Commonwealth war grave in the churchyard, of Private Holmes from the nearby village of Aldwark. This has been the focus of Remembrance in the past. There is also a simple wooden peg in the Church where a wreath is hung each year. The villagers of today are aware that all their forefathers returned safely to Derbyshire making Bradbourne the county's only 'Thankful Village'.
Return to the "Thankful Villages" article