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Date:1086 - 2015 (c.)

Description:The remote village of Blore is situated about four miles to the north west of Ashbourne near the Derbyshire border. The parish also includes the hamlet of Swinscoe.

The place name, Blore, is a descriptive one meaning either a ‘windy place’ or the ‘top of a hill’. Swinscoe means ‘swine’s wood’. Two prehistoric burial mounds are located at Blore, both of which were excavated by the Victorians.

In the Domesday Survey of 1086 Blore is recorded as ‘Blora’ and belonged to Robert de Stafford. The manor was tenanted at that time by Edric. Within the manor there was enough land for five ploughs to till. The population consisted of four freemen and two villeins, or tenants who held land in return for labour services. Two furlongs of woodland were also recorded.

In 1532-1533, 25 possible households were recorded in Blore and three chaplains. The chief household was that of Sir William Bassett and it is possible that one of these chaplains served the Bassett household. By the time of the Hearth Tax assessment of 1666, 18 households were recorded as liable to pay tax, including the little hamlet of Swinscoe. This included Blore Hall which had 16 hearths in total. Unfortunately it is not possible to estimate the population more accurately from the Hearth Tax returns because those people in Blore and Swinscoe, too poor to pay tax, were included with those in Grindon.

Blore’s parish church is dedicated to St Bartholomew and has a very picturesque location. It was re-modelled in the early 16th century in the Perpendicular style. In particular it is notable for the tombs of the Bassett family in the north aisle. The Roundheads are reputed to have removed the hands from the Bassett effigies. The Bassett family held the manor of Blore from the 14th century until the marriage of Elizabeth Bassett in 1618 took the Blore estate into the Cavendish family.

A Primitive Methodist chapel was established in Swinscoe in 1835.

A school for the parish was built in Swinscoe in 1864 originally under the auspices of the church and in particular owing to the determination and persistence of the Reverend RD Glennie. He persuaded the local landed family, the Okeovers, to build the school in Swinscoe. It remained for just under 100 years until 1960 when it was closed by the local authority owing to the very small number of pupils.

For more information about Blore and Swinscoe, see Swinscoe, Blore and the Bassetts by David and Martine Swinscoe, 1998, available in the William Salt Library, Stafford.