Places near Dronfield

There are several neighbouring communities to the beautiful little village of Dronfield, most just within a short walk or bus drive away.


Barlow is a village and civil parish about 3 miles north-west of Chesterfield. It has been transformed from a mining village to a centre where hunting, fishing and holidays boost economy in the area.

The Barlow Hunt meets regularly and there is a Trout And Coarse Fishery, which has developed into the largest mixed fisheries in the North of England. Nearly all the houses in the village are clustered along, or just the main road which heads out towards Holmesfield and Sheffield.

The old centre of the village is marked by the protected Coronation Tree, which was planted in 1911 to commemorate the crowning of King George the fifth, found almost opposite the 1840 village pub near the bottom of Wilkin Hill. Mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086, Barlow is an ancient village. Called a variety of names over the years, it is not uncommon to hear some of the older residents referred to the village as Barley.

During the 1800s, Barlow was divided into Little Barlow and Great Barlow, the former included in the Dronfield parish containing 486 acres of land. The church of St Lawrence dates from the mid-1100’s  and stands in the centre of the old village. The country chapel was added to the original Norman church in 1340 but a full restoration was carried out in 1870. The church contains the tomb of Robert Barley and his wife Margaret and dates back to 1467, not to be mixed up with Robert Barley, who was the first husband Bess of Hardwick. During the early 20th century, in addition to aquaculture, Barlow became a mining village with over a dozen opencast sites and pits that there is no evidence of this now.


Apperknowle gains its name from the old English word Apelknol, which means ‘ Apple tree Hill.’

Set high up on the hills looking down upon Dronfield and the Drone Valley, it offers some spectacular views across the countryside towards the Peak District. It is home to Apperknowle cricket club, which must be one of the most interesting grounds in England, as hitting a six would look like it would carry way out across the countryside way into the Peaks.

The Methodist church opened in 1879 to replace an earlier building and is the only place of worship in the village, often hosting visiting preachers from other local churches in and around the Sheffield area. The Barrack Hotel is the local hostelry which provides a range of beers and spirits for ramblers who happen to walk through Apperknowle.

Coal Aston

Coal Aston is just outside Dronfield, and is a very thriving little village where much of the social life and activity centre take place in the village hall where numerous clubs meet and hold regular activities. It sits on a ridge overlooking Sheffield and Dronfield and to the south is beautiful Frith Wood which is made up of mixed woodland, rich in many species of fauna and flora thought to be ancient. The local pub has its own game known to locals as hook and hoop, but called nationally Ringing the Bull. It involves swinging a metal hook attached to the room on a piece of string towards a hook attached to the wall and the game is often used by the local male population to gain standing within the community. A well dressing is held annually on the site of the former village pond opposite the Royal Oak pub.

Coal Aston has a Methodist church, a chapel, a village hall and numerous shops and is also close to the Coal Aston airstrip at Apperknowle, which has a bus service into Sheffield and Chesterfield. The children of Coal Aston mainly now go to Dronfield schools as the tiny Victorian school unfortunately closed and has been converted to a house. It is home to a Methodist church and Wesleyan Reform Church.


Unstone was recorded in the Domesday book as Onestune, originally called Unston until 1908 when the ‘E’ was added. A small village in the north-east Derbyshire, it lies between Dronfield and Chesterfield and close to the hamlets of Hundall, Summerley, West Handley and Apperknowle. It developed mainly as a commuter area for workers at Dronfield’s numerous coal mines.

The Midland railway line which runs through the village was a former mineral Line used to carry coal from the constant mines and a station was there until it closed to passengers in 1951, finally closing for goods services, in 1961. It is now a nature reserve and forms part of the Unstone, Frith Wood and Summerley Walk. The River Drone also runs through the village.

The majority of the residents now look to either Sheffield or Chesterfield for employment opportunities and has a population of over 1500 residents, served by the Unstone parish council. There are two schools, St Mary’s infant school and Unstone Junior School.


Holmesfield , is a parish based around two centres of population, the hamlet of Millthorpe  and the village of Holmesfield itself. It extends beyond Owler Bar to the West and towards Dronfield in the East. It has its own church, St Swithin’s, which was built in 1826, which sits on the site of earlier Christian settlements with roots which can be traced back to as early as 641 A.D. Monks erected a wooden cross to mark the meeting place where they would preach and remnants of the stone cross can still be seen in the grounds of the church.

The village is made up of a number of farming hamlets situated above the Cordwell Valley. The centre of the parish is marked by the church, which can be seen from almost all of the surrounding areas. The local amenities include eight pubs, and a number of restaurants and Holmesfield, has a village hall, a football and cricket pitch. It’s most important buildings are Holmesfield Hall, which dates back to 1613 and Woodthorpe Hall, a large 17th-century gabled manor house dated 1636.