St Matthew's Church
The village is found on the eastern side of Morley Moor, with Morley Smithy to the north.
The parish church, St Matthew stands near the (converted) Tithe Barn and dovecote of Morley Hall. The church features a wall of stained glass depicting the story of Robert of Knaresborough along the north aisle which came from Dale Abbey in 1539, home of the fine Sacheverell tombs.
The earliest certain record of Morley is in a royal charter of 1009, as (in) Moreleage, though later copies of a 1002 document in which it appears as (æt) Morlege may be genuine. The name probably means "open ground by a moor", from the Old English mor leag; "moor pasture". The charter, by King Ethelred the Unready, recognised the position and boundaries of Westune. The land described in that charter included the lands now known as Shardlow, Great Wilne, Church Wilne, Crich, Morley, Smalley, Weston and Aston-on-Trent. By this charter, the King gave his minister, Morcar, a number of rights that made him free from tax and to his own rule within the manor.
Morley appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as belonging to Henry de Ferrers and as having woodland pasture that was four furlongs by three.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Morley, Derbyshire)
- Nikolaus Pevsner: The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, 1953; 1978 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-300-09591-3
- Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v. MORLEY Derby.
- Charter of Æthelred, The Great Council, 1009: Derby records
- Turbutt, G.: 'A History of Derbyshire, Volume 2: Mediæval Derbyshire' (Merton Priory Press, 1999)