Although Newhall did not appear on the Domesday survey of 1086, the village would almost certainly have existed, as in the late 11th century there was a dependant chapel recorded. The earliest mention of Newhall is in 1150-09 as part of a catalogue of charters and muniments of Burton Abbey belonging to the Marquis of Anglesey. At the same time, Abbot Robert of Burton granted the tithes of Newhall and Stanton to the Priest of Stapenhill. In 1185 Pope Lucius III mentioned a chapel at Newhall, probably the same one mentioned above.
In the late 13th century, Newhall and Stanton belonged to the de la Ward family; Robert de la Ward was granted part of the land adjoining the vicar’s culture called Wyteleyes, near a chapel and cemetery in part of a garden called Le Prestesorchard. Here he could have an oratory (small private chapel) where he could hear mass by his own chaplain. There was a dispute over the tithes at Stanton and Newhall in the late 15th century, Burton Abbeys’ ownership was confirmed in 1488. The ownership of Newhall passed by marriage through the Meynell family to John Dethick. Here it remained in the Dethick family for six generations. On the death of Humphrey Dethick in 1599 the title passed to his daughter, Katherine and her husband Alexander Reddish. Reddish supported William Bradshaw, a puritan divine, and asked him, in 1602, to preach in his private chapel. Bradshaw later moved to Stapenhill church.
Very little is known about Newhall House, even its whereabouts is debatable. We know it existed in 1662 when it was charged for 14 hearths in the Hearth Tax Assessments, the house cannot have been very imposing when we consider the Earl of Chesterfield at Bretby Hall was found chargeable for 68 hearths! At this time the occupants of Newhall House would have been Sir Edward Darcy and his wife Elizabeth Stanhope, daughter of the 1st Earl of Chesterfield.
The ownership of Newhall passed through marriage to the Meynell, Dethick, Reddish and Darcy families until 1700 when the 2nd Earl of Chesterfield acquired the manor of Newhall to enlarge his Bretby estate. When his descendents, the 6th Earl of Chesterfield and his son died in 1866 and 1871 respectively the widow of the 6th Earl built the Memorial Hall on Main Street, dedicating it in their memory and presenting it to the village of Newhall for public use. The widow continued to live at Bretby Hall until she died in 1885. Her daughter had married the 4th Earl of Carnavon and so the estate passed to their son, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. The Memorial Hall, built in 1874 was used as a literary institute which closed in the 1890s. In 1881 Jabez Mansfield was recorded as a colliery clerk and manager of the Chesterfield Memorial Hall. It then opened as a mining and technical school for South Derbyshire, the principal being the headmaster of Newhall School, Mr A G Jolliffe. In the Second World War the building was used as classrooms for evacuated children.
Newhall had a town crier, Jack Gadsby, from 1894 to 1916. He would have announced fetes, meetings and seaching for missing children. The proprietor of the Horse and Jockey Inn, E Dent founded a market adjoining the Inn in the late 19th century. At that time Newhall was thickly wooded and poaching was very common in the grounds of Bretby Park, one man who got caught by the gamekeeper, Henry Hoskinson, was sent to Tasmania by the Judge at Derby. Hoskinson wasn’t the first person in Newhall to be transported; John Wood was found stealing hopes from Bretby Park Gates and was sentenced to 14 years in Australia in 1789.
Walking around the oldest parts of Newhall, you will notice how the houses are at odd angles to each other, the story goes that wherever the horses carrying the bricks stopped the bricks were tipped out and the house was built there, giving a higgledy-piggledy feel to the village. In 1789 there were around 49 houses in the village which had risen considerably by 1831 when the joint population with Stanton was recorded at 1099. This had risen to 3208 in 1871, 10,079 in 1901 and 12,449 in 1931; however at the last census of 2001 only 6,963 individuals are recorded for Newhall and Stanton.
The earliest mention of a school in Newhall is in Pigot & Co’s Directory of 1842, there is a charity school, founded by the Rev John Clay and supported by his family. In 1835 a John Whitaker is listed under ‘Academies & Schools‘ in a similar directory. Since then there have been numerous schools in the village, these being the Newhall School for Boys and Girls, (built 1864) Newhall Iron School (built 1871) and Newhall Council School (built 1894/5). There are now four schools in the village, Newhall Infants, Newhall Juniors, The William Allitt Secondary School which serves outlying villages including Overseal and Rosliston, and Fairmeadows Primary School.
Like the pubs and schools, Newhall also has many churches and chapels. The parish church is dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist and was erected by the Vicar of Stapenhill, Rev Joseph Clay and his spinster sister, Miss Sarah Clay. The church was consecrated on 9th July 1833 ad is in the Gothic style with later alterations and additions in the later years. The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, on High Street was built in 1816, Newhall Primitive Methodist Chapel, built 1859, Wesleyan Reformers Chapel was built in 1855 beside the later Free United Methodist Chapel, later houses were built on the foundations of the first building. The Ebenezer Chapel on Main Street was built in 1887 in front of an earlier chapel, built in 1859. A Roman Catholic Church, dedicated to St Edward the Confessor, was built in 1885 on Oversetts Road, it has since been demolished.
The Free United Methodist Chapel, on Chapel Street, was built in 1863 for £900. It was renamed to the Central Methodist Chapel before 1874 and extensively enlarged in 1933. Another Catholic Chapel, also on Oversetts Road was St Andrew’s Mission Church which has since been demolished. There is also a former Jehovah’s Witness church on the corner of Wellwood Road and Burch Avenue, which, after many years boarded up and standing empty is now used as a day nursery. Three tombstones were stood at the side of the church which now seem to have disappeared. The Newhall Armenian Methodist Chapel was built in 1835, the location is unknown.