The Needham family were originally based at Needham Grange. However, the family acquired other manors around 1350 through the marriages of two brothers, Thomas and William. Thomas obtained Thornsett, to the north of the county near Glossop, and William obtained Cranage in the west in Cheshire .
Thornsett came to the Nedham family by the marriage of Maud, daughter of Roger Mellor, to Thomas de Nedeham, elder son of Thomas, sometime around 1350. She brought with her part of the manor, which at that time was about 1300 acres. Thornsett is a hamlet near Glossop, Derbyshire and is currently in the parish of New Mills, although at the time the Needham's were resident there it was in Glossop parish. Thomas made Thornsett Hall his family residence and subsequently it was the family home of the Needham's for nearly 300 years and 9 generations of the family
Parts of the hall are still visible at Thornsett Hey Farm, notably a stone buttress, visible from the road, just west of the 'Printer's Arms'. A second buttress was demolished some time after the '30s since it was a hazard to traffic.
The Thornsett Needham's were Foresters in the Royal Forest of the High Peak , officials acting for the King, and this is reflected in the bucks' heads on the various Needham coats of arms. Needham's of Thornsett are listed among the gentry of Derbyshire from 1360. During the early sixteenth-century, they also acquired the manors of Snitterton and Cowley, and descendants married well into county families. By the time that armorial claims were verified during the Herald's Visitation to Derbyshire in 1611, the family was recognised as Needham of Needham, Thornsett, Snitterton and Cowley.
However, like many good things it didn't last. George Needham (born before 1557), who inherited Thornsett and Cowley from his father William after WIlliams brother Ottiwell died, made some unwise investments in local mines together with his son Henry (born before 1577). This resulted in them selling the family estates ( including Thornsett) in 1613 to Sir Francis Needham of Melbourne Derbyshire, who immediately sold the estates on. Many works indicate that the Seniors of nearby Bridgetown acquired the properties; as a consequence Thornsett left the Needham family. George died in around 1615 and Henry moved to Wales , so by the time of the next Visitation in 1662/3, Needham's were no longer recorded in Derbyshire.
1. Source : Alastair Lack http://www.lackfamily.net/genealogy/index_genealogy.html