Updated 29 Mar 2008

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Modern photos needed

Many thanks to those who have submitted photos and text. These have also been added to the 'Oldfoto' webpage.

Taken 100 years ago

Taken this year

Bridge over Middle Peak Quarry 1920
This bridge has now been blown up, but there may be some remnants telling where it was. Believed to be somewhere within Middlepeak Quarry, about OS ref: SK 280-550
X005b - by Stuart Flint The trees and a pile of stones beyond is all that is left of The Monkey Hole once way back in time worked as a quarry by Benjamin Buckley but which in time became part of Bowne & Shaws Quarry then Tarmac Roadstones and in between where Stewart & Lloyd used the site to test Pylons..

Fern Bank Cottage 1895
Thought to be somewhere up Greenhill, a road running North from the centre of Wirksworth. In 1901, the address was 86, Greenhill, Wirksworth, lived in by John and Sarah Woodhouse.
X044a - by Maureen Griffiths

Maureen writes:
Further information about X044- "Fern Bank Cottage"(86 Greenhill)
This was the only view possible of the above, without committing aggravated trespass!
Comparison with the 1895 photo;-
1 The Hillside above the cottage is no longer there, quarried away without trace.
2 A road has been built,along what was the side of the house (left as you look at the old photo) from where I took modern photo
3 The new "side entrance" is down steps, the old photo shows that piece of land sloping down also.
4 The very distinctive ridge of tiles below the chimney stacks is still there, and there are no others like this in the area. This convinces me that not only is it 86,Green hill,(it said so) but also, beyond doubt, Fern Cottage.
It took some finding! as it looked nothing like the original, at first.
Best wishes, Maureen Griffiths

Middleton Hillside c1930
A postcard-view of Middleton Hillside which I understand is taken looking down Chapel Lane, Middleton.

X096a - by Stuart Flint Much new housing has been built on Chapel Lane since the old photo was taken Where the vans are parked to the left of the picture was where in my youth my distant kinsman of Sidney Birley a Mason at Hopton Wood Stone Quarry lived in a bungalow..The Bungalow has been demolished in recent months and a new property is being built on the land The house with a Caravan bottom of lane to the left was where my mother was born the house belonging to my Sheldon family from when it was built in 1786 although the original cottage was a single one up one down which has been added on to over the 220 odd years.. The new owners have stripped the old building down to a shell and rebuilt much of it. The house with the blue car in driveway centre was my family home Highfields purchased by my parents from George Brace his family part of my Flint kin..I lived there from 1953 to my wife and I marrying. The house was sold by my mother when she moved into Sheltered Housing for O.A.Ps at Duke Fields Middleton mid 1990s The house to the right hidden somewhat under trees was where my Grandmother Gwenillian Flint nee Sprake came to from Blaenafon South Wales in 1883 when she was a Governess to a noble family of Monmouth who stayed there in the summer months.. The house may have belonged to the Killer family who owned the quarry seen in the photograph which by 1959 was to become Middleton Limestone Mine ..The Killer's were of my Flint family via my Fathers kin and my mother's via her Brownson and Walker family..Killer Bros Hopton Wood Stone supplied Fluxing Stone to Blaenafon Iron and Steel Works where Gwenillian's father Edwin Sprake was a Works General Manager ... After Gwenillian and William Flint married in 1886 and lived for a time at Rise End Middleton William Axe lived there his wife Mary Rose Killer .. By the 1950s my sister in law ...... Flint nee Farnsworth's family of MiIllward (allied family to Farnsworth and Potters of Wirksworth and Matlock) lived at the house..Mrs Millward a School Teacher at Middleton Junior School her husband a Hanger On Cromford & High Peak Railway at Middleton Top... The house on Hillside at the head of the photograph to the right hidden partially by a tree on a line with the quarry face was where my father was born in 1894 owned by Killer Bros.. Grandfather William Flint was killed at the quarry on December 5th 1905..

South View, Middleton 'South View' situated at the top of Chapel Lane, Middleton (now surrounded by houses according to Edith Taylor).

Taken 2007 by Stuart Flint, who writes:
South View once owned by Samuel and Roseanne Axe ne Slack Roseanne my wife's 3XAunt via Slacks Samuel my allied kin via Jones and Killer.

The photograph taken from the driveway of Mrs Moira Taylor nee Spencer's bungalow built on land where once the garden for South View was.. Moira's deceased husband was nephew to Mrs Edith Taylor.. Moira and my mother in law Dorothy Steube nee Evans 2nd cousins .. Moira also kin of Axe family via Slacks

Between 1946 - 1952 my family and I lived at South View , my father Harry Sprake Flint re naming the house Axeholme .. leasing the house from the Axe family of Hatfield Yorkshire... When we moved out in the 1950s to live at the foot of Chapel Lane at Highfields The Fields opposite Ashleigh House where Samuels Axe's brother William Axe lived with his wife Mary Rose nee Killer of my kin, Frank Holmes Butler my wife's Grt Uncle 1/2 brother to my wife's Grandfather Herbert Evans and his wife Sally nee Slack Sally also my wife's Grt Aunt via Slacks purchased the house from the Axe estate their daughters living there up to recent years..The House in the late 1990s then came under new ownership and has been extensively extended ..

Pitty Wood Farm <1884
Pitty Wood Farm is SW of Wirksworth, OS map ref: SK 278-529.
X107c - by Maureen Griffiths

Holloway near Matlock. Holloway is a small village about 2 miles SE of Matlock Bath. I don't know where the photographer stood or which direction he was looking.
Taken 2007 by Adrienne Holmes

X142a (SK324-566, junction Church Rd/The Hollins))
View of Holloway from the north, along the road from Lea, The original photograph must have been taken from an old builder's/workshop yard which has just been built on. This was the closest I was able to get to the original viewpoint. The nearby home-owner wasn't in otherwise I might have been able to get a slightly higher viewpoint from their window!

Adam Bede Cottage, Wirksworth
At the southern end of Wirksworth on the Derby Road stands Adam Bede Cottage (OS ref: SK 285-526) opposite to Haarlam Mill.
X187eb - by Maureen Griffiths

The Mount Boarding House, Matlock
Somewhere on Chesterfield Road, Matlock, possibly near Lime Tree Hill
Taken 2007 by Adrienne Holmes, see: X200

88, Bank Road, Matlock
Taken 2007 by Adrienne Holmes, see: X218

Rise End, Middleton.
The only clue is that this house is somewhere in Rise End, Middleton.

X249a - by Stuart Flint The house where in the 1930s - 1950s my Uncle William James Flint born 1906 lived with his wife Aunt Marian nee Walters and daughter Marie Flint (retired Chief Superintendent of Police ) Marie married Leonard Burt retired Assistant Chief Constable of Dorset Police Service The house to the left is where in the older picture the three members of the Marples family lived .

X250 Taken c1930. #54 The Hill, Cromford
#142. Taken 2007 by Adrienne Holmes

142 Cromford Hill (corner house)
142 could be our house. The stonework is a good match apart from the number of rows of stone above the ground floor window. Perhaps the first floor window has been enlarged by taking out a row of stone underneath. It looks as though the mullion-like stones on either side could have been moved down and the spaces filled above. The adjoining house appears to have had similar treatment but the mullion-like stones were left in situ and the spaces filled at the bottom. There was no sign of any holes! But it was one of the few with a a white-speckled stone top step as described. The big clue however is the corner position. Is George still alive to ask? No sign of a pub opposite though.

Matlock Bath, Cromford Court
A fine mansion overlooking Masson Mills. OS ref: SK 293-573
X354d - by Maureen Griffiths

Whatstandwell: Canal, Rail, Road & River together.
Just South of Whatstandwell, the River Derwent, Cromford Canal, Midland Railway and A6 road almost touch as they all try to squeeze through a narrow gap in the Ambergate Valley. The Canal and railway keep to a slightly higher contour. Probably taken from SK 335-535
X359b - by Maureen Griffiths

The Switchback at Matlock Bath 1900-1934
There just may be some remnants left of the largest Switchback in the country, 1900-1930, it lay on the edge of the river at Matlock Bath, right below the church and the Royal Hotel, at SK 295-578
X364k - by Maureen Griffiths
All traces of the Switchback seem to have gone-what a pity.

Whittaker's, Matlock Bath
The buildings were near Masson Mill at Matlock Bath. The buildings might have disappeared now, but there may still be a trace.
X442x - by Maureen Griffiths

[Only the wall is still there - Webmaster]

Cromford Canal, taken from Whatstandwell Bridge
The photo is taken from Whatstandwell Bridge over the canal, looking South (SK 333-543). Telegraph posts show the line of the railway. On the right is Eden House: ...built directly over the short railway tunnel. In 1811 the house was part of Hurt's wharf, and it is thought that the owner refused to allow it to be knocked down when the railway was built, so the railway tunnelled under it instead. Hurt was the Squire of Alderwasley, and also proprietor of the iron forge between here and Ambergate by the River Derwent.

If Eden House still exists, I'd like to get a photo of the railway line going under the House.
X449c - by Maureen Griffiths

[The line really does go right under Eden House!-webmaster]

[Difficult to realise this is the same Eden House!-webmaster]

The Parsonage, Alderwasley
Alderwasley is a small village about 2 miles East of Wirksworth. I hope this fine building is still there.

Photo 2007 by Stuart Flint.
Published by permission of N.Williamson

Packhorse Farm, Alderwasley
Packhorse Farm (OS ref: SK 321-521) lies on the old Turnpike Road (Toll Road) South from Wirksworth to Derby, and another route over a Derwent bridge at Ambergate towards Nottingham.
X471b - by Stuart Flint Packhorse Farm is now a much larger house ..the door on the centre of photo has been blocked up signs of this visible The lane to the left of the farm is called Jackass Lane and leads down past Shining Cliffe Woods to Ambergate.. This is a road my family and I use when travelling from Wirksworth - Ripley/Alfreton ..My Gr Gr Grandfather Nathaniel Cauldwell who was Head Forester/Woodsman to Francis and Elizabeth Hurt nee Arkwright lived in a house just off Jackass Lane.for a time and then at Alderwasley Hall. Others of my Cauldwell Smith Holgate and allied Longden and Spendlove families lived at Alderwasley Shottle and Ashlehay being Gamekeepers, Farmers and Iron Workers working for the Hurts and then Molds..

Steeple Grange, Wirksworth. I'd really like to get a photo of this line of houses in Steeple Grange, half way between Wirksworth and Cromford.

X475d - by Keith Repton Find attached a picture of the view as it is today the position of Sough Lane is about 1200 yards south of this photo, the road in the photo is at the top of Steeple Grange just before you drop down the hill into Cromford village , as for the chimney in the background of your photo it does not seem to be in the right alignment for the leadworks so I will check on my OS map of 1897, it seems to be where there used to be a brick works so I will have to get back to you on that issue. As for the question of Dad's memories sorry he died just over three years ago .

Hillside, Middleton-by-Wirksworth
The exact address of this house is a mystery, does it still exist? The descendant would love to know.

X488b - by Neil France

Jo Macdonald writes:
I was just looking at your addictive site again and came across the Modern Photos Needed page. The very last picture is my Mum's house. Actually, I believe you have had some contact with the owners, they are ****** [Names removed for privacy - Ed]
The address is 50 Main St Middleton, its tucked behind the Post Office. See also X488.

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