Updated 21 Mar 2008

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 570



Dale Top Barn about 1940.

Muriel Brooks nee Bradley and Dale Farmhouse being built in 1951

Dale Farm and farmhouse built 1951.

1922 map. Most of the fields shown belonged to Dale Farm, OS Ref=SK 280-545

About 1960 the Quarry expanded, swallowing Dale Farm and many of its fields. The Farm used to be at the letter 'F' of 'Dale Farm' in the Google Earth image below. The exact position of Dale Farm has been worked out by comparing the 1922 map with the 2007 satellite image, identifying fields that still exist from their shape, and interpolating. Dale Farm was 235 metres above sea level, the quarry floor at this point is 211 metres a.s.l., 24 m (79 ft) below the old farm.

Dale Farm, Wirksworth.

Dale Farm was about half a mile NW from the centre of Wirksworth, at the end of The Dale. The OS reference was SK 280-545. However, the quarries along the road between Wirksworth and Middleton expanded South West and eventually swallowed the Farm and its fields about 1960.

Originally the farm was just a barn, serving the fields around it. The farmer lived down the Dale in the town. Later more brick barns and outbuildings were built. In 1951 a farmhouse was built next to the outbuildings, but in 1956 the farm was sold to the mining company planning expansion of the limestone quarry. The family finally left the farmhouse in 1957. Gradually the quarry expanded. Today (2008) the farmhouse, outbuildings and most of the fields have disappeared without trace. The position of the old farmhouse can only be estimated.

Herbert Brook has also contributed an album of photos showing a way of life now vanished, seemingly idyllic, but in fact hard and very recent. Many thanks Herbert.

On the OS map 1837-1842, a reference is made to "Dale Top Barn", which may have been at the same position as the later Dale Farm.

Much of the information on this page was supplied by Herbert Brooks, whose father Ernest and grandfather Herbert (1883-1951) were tenant farmers at Dale Farm.

"Dale Top Barn" on OS map 1837-42, approx OS ref=SK 281-545

1956 Farm sale.
Stewarts and Lloyds Minerals Limited
Brigstock, near Kettering
24th September, 1956

E.I.Brooks, esq.,
Dale Farm,

Dear Mr Brooks,

Dale Farm

I herewith enclose you a formal letter confirming the arrangements I made with you last Thursday, on behalf of the Company, regarding the proposed purchase of your farm, which I think sets out fairly the arrangements we made.
You will notice that I have not stipulated any time limit regarding your obtaining a house in the vicinity of Wirksworth. We fully realise that you will do your best to find a house for yourselves, and we hope that you will be able to find something during the coming six months.
In order that the matter shall be regularised, I have sent a copy of the formal letter to Messrs. Wilson & Wilson and have asked them to get in touch with Mr. Barnett, in order that a formal contract for sale can be drawn up and signed.
With regard to Mr, Heath's account which you handed to me last Thursday, we are quite agreeable to meeting the payment of this account, but in order not to complicate matters, it should be part of the settlement under Item (g) of the official letter. So, if you will pay this account, and then send it on to Mr.Barnett, your solicitor, he will recover the amount from Messrs. Wilson & Wilson, our Solicitors, in the final settlement on the completion of the Conveyance.
With kindest regards to Mrs. Brooks and Herbert, and also to yourself,
Yours sincerely,

Field removals in 1956.

Middlepeak Quarry 2007, taken from the air by Neil France in his paramoter.
The quarry cliff is about 50 metres high.

Photo taken:

Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)
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Herbert Brooks writes:
Hi John, The map you sent is an earlier one and does not show the house my Dad had built to go with the farm buildings. The Field numbers are 531, 532, 533, 534, 536, 489, 488, 471, 472, 473, 474, 490, 491, then I'm lost because I would be only 4 when the quarry fenced through 533, 534, 490, 472 and was no longer used for farming, but quarry use. He also rented considerable acres in the area. I've got a map from 1957 for 471 called Lady Day informing Dad they would be taking this field. The attachment shows Dad in field 531 sometime in the 1940's. He also delivered milk milk within the town. Regards Ruep

Herbert Brooks writes:
Hi John, Please find Lady Field map attachment for 1957 At the moment I can not find the case with the detail of when the Farm was purchased, but have included a few other items which may be of interest. Dale farm Hay making shows a picture from 1949 of my grandad Herbert Brooks and my father Ernest Brooks- Dad is in a picture on page 48 O'er Back And On the Hillock by Jack Doxey Dale farm first valuation made me smile because of the contents, because we use the saw bench today for a bbq. D Marsdens - we have loads of these makes interesting reading when you look at prices etc. The Western Derbyshire map is 38 " x 36" with loads of references to Wirksworth retailers published 1900 The Wirksworth Branch Junior Imperial League meeting was just a newsclip found in a book, but we have no date - but Matlock Mercury King's Field Feb 1956 we have a variety of issues. However back to Dale Farm I'll try and locate the material. Dad & family lived the bottom of the Dale when they first bought the farm. I do have some pictures of when the farm house was built. We moved out of the house in 1957 because of the damage caused by the blasting, but the house and farm buildings where not knocked down until 1974. Will be in touch. Regards Herbert.


1938 Ernest Brooks at Dale Farm.
1938 Herbert & Ann, Dale Farm.
1938 Ploughing in field 448.
1938 Anne Brooks feeding the hens.
1938 Dale Farm.
1938 Dale Farm.
Ernest Brooks at Dale Farm.
Herbert and Ernest Brooks at Dale Farm.
Ernest Brooks at Dale Farm with his first motor bike.
William and Margret Hannah, Sep 1917.
Farmer Brooks and stooks, about 1940.
Top: Hilda 1892,Herbert 1883, Edith 1881, Lionel 1892, Fanny 1893, Ernest 1885

Bottom: Margret Hannah 1856, Mary Anne 1895, Maggie 1898, William 1855.
Field 536 with Middleton Top engine House on the horizon.
1938, Anne Brooks feeding the pigs.
1949 Haymaking at Dale Farm
Anne Brooks nee Rowe.

BROOKS family

                      1800             1799
                      William  1820    Ann
 |     |      |       |      |         |    |        |       |
                            1826      1829 1831     1835    1839
Mary  Eliza  Martha  Alice  Benjamin  Ann  William  Samuel  Elizabeth
                                           1830             1828
                                           William  1851    Mary
                           |       |        |      |     |
                          1853    1855     1859   1861  1863
                          Alfred  William  Sarah  Mary  Eliza
                                   |               1856
                                  1855             Margret
                                  William H 1881   Hannah
 |      |        |       |       |       |      |      |     |
1881   1883     1885    1887    1892    1892   1893   1895  1898
Edith  Herbert  Ernest  Robert  Lionel  Hilda  Fanny  Mary  Maggie
        |                                      [1]    Ann
       Herbert  1912    Anne
       1951       |
             |        |
            1914     1915
            Dorothy  Ernest
            1986      |
                     Ernest   1951    Muriel
                     1977       |
                               1953             1951
                   [Informant] Herbert  1976    Anne
                                     |        |
                                    1978     1980
                                    John     David [Informant]
                                    Stuart   Spencer

Census references: 1901, 1891, 1881, 1871, 1861, 1851 and 1841
[1] Fanny also known as Winnie see Bonsall photo. Also see 1901 Census

1928 RENT for DALE FARM, Wirksworth

Arthur J.Marsden, F.A.I.
Clerk to
Wirksworth Grammar School Trustees

January 10th, 1927

Dear Sir,
Dale Farm, Wirksworth
We have now heard from Mr Fox, the Landlord of the
above farm, enclosing your letter to him of the 6th.

We regeret that owing to illness Mr Fox has been quite
unable to attend to matters hence the delay. He now writes
us that he is sorry to say he cannot accept £65 per annum
for the farm. Whilst admitting that the house is some
distance from the land he considers that the quality of
the land and the business it can do must have some bearing
upon the ultimate rent obtained. Having regard to the
representations we made to him upon your behalf he
instructs us to offer you the farm at a rental of Seventy five
pounds (£75) per annum and we trust you will see your way to
close with this offer.

Yours faithfully
Geo Marsden & Son

Mr H.Brooks,

1928 VALUATION for DALE FARM, Wirksworth

    Lady Day 1928

    Valuation of Tenant
    Rights & Fixtures
    The Dale Farm
    Mr H Sheppard
    Mr H.Brooks

    Geo Marsden & Son

    VALUATION of Tenant Right and Fixtures upon The Dale
    Farm in the parish of Wirksworth in the county of Derby from
    Mr H Sheppard, the outgoing Tenant to Mr W Fox the landlord
    or his incoming Tenant, Mr H.Brooks.

    As at Lady day 1928


    Milk Shed
    Armoured Piping from Tank to Cooler
    Cooler bracket and stand

    Cow sheds
    10 Cow chains

    Quantity of Hay on loft at consuming price

    Stackyard Stack of new Hay at consuming price

    No 536 3.649 Grass mown, Manured & spread. For labour thereon.

    No 488 2.421 Grass Mown. Manured & spread. For labour thereon.

    For the Manurial Value of the Feeding Stuffs
    consumed upon the Holding during the last two years of the
    Tenancy according to Messrs Voelcker & Halls Tables.

    We the undersigned after making the necessary
    deductions do hereby estimate the value of the above mentioned
    items, upon behalf of both parties, at the sum of

    £25 : 6 : 4d

    Geo Marsden & Son F.A.I

    Auctioneers & Valuers,



of Live and Dead Farming Stock,
Impliments, Produce and Tenant-right at


situate in the Parish of Wirksworth
in the County of Derby for
for Income Tax purposes.

Made June 7th 1949
As at April 6th 1949


Ayrshire Cow, due September
Ayrshire Heifer, Due September
Red and White Heifer, due September
Roan Cow in full milk
Roan Cow, due July
Red Cow, due August
Roan Cow, due September
Red Cow, in full milk
Roan cow, due September
Red cow, in full milk
Black barren cow in full milk
Red cow, due July
Blue cow, due July
Ayrshire Cow, due July
Dark Blue Cow, due July
Red Cow, due July
Roan Barren Cow
Red Barren Cow


Red Poll Stock Bull, 4 years old


2 Ayrshire-cross In-calf Heifers,
due October
2 Black Incalf Heifers, due October
1 Blue Yearling Heifer
1 Black Yearling Heifer
Roan Rearing Heifer calf
Red and white rearing Bull calf
Red Bullock


Brown Mare Pony, aged


20, 1 and 2 year old hens


Bamford Horse Rake
Iron Horse
Hay Sweep
30 Galvanized sheets
Light Dray
Ridge Plough
Ladder, 18 rounds
Ladder, 18 rounds
Ladder, 32 rounds
2 Stack cloths
Bamford Pulper
Bamford Clipper Chopper
Water Bowls for 14 cows
26 Cow chains
Iron Saw Bench
12 Circular Saw Blades
Steel Anvil
Horse Hoe
T.V.O. Tank
Single Ridge Drill
Milk Float on rubbers


Refrigerator Pan and Scye
2 Milk Buckets
2 Delivering Cans
2 Milk Churns


Set of Pony Harness
3 Cart Ropes
2 Short Ropes


Bamford Side Delivery Rake
Bamford Tedder
30 Cwt Chain Blocks
Land Roller
Chain Harrow
14 Old Churns
Wooden Shed
Wooden Fowl House
do do do
Wooden Fowl House, span roof


Lister 2½ h.p. Engine


4 Hoes
12 Hay Forks
3 Hay Rakes
2 Scyes
Hay Knife
3 Shovels
3 Manure Forks
Bonny Rake
Cross Cut Saw and hammer
Quantity Joiners Tools


Austin 8 h.p. Motor Van 1938


1939 Morris 10 h.p. Car


Ford 26 h.p. Motor Lorry


Fordson Tractor 1945,
on pneumatic tyres


Bamford Tractor Mower
Talbot 2 furrow plough


2½ tons Oat Straw Chop
7 tons of Hay


30 cwts Home grown oats



8 acres manured and spread
(Labour only)
once chain harrowed

531 4.082 G.M. Ploughed by Order

Growing Oats after Oats (For the
seed bill and cultivations)
Manured and spread (Labour only)

491 5.385 G.P. Ploughed by Order

Part growing oats after oats,
(For the seed bill and cultivations)
Part prepared for cabbage and potatoes,
once ploughed (For the ploughing)
Remainder of field G.M. (No claim)

473 2.341 G.M. 1 acre ploughing by Order

Now ploughed after mangolds and cabbages
(For the cultivations,
and usual compensation
on greencrop ground)

Fordson N 1943

T.V.O.=Tractor vaporising oil
Tractor vaporising oil (or TVO) is a fuel for internal combustion engines, produced from paraffin (kerosene). In the United Kingdom and Australia, after the Second World War, it was commonly used for tractors until diesel engines became commonplace. In Australian English it was known as power kerosene.
The post war Ferguson TE20 tractor, a carefully researched and near-ideal tractor for use on British farms, was designed around a petrol (gasoline) engine. Although there was a campaign for the reintroduction of agricultural Road Duty (tax)-free petrol, which had been curtailed during the war, this was not forthcoming. Perkins Engines supplied some conversions into diesel engines which could use un-taxed red diesel.
As a substitute for petrol, TVO was developed. Paraffin (kerosene) was commonly used as a domestic heating fuel and was un-taxed. Paraffin has an octane rating of zero and would damage an engine built for petrol. The manufacture of paraffin involves the removal of aromatic hydrocarbons from what is now sold as heating oil. These aromatics have an octane rating, so adding some of that otherwise waste product material back in a controlled manner into paraffin gave TVO. The resulting octane rating of TVO was somewhere between 55 and 70.
In practice TVO had most of the properties of paraffin, including the need for heating to encourage vapourisation. As a result the exhaust and inlet manifolds were adapted so that more heat from the former warmed the latter. To get the tractor to start from cold, a small second fuel tank was added that contained petrol. The tractor was started on the expensive petrol, then once the engine was warm the fuel supply switched over to TVO. So long as the engine was working hard, like when ploughing or pulling a load, the TVO would burn well. Under light conditions, such as travelling unloaded on the highway, the engine was better on petrol.
Some tractor designs included a radiator "blind" that would restrict the flow of air over the radiator which led to the engine running hotter, which could help with starting. If the radiator blind was left shut, though, there was a risk of engine damage, especially in warm weather.
The phrase petrol-paraffin is often used to describe engines that use TVO. This can be interpreted either as the use of the two fuels, starting on petrol then switching to the paraffin-based TVO the use of a mixture of petrol and paraffin as a substitute for the proper TVO TVO was withdrawn from sale by UK suppliers in 1974. An approximation to the correct specification can be made from petrol and heating oil (burning oil).
From Wikipedia

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