24 May 2016

Ironville

There's "sleek silver" Clint parked near to Christ Church in Ironville, Derbyshire. I drove there on Monday to undertake yet another of my circular walks. A few days before I had never even heard of Ironville but I liked the name - it sounded as if it belonged in America's badlands or perhaps in the wilds of Western Australia. As it happens, Ironville was a company village that grew up in the early nineteenth century in connection with local ironworks. The squat church was built in 1852.

Today the ironworks have gone but if you look closely you will still find evidence of the area's industrial history. It's there in the woods and in the overgrown courses of canals and former railway tracks. This was a place for hard work with the majority of workers living within easy walking distance of the fiery works that gave them their hard-earned wage packets.
I walked to Jacksdale, Plain Spot and Brinsley before heading west into the Erewash Valley and then onwards to the ruins of Codnor Castle. It was a thirteenth century fortress but when it fell into disuse, builders used it like a quarry or brickyard, taking away cartloads of stone to construct several local houses. The result is that the once impressive edifice is but a shadow of what it once was.

Then on past the William Jessop monument. Jessop was a nationally important industrialist and the main driving force behind The Butterley Company that developed Ironville and its ironworks.

The walk led me past The Erewash Meadows nature reserve where I spotted these greylag geese:-
Earlier I rested on a bench in the curiously named settlement of Plain Spot, beneath a signpost that directs travellers to Brinsley, Westwood and Underwood and then I looked up:-
Signpost in Plain Spot

26 comments:

  1. You should've taken all your pairs of shorts and your shirts along to Ironsville....you might've had them all ironed for you by the time you returned from your walk and climbed aboard Clint.

    Great shot of the two-headed goose! Okay! Okay! So I'm a goose...that's okay!

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    1. Most of the women of Ironville were standing on their doorsteps swinging their irons provocatively. I thought it meant something else as I hurried by, ignoring their communal question - "Do you want business love?"

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    2. You're as insane as I am, Yorkie! lol

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  2. You gain a very detailed perspective on things when you walk. Being up in the rockies in the meadows is a much better experience that driving by in your cr.

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    1. You are right Red. The slow pace of walking means that you see a lot more detail and find time to linger.

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  3. Interesting place to have a good root about in.
    The geese are Greylags. Brent geese are small and very dark with a black bill, they live at the seaside.

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    1. Thank you Adrian. I hate to admit it but you are right! I shall change this detail forthwith. I know you are an expert in goosing.

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  4. I like the photo of the pair of geese!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. They were about a hundred yards away from me when I snapped them.

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  5. There is something about such planned settlements like company villages that I find fascinating - very different from a naturally grown village. The name Ironville does indeed sound rather American or Australian.
    The signpost photo is great, but then of course I could say that about almost each and every picture on your blog.

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    1. You are very kind Meike. Thank you.

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  6. I must be thinking about a different place. The Ironbridge I fleetingly visited was, as I recall it, a little rough around the edges and not a place I'd leave a nice new shiny Clint. Wasn't most of the original 'model village' demolished not that long ago?

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    1. Ironville is part of Alfreton near Claycross. You wouldn't leave a car there. You wouldn't wear your best shoes there. It is a right dump but the industrial heritage is probably worth a look. Ironbridge is in Shropshire and very posh.

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    2. I must say I was a little apprehensive about leaving Clint there but I guessed that he would be protected by the aura of that church. Ironville or Ironbridge Graham?

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    3. A slip of the wishful tongue YP. I meant Ironville but I would have wished for Ironbridge which is, as you will know, a delightful place which also has an interesting history.

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    4. Ironville appeared to have had a large dose of poverty injected into it though there were some nice, well kept properties on the road to the Jessop Monument. Yes Ironbridge is a somewhat different place though I believe that Jessop had working connections with the Darby family of Ironbridge.

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  7. Ironville was a new one on me too so I had to look it up. I love the name of the company that built the village - the Butterley Company - but they obviously had consideration for their workers if the houses had large gardens and the village a mechanics institute. JUst a pity that the local authority demolished it.

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    1. The Butterley Company should have been producing dairy products, not iron bars and rails.

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  8. How could you not want to visit a place by the name of Plain Spot?

    Ms Soup

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    1. I have tried to find out how this place got its name but so far I have been defeated. Plain Spot - it is weird isn't it? Spelt differently, Plane Spot would be at the end of an airport runway and all the residents would be deaf.

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  9. I love British place names. "Plain Spot." That's great.

    Ironville sounds to me like a place in Pennsylvania. Maybe near Pittsburgh. No castles there, though, at least not that I'm aware of.

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    1. Steve - go here:- https://knoji.com/beautiful-castles-in-pittsburgh

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  10. Another good walk and excellent photos YP. I really must make a note of some of these places, and look them up on Google Earth. I doubt Google Street View has ventured so far into the unknown !

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    1. Street View did visit Ironville but the Street View car headed out quickly when barefoot local children bombarded it with bits of slag from the old ironworks.

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  11. Codnor is familiar to me but not the other places YP. Nice countryside.

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    1. I only got as far as Codnor Castle and didn't carry on to the village/town. Maybe another time.

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