Sunday, 2 March 2014

The History Trail

Today we went to Duffield, to see the Mother-Church of St Michael's (in Holbrook where my ancestors lived and worked). They could have made the trek from Holbrook across the fields to Duffield but, without examining the Church Registers at Matlock, I will never know for sure.

So, we begin with the oldest church in the area, that of St Alkmund (no, I'd never heard of him either).

St Alkmund

We arrived just as Sunday Service was drawing to a close. The 'Sermon' was in the form of a Q&A session and wasn't at all like the Service my ancestors would have enjoyed in the mid 19th century.

St Alkmund's Churchyard

Everywhere we go, there are signs of Spring. The sheep on the farm where we are staying, are about to drop their lambs, the spring blossom is on the cherry and almond trees and the snowdrops are giving way to daffodils.

Millford Mill

Despite the Spring-like signs in nature, the weather is chilly and wet. We gave Ron a ball game in what was to be the last of the dry spell earlier in the morning. We stopped at The Mill House, Millford, where one of Strutt's Cotton Spinning Mills was built in the late 18th century.

On the way out of the village of Duffield, I was side-tracked by a street name - Castle Hill. I remembered that there was a Castle Duffield and asked MWNN to go up the hill in search of it. I hadn't done any research so didn't realise that the castle had been destroyed in 1266 by Henry III and that all that was left was the site and some of the excavations. We drove on and on, enjoying the views of the Derwent Valley as we climbed to Hazelwood. From there, there was a steep decline down towards Wimbley (where we are staying). On the way down the hill, we decided it was time to give Ron another stretch of the legs before lunch at the Cross Keys.

Adam Bede Cottage, Derby Road, Wirksworth

We drove on to Wirksworth in the hope of finding both a gap in the rain and somewhere to walk. We found neither. Parking in the Market Square, Wirskworth is expensive everyday of the year, including Sundays and Bank Holidays. The Heritage Trail is Big Business in this area. Needless-to-say, we didn't stop. MWNN had pointed out a house named Adam Bede on the road to Wirksworth. ‘Adam Bede’ grew out of many of George Eliot's memories of her visits to her Aunt and Uncle in Derbyshire.

Cross Keys Inn and Butchers

Sunday lunch at the Cross Keys, Turnditch, was very good - some excellent Derbyshire Beef (supplied by anthony Andrews) with all the usual trimmings.