Ilkeston - Kirk Hallam
w/e 15 January 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Kirk Hallam

Mention locally of the words 'Kirk Hallam' these days will probably conjure up images of the housing estates that have been built up both north and south of Ladywood Road but this has not always been the case. It's not so very long ago that it was a self contained village consisting of a Church, a Hall , a School and a few cottages scattered either side of the road. The extract from the old Ordnance Survey map below from about the middle of the last century shows all these features and also the beginnings of the St Norbert's Drive development to the south. There is still no sign of Godfrey Drive to the north of Ladywood Road (compare today's map).

Kirk Hallam map from mid 20th century

The name Kirk Hallam has evolved over the years from when it appeared in the Domesday Book in 1086 as 'Halum' later to become 'Burkhalum' meaning 'the cottage in the nook'. 'Burh' is Old English for cottage and halh for 'nook or corner'. The Old Norse 'kirkja' and Old English 'cirice' gave rise to the 'Kirk' part of the name following the building of the church and to differentiate the settlement from others in the neighbourhood that are today known as West Hallam, Little Hallam and Hallam Fields.
All Saints' Church access

All Saints' ChurchIn the late 1950s the realignment of Ladywood Road (see title image above) resulted in some old cottages near the church being demolished but it was not until 1973 that the Hall met the same fate. The Hall stood to the left of the access drive and was acquired by the parish in 1932. Previously it had served as an academy for young ladies in the early 19th century and then as the home first to a local miller and then to a solicitor. The 1932 rebuilding of the Hall reduced its size by 40% and resulted in the demolition of the East wing. It lasted in this form until 1973 when it was completely demolished to be replaced by a purpose-built vicarage.
Old School

Going down the hill from the church, the old school building (left in the picture above) is identified by a name plate on the wall but today it is a private residence. Nowadays, Kirk Hallam boast four schools - Dallimore and Ladywood for younger children and the Community School and St John Houghton for seniors. Both the senior schools are on the northern side of the estate off Godfrey Drive seen here on the left at the bottom of the hill.
Godfrey Drive

About halfway along Godfrey Drive which rejoins Ladywood Road at the Cat and Fiddle Inn (see here) there is a green open space where water birds are a common sight by and on the adjacent lake.

Kirk Hallam Lake

One of the schools mentioned earlier, the Community School, is reached by an access road by the side of the lake and can be seen here through the trees. Care has to be taken when driving along Godfrey Drive not only because of the presence of schoolchildren but also because there is often a parade of swans and ducks visiting the bungalows opposite in search of a titbit or two.
Depedale Avenue

But it was the south side of the estate that was developed first where many of the residents found employment at the nearby Stanton Ironworks (later British Steel). Although the industrial area is still visible from the top of Depedale Avenue, a twin as opposed to dual carriageway with a wide central reservation in the middle of the southern half of the estate, the population has long had to look for alternative means of employment since the demise of the iron and steel making industry. There is though, perhaps a lesson to be learned by the town planners of today who seem intent on cramming as many properties into as small an area as possible from this picture. When Kirk Hallam estate was laid out it included several areas of green open space with consideration to the future wellbeing of the residents.
Shopping Precinct

It was also near the top of Depedale Avenue that the planners created a new 'village centre' with room for a small shopping precinct, a doctor's surgery and a community hall.
The Nottingham Castle

Not forgetting of course, the Hillcrest Elderly Persons Home in the distance and the essential for any village centre, a public house. In this case it is the Nottingham Castle. The prompt for this page came as a result of an email I received just before Christmas from a young man serving his country in Iraq. He referred to Kirk Hallam as 'the village time forgot' and admitted that he was feeling somewhat homesick with very little to be found on the internet. I don't think it was forgotten as such, just swallowed up by the surrounding development but I hope these images redress the balance a little and I have no doubt on his return home, he'll enjoy recounting his experiences in the Forces with some of the regulars of the Nottingham Castle.

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