Elvaston - Around
w/e 3 December 2006
this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
The parish of Elvaston actually contains three villages.
Thulston is the largest of the three and is literally only a
stone's throw to the south of Elvaston. They are on the same
winding road that links one of the main routes into Derby with
Borrowash. The trio is completed by Ambaston and this is little
more than an off the beaten track hamlet to the east. Elvaston
though, is probably the most well-known of the three due mainly
to the Country Park that bears its name and the County Shows
and Steam Fairs that are held there. I featured the park and
Elvaston Castle back in 2003 (see here) so for this visit I thought we'd stop
in the village itself to see what it had to offer.
This is Main Road seen for the junction of Silver Lane on the
left. Almost directly opposite this junction is the lane to Ambaston
and behind the Main Road name changes to Ball Lane which leads
to Thulston. The War Memorial, a simple cross, commemorates both
World Wars and is inscribed " Remember all ye who pass this
way". Although the village looks deserted in this shot,
the road is often busy with traffic but I imagine few travellers
intent of getting from A to B will remember the fallen as they
go about their business.
In this former farming
community, many of the original buildings have been modernised
and converted into housing accommodation (left). Few farms now
remain but newer houses blend in with the existing and Elvaston
remains a rural satellite of the nearby county town. We walked
along Main Road as far as this large imposing building (right)
which is marked on old maps as 'Almshouse'.
Signposts on Main Road point to a narrow lane between the former
almshouse and the neighbouring cottages seen on the left of this
image leading to Elvaston Cricket Club, the Parish Church and
the Village Hall.
The first of these along the lane is the Village Hall which,
as you could almost guess from its appearance, was formerly the
village school. It was built in 1852.
The lane continues (as
signed) to the church and cricket ground. It also leads to the
famous Golden Gates but we turned off along a track at the side
of and behind the village hall, skirting the country park to
reach the walled garden (left). Through the gate the garden looked
in need of some serious attention but an adjacent picnic area
(right) looked far more attractive even on a chilly afternoon.
A private drive at
the side of the walled garden led us back to Main Road at the
northern extremity of the village. The view above is looking
back along the drive which leads through the park to Elvaston
Castle, the former home of the Earls of Harrington. The grounds
were designed between 1830 and 1850 by William Barron, who came
to Elvaston from the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. His design
included a large selection of plants and trees and as we look
along this drive early in Advent there seems to be no shortage
of Christmas Trees. There are also a number of holly trees and
bushes of both the plain and variegated varieties (right).
The drive reaches Main Road at the side of the cottages but the
name of the nearer one, Lodge Cottage and the crests on the gable
ends tell of a former use as a lodge for the Harrington's estate.
The term "Blink and you'll miss it" could well have
been coined about Elvaston for most people, unless they actually
live or have business in the village, are merely passing through.
But you'd be well advised not to blink as the road twists and
turns right and left from here back through the village towards
We followed those twists and turns and as we left Elvaston, we
paused long enough in Thulston to capture this image of the only
pub in the parish, appropriately called "The Harrington
Arms". Not sure what the Earl would have made of the television
aerials and satellite dish though!