Elvaston - Around The Village
w/e 3 December 2006
All 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.

Main Road

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.
Modernised BuildingFormer AlmshousesIn 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'.

Pointing The Way

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.
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.
Walled GardenPicnic AreaThe 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.

Private Drive

HollyA 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).
Lodge Cottage

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 Thulston.
The Harrington Arms

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!

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