West Hallam - Near The Crossroads
w/e 29 March 2009
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
From the bottom of Derby
Road at Ilkeston, the High Lane in three sections East, Central
and West respectively, passes through the parish of West Hallam.
Where the name changes from High Lane Central to High Lane West
a lane (right) leads off to the north to Mapperley Village whilst
another road to the south is St Wilfrid's Road leading to West
Hallam village centre.
Spring was definitely in the air this week with seasonal flowers
blooming on a small grassed area on the Ilkeston side of the
crossroads where a new village sign was erected not too long
ago. The sign depicts St Wilfrid's Church and the coats of arms
of three families whose names are forever etched into the history
of the area - Scargill, Newdigate and Powtrell. (See detail
in small image top left)
Also at the crossroads but in the opposite direction to Ilkeston
is the Bottle Kiln. Today this is an art gallery with craft and
gift shops, a buttery cafe and a Japanese Garden and it has been
transformed from the original kiln on the site. An information
board gives some of the site's history as follows:
"This site was originally an estate sawmill making pit-props
for the Newdigate Estate coal mines. In the mid 19th century
additional buildings were erected to house a small brick works
using materials from a nearby clay pit. The bricks were fired
in beehive kilns.
Two bottle-neck kilns were built by the 'West Hallam Art &
Earthenware Company' in the early 1920s utilising the earlier
buildings and adding further workshops and a boiler house with
a square chimney. The pottery failed in 1933. One kiln was demolished
in the 1950s causing local concern and the present outer kiln
shell was registered as a 'listed' building.
The Stone family purchased the derelict site in 1983. Charles
Stone designed and built the present complex of which only the
kiln shell is an original building, with substantial help from
his sons. The business here has been run by the Stone family
Our route on this occasion from the crossroads took
us down St Wilfrid's Road into the village centre but as this
has been well documented previously (usually when the Well Dressings are taking place) I did not
take any photographs but continued along Beech Lane (another area previously photographed)
to Station Road.
A right turn into Station Road leads back to the High Lane but
about half way along Station Road is an interesting building.
It seems unremarkable at first glance but there is a clue in
the name of the gate "Ye Olde Cinder House" and a close
up of the walls shows an unusual building material. The house
was built in 1833 to celebrate the birth of Francis Parker Newdigate,
son of the local Squire and it was built from cinders made from
the burning of large pieces of local clay from Mapperley Park.
The material was used as an experiment and although it has stood
the test of time becoming a Grade II listed building in 1986,
the experiment could not have been all that successful as it
did not catch on and the house is thought to be unique.
Until the last quarter of the twentieth century much the land
bounded the four roads High Lane Central, St Wilfrid's Road,
Beech Lane and Station Road was open farmland but since then
a large proportion of it has been filled with new housing. There
are some green spaces left though and this one on the other side
of the road to the Cinder House has been transformed into an
attractive play area.
The West Hallam Community Hall stands adjacent to play area and
although it fulfils a useful function and is a much more imposing
building than the Cinder House, for me it doesn't possess anything
like the character of its historic neighbour.
Station Road (on the right) joins at another crossroads on the
High Lane where High Lane West changes to Belper Road and Park
Hall Lane seen here on the left, leads off again to Mapperley
Park and then on to Mapperley Village. The car dealership on
the corner of station Road and High Lane West has traded for
many years under the name of Millhouse, this name having its
origins in the windmill that once stood here.
Our journey back to Ilkeston from the second crossroads took
us past the Bottle Kiln again and also past the nearby West Hallam
Methodist Church. The church is a good neighbour to the Bottle
Kiln providing an overflow car park when necessary. It is also
another place that has been seen previously on this site in even
numbered years when they hold Flower Festivals in the church
hall usually at the beginning of May.
Click here for pictures from 2002 and here for 2006.