Risley - Conservation Area
w/e 22 April 2018
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
It's almost ten years since I added a selection of
images from the village of Risley and picture-wise, little has
changed since then, so some of this selection below are very
similar to those from July 2008 (link).
Much of the village
is designated as a Conservation Area and all of these images
from near All Saints' Church were taken on the north side of
the main road through Risley where there are a number of listed
buildings or features. Amongst them are the churchyard walls,
gates and War Memorial. A date stone in the well worn sandstone
near the top of the right hand gate post is difficult to read
but actually says 1707. Also worthy of note is the scrolled lantern
arch complete with the central lantern. The War Memorial is inscribed
with the names of victims from the village in both World Wars.
To the right of the path leading from the gates to the church
are, not as I first thought air raid shelters, but two Chest
Tombs from the eighteenth century. Inscriptions on the tombs
record the deaths of Richard Smedley on February 16th 1748 aged
80, William Smedley on June 24th 1743 and Edward .... who died
July 17th 1730 aged 51 and his wife Elizabeth on January 23rd
1729 aged 50. The tombs are Grade II listed.
The parish church itself dedicated to All Saints is Grade II*
listed and was built for Sir Michael Willoughby as a domestic
chapel to Risley Hall in 1593 and consecrated in 1632, one of
only six built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The north
aisle and vestry were added in 1841 when the church was restored
The Willoughby family's coat of arms is in the stonework above
the south door with the date 1593. In addition the initials M,
K and W which stand for Michael and Katharine Willoughby are
carved there too but it is difficult to make them out nowadays
due to the weathering of the stone.
Between the Chest Tombs and the south door is another interesting
grave. This is the final resting place of Ernest Terah Hooley
who gained a certain amount of notoriety by buying and floating
companies that went on to become well known British concerns
amassing a fortune in the process. He was also declared bankrupt
and was known as a serial fraudster. He owned Risley Hall (which
stands opposite the church) and lived there until 1941. A friend
of King Edward VII, his life story makes for some interesting
reading - see Grace's Guide.
Behind the church is another Grade II listed building, Church
Cottage. This seventeenth century cottage was partly rebuilt
in 1882 and has a stone plaque above the door inscribed 'Harrisons
Memorial 1882'. Also visible in this image is the timber framing
between the windows.
Next to the church along Derby Road is the Latin House (Grade
II*) which was described by Pevsner as "one of the finest
buildings in the country". It was built in 1706 for Elizabeth
Grey of Risley Hall. Elizabeth was a descendant of Katharine
Willoughby who had founded a school here in 1593. The Latin House
was to accommodate pupils, master and usher. Not only is the
house listed but so are the walls in front which are of early
eighteenth century construction all be it with later repairs.
Above each window of the Latin House is a grotesque head and
above the door is the inscription "A MA PUISSANCE MDCCVI"
a quotation from the coat of arms meaning "To my power".
Separated from the Latin House by a narrow lane called The City
is the Latin College and Latin Cottage, again Grade II* listed,
which were endowed by Elizabeth Grey in her will of 1720.
The City nameplate also gives the origin of the name.
Stepping into The City is like stepping back in time, a quiet
little oasis from an earlier age. Risley Brook runs down the
left hand side of the lane and on the other side of it is a cottage
that bears the name "The Old Post Office" which indicates
its former use. Also on the left of this picture the rear of
Church Cottage that stands behind the church can be seen.
Returning to the main road and next to the Latin College is the
Old School House and as would be expected this is yet another
Grade II* listed building. Dating from 1720 with later alterations
this again was endowed by Elizabeth Grey and was built as part
of the Latin school complex. Although the Derbyshire Victoria
County History states that it was built in 1771, this is probably
the date of some alterations as it appears on a map in the Derbyshire
County Record Office which is dated 1722 . It is no surprise
then with all these listed buildings - and more - that Risley
is designated as a Conservation Area.