Holbrook Village
w/e 05 May 2019
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The village of Holbrook is approximately five miles north of Derby and just a couple of miles from Belper. As such it serves as a commuter base for many people who work in the surrounding area but even though there is much twentieth century housing it still retains many stone buildings from an earlier era so familiar in Derbyshire villages. We shall see some of them here.

St Michael's Church

One of the first buildings passed on the approach up the hill from Coxbench to the south is St Michael's Church. This was originally built in 1761 as a private chapel for the nearby Holbrook Hall by Rev. S. Bradshaw but was rebuilt and enlarged in 1841 by the MP William Evans and is now Grade II Listed. Holbrook Hall is now a residential care home.
Church Gates

The gates to the church plus the attached wall and War Memorial to the north are also Grade II Listed structures. The road to the north splits and forms a one-way system for traffic with Church Street continuing on the left and Town Street providing the return route on the right. The cottages in the middle were once the homes and workplaces of framework knitters.
War Memorial

The War Memorial stands to the right of the church gates and is inscribed "Sons of Holbrook who fell in the Great War 1914 - 1918". It was unveiled on 23rd October, 1921 and granted listed status on 20th January, 1986.
Mellors Lane

At the northern end of the one-way system Mellors Lane joins from the west and the cottages here are typical of how the village would have looked when framework knitting was the major industry about three hundred years ago. Some stockings made here ended up in the Royal households in both Spain and England.
(You have to admit the residents of Holbrook today are not without a sense of humour. The cottage to the left of the camera position is called "Sea Breeze" cottage and the one immediately on the left of the image above is "Lifeboat Cottage!)
The Spotted Cow

Town Street continues to the north from its junction with Mellors Lane and this is where we find The Spotted Cow pub. After being closed for a while it was saved by 225 people in the local community and re-opened in July 2017. Now run by the Holbrook Community Society, an adjacent café, The Spotted Calf, is also owned and run by the community.

Stoney Lane

On the other side of Town Street, Stoney Lane leads down the hill into the valley where Bottle Brook runs alongside the A38 between Derby and Ripley. I can testify to the steepness of the lane, having climbed it several times on walks that start and finish in the village during the annual Autumn Footprints Walking Festival. A seat to the right of the grassy knoll on the right is certainly a welcome sight after a six or seven mile walk before the climb!
Arkwright Memorial Hall

Moving now to the northern end of the village along Moorside Road we reach an area known as Holbrook Moor and find the Arkwright Memorial Hall, the base for several groups and clubs in the village. The hall is named after a Mrs Arkwright who moved into Holbrook Hall from 1915 and whose husband was a direct descendant of Richard Arkwright of Cromford. Mrs Arkwright did a lot of charitable work for the villagers, visited the sick and paying for medical care and generally offering help where needed. Her help also provided the village hall in 1932.
Primary School

Next to the Village Hall is the Holbrook Church of England Primary School. More modern buildings at the school stand behind but the original school was built in 1842 by William Evans of Allestree Hall. He also owned Holbrook Hall. Prior to that, children were taught reading and writing in a room over the Holbrook Hall stables in the 1700s at the behest of Anthony Radford.
Methodist Church

On the other side of Moorside Road and just a little further on is the Holbrook Moor Methodist Church where the stone panel in the gable end reads "United Methodist Free Church 1883".
The Dead Poet's Inn

The Methodist Church faces Chapel Street where a little way up is another pub, The Dead Poet's Inn. Formerly call The Cross keys, the pub was built in 1800.

Inn Sign

Since the name change, not only has the inn sign been updated but this panel rhyming "beer" with "here" in keeping with the poetic theme, has been added to the front of the pub.

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