Attenborough - Peace and Tranquillity
w/e 28 May 2023
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300
Despite being surrounded by
Toton and Long Eaton to the west and Chilwell and Beeston to
the east, it's relatively easy to find a peaceful spot in the
village of Attenborough these days - but that was not always
One such quiet spot is The Strand. Not as grand as its namesake
in London but the road does have some impressive properties on
its northern side and one, towards the far end, is actually Grade
On the other side of The Strand is a sporting complex where the
peace is only disturbed by the sound of wood on wood from the
Bowls Club; leather on willow from the cricketers; the shouts
for offside from the football players or the cries of excited
children if an event is taking place on the ground which also
doubles as the village green.
These days the sports ground - and The Strand and other properties
in the village - are protected from flood waters from the River
Trent and the Attenborough Nature Reserve by a high wall, built
recently as part of a Flood Prevention Scheme. The Reserve has
seven large "ponds" that are known by various names.
This one, accessed from The Strand, is almost surrounded by four
of them and is named Tween Pond.
There are several paths and trails around the ponds and this
one along the northern edge of Tween Pond, forms part of the
route of two trails, the Tufted Duck and the Kingfisher, and
leads to Church Pond. Although a wildlife sanctuary, a recent
outbreak of bird flu appears to have had an effect and we saw
very few birds as we walked along here. There were probably more
at the Visitor Centre which is usually one of the busiest parts
of the Nature Reserve.
There are several smaller ponds and inlets from the main ponds,
often providing tranquil scenes like this one across to St Mary's
Church - which was where we were heading.
The trails through the Reserve are interspersed with information
boards at strategic points. This one at a junction in the paths
between Tween Pond and Church Pond was all about Common Terns.
The peace of Church Pond is only disturbed these days by the
sound of trains as they thunder along the tracks on the far side
on the journeys between Nottingham and Derby.
The only other sound to disturb the peace is perhaps that of
aircraft passing overhead from East Midlands Airport but before
the Nature Reserve was established it would have been the sound
of industry as gravel was extracted for the pits that now form
the ponds. From the Common Tern board the path leads directly
to the Visitor Centre but we turned the opposite way towards
Next to and in the shadow of the church is the peaceful setting
of Ireton House, a Grade II Listed building.
A plaque on a wall at Ireton House shows that Henry Ireton was
born here. Although peaceful now and probably peaceful then too,
this was the Henry Ireton who became a general in the English
Civil War and married Oliver Cromwell's daughter. He signed the
death warrant of Charles I and living in such troubled times
would hardly have had a peaceful life. The second plaque is in
the St Mary's churchyard.
This second plaque records the moment near the end of the First
World War which was anything but peaceful. 139 souls lost their
lives at the nearby Chilwell Ordnance Factory in a massive explosion.
Some of the victims were buried in a mass grave in the churchyard.
When we last visited the graves were marked by stone slabs in
the turf (see picture by Dave Sommerfield at Wikipedia)
but since then, two plots opposite each other have been created,
one with a simple but fitting memorial cross that, with the plaque,
records the tragic event and now allows the victims to rest in
peace in this tranquil churchyard.