Shipley - Circling Purdy House Farm
w/e 11 September 2005
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
About three weeks ago I attempted a walk through Bentley's Plantation
but inclement weather forced me to abandon the idea. The nearest
I got was to look down a footpath leading from Hassock Lane but
better conditions this week enabled me to follow that path into
the wooded area. The path continues in a straight line along
the edge of the plantation; in this view there are trees to the
right and fields beyond the boundary on the left. The path follows
the route of an old railway branch line that led from the collieries
at Shipley to the main line station at Shipley Gate. On historic
maps of 1897 linked from the Ordnance Survey website, the route
of the branch line was already marked as "Old Tramway"
but it is still visible today well over 100 years later.
Beyond the plantation the route continues downhill, still in
a straight line, but from here there is a good view across the
Erewash Valley to Eastwood in neighbouring Nottinghamshire. The
River Erewash forms the boundary with Derbyshire and although
the branch line has disappeared, the main north-south railway
line runs alongside the river.
On meeting the railway line, I turned right along this lane to
the site of former Shipley Gate Station. Station House and the
footbridge over the railway where I took another right turn can
be seen here in the distance.
This led me up
the aptly named Long Lane (left) which runs almost parallel to
the route of the old tramway I had already followed away to the
right. In the opposite direction, the view across the fields
is to another arborial area at Cotmanhay Wood. If you are wondering
about the title for this page "Circling Purdy House Farm"
it's because the farm lies in the land between Long Lane and
Bentley's Plantation. There were signs of activity away to the
right with cattle in the fields and tractor engines droning in
the warm summer air but the way forward was up the steady incline
of Long Lane to Hassock Lane South.
Meeting Hassock Lane South necessitated another right turn to
return to the start of the walk which meant passing a very colourful
display of flowers by the side of the road in front of one of
the properties. The flowers served as a beautiful reminder if
one were needed, that we have enjoyed an excellent summer as
I had already seen elderberries, rose hips and blackberries and
a multitude of wild flowers on the way.
down Hassock Lane South gave me another chance to see Bentley's
Plantation. I have no idea who Bentley was or why this narrow
band of trees was planted. I can only surmise that the plantation
was possibly first there to screen the tramway but now that the
railway has gone, the trees remain as a wonderful legacy from
that bygone age. I have often driven along this road and have
hardly noticed the plantation. No doubt most people passing by
do the same but it makes you wonder how many more treasures and
stories are right under our noses and just waiting to be discovered.