Shipley - Circling Purdy House Farm
w/e 11 September 2005
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Old Tramway

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.
To Shipley Gate

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.
Cotmanhay Wood

Long LaneThis 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.
Fruit And Flowers

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.
Bentley's Plantation

Hassock Lane SouthWalking 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.

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