Derby's Heritage Part 26 - From Trees To Trains
w/e 26 February 2012
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Heritage Walk Header

For the last three months our visits to Derby to continue this Heritage Walk have seen us take a leisurely stroll through The Arboretum but in this part we will leave the trees behind as we continue through the streets and the history of Derby towards the railway station.

Joseph Strutt

Our exit from the eleven acre park is overlooked by John Bell's statue of Joseph Strutt who, as the inscription in the stonework beneath shows, donated what was the world's first public park to the town in 1840. Joseph who had accumulated his wealth from industrial activities was one of the great social reformers of the time and was the youngest son of Jedidiah, the well known cotton manufacturer.
Entrance Lodge

Strutt's statue stands above the Entrance Lodge that was built in 1850, ten years after the opening of the Arboretum. It was originally intended that there would be only two entrances to the Arboretum but the construction of this lodge which was destined to become the main entrance brought the number to four. The listed Grade II lodge was by Henry Duesbury and it was restored in 1994 by the Derby Historic Buildings Trust. A successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund has allowed work to be undertaken to restore both the Arboretum itself and the lodges to their former glory and it still continues today. This view of the Entrance Lodge also shows, in the foreground, an iron lamp standard on a large octagonal stone. This too is Grade II listed.
Arboretum Square

The lamp standard, also seen here on the right, stands on a paved area in the middle of Arboretum Square where houses were built on either side between 1867 and 1868. More recently these large Victorian family homes were allowed to fall into a state of dereliction but some have now been renovated and work is currently being lovingly undertaken on others, retaining and restoring original features, to convert them into apartments.
Royal Crown Derby

Just before the Arboretum opened in 1840, on an adjacent plot and seen here from Osmaston Road, the Union Workhouse was built to a design of John Mason in 1838 and 1839. It was adapted by F. J. Robinson in 1877 - 78 to become the Crown Derby Porcelain Company where it has remained to this day. Now with the "Royal" prefix, the company was established by Edward Phillips and William Litherland. Producing mementos for last year's Royal Wedding, the company had a profitable year and are engaged in a similar project this year for the Diamond Jubilee but back in 2002 it was their normal range of china that was on display when we toured the factory and you can see images from that visit by clicking here. On this occasion however we continued on our walk by following Keble Close (right) and Oxford Street to reach London Road.
London Road Community Hospital DerbyOff Oxford Street is an entrance to the new London Road Community Hospital (left) which occupies the site of the former Derby Royal Infirmary. We shall see more of the DRI buildings in a later part but the Community Hospital now provides rehabilitation and intermediate care. Turning left onto London Road (right) our route first is to turn right at the traffic lights into Midland Road.

Winter's Studio

Just inside Midland Road is the distinctive facade of Winter's Photographic Studio. the Winter in question being Alderman W. W. Winter who had the premises built in 1867 after taking over a business started ten years earlier. It is thought that the building was designed by his friend, Henry Isaac Stevens (1806-1873) and it is the earliest purpose built photographic studio to survive in continuous use in the U.K.
Railway Memorial

Railway MemorialA little further along Midland Road is the Midland Railway War Memorial which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was originally dedicated in December 1921 to commemorate “2,833 brave men of the Midland Railway staff who gave their lives in the Great War.” With the high price being paid for scrap metal the memorial was the target in August 2010 for thieves who removed some of the bronze plaques containing the names of the fallen. Fortunately the stolen plaques were discovered nearby and following an £18,000 restoration by Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust the memorial was rededicated in December 2010.
Midland Hotel

Next to the Railway War Memorial is the Midland Hotel that opened in 1841 for the ‘Accommodation of the Gentry and Nobility’. The Midland Hotel therefore was initially for first class passengers whilst another hostelry (that we shall see in the next part) the Brunswick Inn was for second class passengers and railway workers. Among those first class visitors to the Midland in the 1840s was Queen Victoria who visited several time and stayed in a suite of rooms that was made for her.
Derby Midland Station

In the early days of the railway, travellers whether first or second class could arrive at Derby Station on trains operated by one of three companies. The North Midland Railway that was formed in the 1830s ran north to Leeds whilst the Midland Counties operated from Nottingham and Leicester. With the Birmingham and Derby Railways also arriving, Derby became an important railway town and the Midland Hotel opened opposite the station.
Coat of Arms
Both the station and the hotel were designed by Francis Thompson and although much of his work at the station has disappeared the hotel still stands as testament to his design. The three companies amalgamated in 1844 to form the Midland Railway and the coat of arms (right) that features the Wyvern of Mercia and the shield incorporating the crests of the places served by the company, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Leeds, Leicester and Lincoln is still prominent on the station despite its obvious modernisation.
 Back to Part 25
 The Derby Heritage Walk Index
Continued in Part 27

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