First Impressions
No. 08 - Part 03 - Heanor Road
w/e 19 February 2023

All of this week's pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300

This final part of the route along Heanor Road has seen many changes over the years and the impression of a first time visitor is much different today to one from years gone by. It really is amazing from what you can learn by studying old maps and the development in this area becomes obvious quite quickly.

Boweswell Road

A map published in 1884 - that's before the old hospital and Granby School were built - shows small plots of land on both sides of the road between Charlotte Street and a bridge over the railway line. There are only a couple of isolated buildings. By 1901 the hospital and school are shown as is Rutland Farm near the hospital. There are a few more houses and many more small plots on the open land behind them which, by 1921, were labelled "Allotment Gardens". A small housing estate, consisting of blocks of two and four houses, was built on the fields between the farm buildings and the allotments on the western side of Heanor Road. The estate was accessed by a single road and one of the entrance pillars at the end of Boweswell Road is dated 1933. The eastern side of Heanor Road was still allotments.
Grey Meadow Road

It was not until later that properties were built along the eastern side of Heanor Road but there are still allotments behind them today. Back on the western side though the allotments were swallowed up in this century by another housing estate not much bigger in area than the Boweswell Road Estate. From Heanor Road this is accessed along Grey Meadow Road but is also linked from Boweswell Road. This new estate although not much bigger is much more densely populated with two, three and even four storey blocks.
Railway Bridge

From here on there is a change to the character of Heanor Road at the old railway bridge which crossed a route linking Nottingham and Derby. Prior to Dr. Beeching's cuts in the 1960s a steam train could be caught at Ilkeston North Station on the western side of the bridge direct to the centre of both cities.
Housing Estate

Looking east from the bridge back then would have revealed the railway line heading off out of the town towards the Bennerley Viaduct. Today the view is over the rooftops of another new housing development off Cotmanhay Road.
Police Station

The railway station site is now occupied by Ilkeston's Police Station, behind which is the Old Station Surgery.

Beyond the bridge the road takes on a commercial and industrial aspect and opposite the entrance to the Police Station and Surgery, is the HiQ Tyres & Autocare Centre.
Factory Lane

Next is Factory Lane and referring back to those old maps shows that the terraces on the right were built some time between 1901 and 1921. At the far end is Holy Trinity Church which is shown on the 1901 map but not on the 1881 edition. There was however an Infant School on the left hand side at the far end in 1881 and that remained well into the second half of last century but the whole of that side now is more recent housing. The building on the corner of Heanor Road was once a Hosiery factory.

The large building seen here behind the former hosiery factory was once a lace factory. Both factories were there pre 1881 and I assume the terraces on Factory Lane were originally built for workers in the factories.


Back in 1881, on the right hand side of Heanor Road from the Railway Station to the end, were a number of "Yards", short lanes leading to a variety of small properties. Now most of the area is taken up with the headquarters of Weleda (UK) Ltd which was founded in Switzerland in 1921. The UK company was set up in 1925 and the name was originally given to the company by Rudolf Steiner. Prior to the headquarters being here this was the site of Michael House School, one of about 700 schools worldwide founded on Steiner's principles.
Heanor Road

In the second part of this route I mentioned four sets of traffic lights on Heanor Road and the fourth set is at the pedestrian crossing almost at the end and within sight of the northern island at the end of Chalons Way. the next and final part of the First Impressions series will also end at that island.
Back to Part 1
 First Impressions Index
No. 9 - Awsworth Rd to follow

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