Kimberley - Part 05 - Swingate
w/e 20 February 2011
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

To complete our walk through Kimberley we move into the area called Swingate which is separated from the rest of the town by the A610 road from Ripley and Eastwood to Nuthall and Nottingham. Leaving Kimberley Cemetery by the top gate we find that Knowle Hill has been truncated and bisected by the A610.


A610 to NottinghamA610 to RipleyVehicles could previously travel the whole length of the narrow Knowle Lane but since the 1980s only a high footbridge has crossed the A610 here. From the bridge, the A610 can be seen (left) swinging towards Nuthall and in the other direction (right) the only vehicular route, apart from bridle roads, into Swingate is visible so Swingate really is a community within a community.
Recreational Area

On the other side of the footbridge is an open recreational area that more closely resembles the rural setting of the Knowl Common marked on an old map dating from about 1765 before the Industrial Revolution took place.
Clive Crescent

SwingateCoal mining was a major contributor to the Industrial Revolution and Kimberley Colliery was established at Swingate on a site to the right Knowle Lane. The road from the footbridge now runs at the side of the recreational area (left) to the built up area. The mine was owned by Thomas North and was in production between 1852 and 1897. It was shown on a 1885 map of the area but by Schoolthe 1901 edition it had already had the word "disused" added. It remained in use for many years after this though pumping water from underground, some of which was actually used in the production of beer. Thomas North was a self made man and he owned several mines in the area. He became Lord Mayor of Nottingham in 1844. The site of the colliery is now occupied by a housing development mostly built in the late 1950s and early 60s including Clive Crescent (above) and Kimberley Primary School (right).
The White Lion

Inextricably linked with the early mining industry were pubs and chapels and both could be found in close proximity to North's pit. The continuation of High Street that we saw earlier in this series has now become Swingate which is the name of the road as well as the area. At its junction with Knowle Lane across from the colliery site stands The White Lion which would have been well used by the miners. Typical miners' dwellings have also survived alongside the pub and the smaller residence behind the two conifers to the right of the picture is a converted chapel.

The ridge of high ground between Ilkeston and Nottingham where Swingate is situated makes it the ideal spot for masts and aerials such as the UHF Relay Station that relays TV transmissions from Waltham. On the same site there are also a number of other aerials for mobile phones etc and all may be seen from the end of the road.
Queen Adelaide

Off Swingate (the road) is Babbington Lane and this is where we find the Queen Adelaide, a pub that takes its name from the wife of William IV. It was built by Joseph Needham as a lace factory on land purchased from the Duke of Rutland when his estate was broken up in 1816 and did not become a pub until about 1878. The thinking is that competition from larger factories and the proximity to local collieries made the sale of beer more of a commercial proposition than the production of lace. The Queen Adelaide became one of Hanson's tied pubs when purchased in 1891 by the brewery in Kimberley.
Water Tower

A little further along Babbington Lane which eventually peters out into a bridle road to Babbington Village is the water tower, a feature that enables Swingate to be pinpointed from miles around as it stands proud on the skyline.
West Street

North StreetFootbridge over the A610A footpath off Babbington Lane leads back to the heart of Swingate and the end of streets like West Street (above) seen from the path and North Street (left) seen from Swingate both of which are opposite the former colliery site and both with more of those dwellings that would have been occupied by the miners. A left turn from the bottom of either street leads back down the hill to High Street re-crossing the A610 from where the high footbridge (right) that we crossed earlier can be seen again. This concludes our walk through Kimberley and Swingate but from here it is just a short walk back to the town centre or down Church Hill to the starting point for our walk.
Back to Part 04
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