Darley Abbey - Heritage Walk No. 3 - Up Darley
w/e 19 January 2014
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

All five walks at Darley Abbey are short but at just a quarter of a mile this third walk in the series is the shortest of the five. For reasons that will become obvious from the pictures it is called "Up Darley".

Park Gates

Park Entrance & Interpretation BoardThe second walk ended after passing through the Darley Park gates and just beyond is interpretation board B which can just be seen at the side of the bench on the left hand side of the drive. All three remaining walks begin at this board and go in different direction. "Up Darley" follows a route to the left but as we pass through the gates a glance to the right will show a small open area containing a few trees (see also image left). I mention this only because in the image below an old photograph shows the village watchmen's shelter and lock-up that stood there and was known locally as the "Roundhouse".
Interpretation Board B

Another old picture on the interpretation board B shows a view of Mile Ash Lane which is basically the route of this third walk. The history of "The Village" on the board includes a number of interesting facts not least being, in the penultimate paragraph, that the hamlet of Darley Abbey grew from just 16 houses in 1780 to a population of 1170 in 1831. It is the homes of some of that population growth that is the focus of this walk.
Mile Ash Lane

The left hand side of Mile Ash Lane today has more modern buildings dating mainly from the first half of the twentieth century but it is the right hand side that is of more interest historically as this is where mill workers' cottages were built from 1790.
Mill Workers' Cottages

The mill workers' cottages rose up the hill in a series of stepped terraces. It was Thomas Evans and his family who were responsible for the development of Darley Abbey as the cottages were built to attract and retain the work force to operate the mills.
Three-Storey Cottages

The second terrace (as seen in the previous image) consists of three-storey cottages dating from 1795/96.
Lavender Row

Off Mile Ash Lane and behind the second terrace is Lavender Row, another stepped terrace of three-storey cottages.
See Explanatary Note for these two images near the foot of this page
Lights & Lintels

Lavender Row was built around the 1820s and 30s and although similar at first glance to the second terrace, closer inspection reveals a more elaborate appearance most easily seen in the window and door lintels. Despite the presence of modern vehicles the old lamp posts give Lavender Row a more period feel to the street.
Cluster Houses

At the junction of Lavender Row and Mile Ash Lane where the three terraces come together is a free standing group of houses built in 1792. The name plate on the houses spells out "The Four Houses" and the building is a fine example of cluster houses. (We also saw examples of cluster houses at Belper last year during the Heritage Walk series we did there). This structure in Darley Abbey is reputedly one of the earliest examples of this type of building where four individual hoses were built together.
Two-Storey Cottages

Returning down the hill to the interpretation board and the park entrance we again pass the terrace of two-storey cottages. These were built about 1871 and unlike the other terraces on Mile Ash Lane and Lavender Row have small individual front gardens. When built most of the cottages wherever situated had yards, pig sties, outbuildings and privies at the rear and many residents had access to adjacent allotments that enabled them to grow their own produce.
Elm Cottage

At the end of the terrace and almost opposite the park entrance is Elm Cottage which was built about 1882. This was a much more "up market" detached residence and in its heyday was the office for the Evans Estate which survived until the 1930s and the death of Mrs Ada Evans when it was broken up and sold.
Back to Darley Abbey Walk No. 02
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Explanatory Note

It's now (Feb 2014) about twelve years since I started this website and hopefully it's done a little to promote the area. I make no financial gain from it, in fact it costs me money going out to take photos, researching information plus the internet costs associated with it. It's a hobby and is intended to show this area of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands at its best. I'm encouraged by the appreciative comments I receive from ex-pats and and others who are discovering the area for the first time. After publishing this page I received an email from a resident of Lavender Row as follows:
I've just seen the photos you've recently posted of Darley Abbey, and am just writing to ask if you will please kindly remove the two photos taken on Lavender Row, where I live. The road is an unadopted private road, and so it's not appropriate for you to be taking photos and publishing them from the road.
I realise that there is no signage to indicate that it's a private road, so you will likely not have been aware of this, but would appreciate it if the pictures were removed.
Many thanks,
After due consideration, I responded pointing out that there are other images of Lavender Row already on the internet on such sites as Google Street View, Bing Maps (aerial views from the four main compass points and showing a lot more of the properties than my images) as well as Estate Agents' sites. I received an immediate response with a copy of an email from Google admitting that their Street View coverage had been added in error and would be removed in due course. The fact remains that it is not illegal to take photos in this country if they can be taken from the public highway and it is debatable whether I was actually standing on private property when I captured the two images of Lavender Row formerly on this page.

Furthermore although these cottages are nothing special in terms of construction or architecture they are important historically and contribute to the village's status in the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site. As such an image similar to one originally displayed on this page is prominently positioned on the leaflet published in 2006 by the Darley Abbey Historical Group. This leaflet is available to download from the Derwent Valley Mills website which also contains a section devoted to Lavender Row with more images similar to the two that appeared here. Why, therefore, my images should be considered "not appropriate" is a puzzle and one I'll leave you to fathom. As it cannot be proved whether I was trespassing or not, I've erred on the safe side and changed the images but if you desperately want to see the cottages, you know where to look.