Horsley - Part 02 - From School To Church
w/e 02 June 2019
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
Part 01 ended at the school on the corner of The
Dovecote and Church Street which is where we resume for this
second and concluding part.
Directly opposite The Dovecote and forming a minor crossroads
with Church Street is French Lane. On the corner of French Lane
diagonally across from the school is the second of the three
fountains. The adjacent plaque following restoration in 1998
reads "These fountains provided the first piped water to
Horsley and were donated by the Rev. Henry Wilmot Sitwell in
1864. The Sophia was named after the Rev Wilmot Sitwell's wife
, Blanche and Rosamund after two great nieces born that year."
This is slightly confusing as information elsewhere states that
the fountains were named after "daughters of the Sitwell
family" but this plaque obviously adds more detail to that
It is possible to make out the name Blanche in the
weathered stonework of this fountain.
It is on record that French prisoners of war were detained in
Derbyshire during the Napoleonic Wars and somewhere in the dark
recesses of my memory I recall being told some time ago that
several where housed in Horsley. Internet searches and visits
to the local library have so far been unable to confirm this
but if my assumptions are correct, it could be that some French
prisoners may have resided in the cottages on the left hand side
of French Lane. On the right hand side of the lane some building
work is currently taking place. In these days when many buildings
are being converted into residential properties I was assured
by builders on site that the Village Hall is being "rebuilt".
Behind the Village Hall is the Recreation Ground which as this
picture shows appears to be well used by the local children.
Returning to the corner of French Lane and across from Blanche
is another stone structure. This is the Horsley pillar box and
is thought to be not only unique in Derbyshire but also in the
country. A plaque now fixed to the structure reads "This
unique pillar box was built in 1869 from Coxbench stone for the
village of Horsley. It ceased to be used in 1887. this plaque
was placed in commemoration of the Queen's Silver Jubilee."
It is but a short walk now from French Lane to the end of Church
Street but it is worth noting in passing that another of those
linking footpaths to other villages leads from French Lane to
Coxbench and also the ruins of Horsley Castle about a mile to
At the end of Church Street at the Village Green, Horsley Road
veers off to the right (north) and a large chestnut tree stands
on the corner.
It is at the foot of the chestnut tree that the third fountain,
Sophia, is located. Another plaque repeats the information seen
earlier including the fact the the erection and pipe laying were
carried out by Mr Crump, engineer of Derby.
Horsley Road leads to Kilburn passing the white building on the
left which is now called Ship Farm. Previously and many years
ago, this was the village's second pub, The Ship Inn.
Overlooking the green though, and Sophia, are two cottages. The
stone cottage on the right was a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel but
was converted into a residential dwelling in the first decade
of the 21st century. It is now called Chapel Cottage.
High up on the front of the cottage and obscured by the leaves
of the chestnut tree in the previous image is a stone plaque
inscribed "Wesleyan MDCCCXLV" the Roman numerals in
modern parlance being 1845.
Our walk through Horsley concludes at the end of Church Street
and at the Parish Church of St Clement's. The church has its
origins in the year 1200 but dates mainly from the early 14th
to mid 15th centuries. It was rededicated in 1450 and restored
in 1858-60. When Napoleon Bonaparte was flexing his muscles around
1800, Squire E. S. Sitwell formed a "Home Guard" with
volunteers from Horsley Woodhouse and the surrounding area. I
didn't actually spot it whilst taking these photos but apparently
some damage to the church's tower was caused by the poor marksmanship
of the Squire's men. I think if I am right about French prisoners
living in the village, they would have been pretty safe in this
pleasant little community.