Morley - Part 03 - Morley Smithy
w/e 05 October 2014
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Morley header

At the end of the previous part of this Village Trail we had the choice of two routes and had decided to follow the one to the Morley Smithy part of the village. We will return in the next part to follow the other route towards Morley Hayes but resume here as we reach Morley Smithy.

Diagonal Path

Believe or not but there is a footpath diagonally across a field (above left) between the Church Lane and Smithy areas but it is currently difficult to discern due to the farmer doing some preparatory work on the land. The footpath indicator (above right) though at the Smithy end shows the way,
Morley School

That same footpath sign can also be seen on the right of this image of Morley Primary School. There has been a school in Morley since 1816 but the first one, a Church of England school, was erected near the Almshouses (situated in an area we shall see later in this series). This was endowed by Emma Darwin of Breadsall Priory. Emma was a daughter by the second wife of philosopher and poet Erasmus Darwin, grandfather by his first wife of the renowned naturalist and geologist, Charles Darwin. Whilst that is a fascinating little piece of history, the school closed in 1879 and had been demolished by 1910. School boards were set up and operated between 1870 and 1902 to establish and administer elementary schools and a new board school in Morley by the main road opened in 1881 with a room for infants being added in 1897.
Three HorseshoesMorley Smithy FarmAlthough once again threatened with closure in the 1980s due to low pupil numbers, the new housing development of Oakwood on the outskirts of Derby resulted in an influx of children and the school's future now seems secure. Continuing from the school along Main Road we find the Three Horseshoes public house (left) on one side and Morley Smithy Farm (right) on the other.
Three Horseshoes

It is the pub that is the origin of the name of the area as it was formerly the village smithy. With a thatched roof and its own brewhouse the smithy was here during the eighteenth century but was rebuilt in 1914 with only the cellars from the original building remaining intact. Before moving on, notice the chevrons and the orange barriers by the bus stop on the right of this image.
Well Remains

Between those chevrons and barriers is a pile of stones and slabs with a cone covering a hole in the footpath. A Toll House once stood near here at the corner of Main Road and Brick Kiln Lane. It was demolished and rebuilt further along Main Road in 1929 and is now mostly obscured from the road by a high hedge but this pile of stones are the remains of its well. How it got into this state is unknown, one can only assume an accident of some sort occurred but hopefully the barriers indicate at some point, it will be repaired.
Main Road

Main Road continues from the bus stop towards Smalley and Heanor but before that is the entrance to Morley Hayes Golf Club and we shall approach that from a quieter route across the fields later.
Morley Smithy Farm

Across from the remains of the well is the entrance to Morley Smithy Farm and when I joined a group for a Heritage Walk around Morley in 2008, we learned that the farm had been in the same family for over a hundred years. It was also said at the time that this is where to buy potatoes from and orders could be placed for a Christmas turkey. The board at the entrance still tells of potatoes being for sale so presumably the same family is still in residence and another six years can be added to its tenure.
Street Name

The farm faces down Brick Kiln Lane which is another clue along with Quarry Road at the far end as to former activities on Morley Moor.
Brick Kiln Lane

A small number of properties line both sides of Brick Kiln Lane near its junction with Main Road but the majority of the lane opens out onto open countryside and farmland. At one time there was a large demand for local stone for grindstones and sharpening stones for agricultural implements but now the quarries and brickworks are closed and little remains to remind anyone of the past except the road names.
Nature Reserve

Having said that there is a reminder near the Quarry Road end of Brick Kiln Lane at the entrance to a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve.
Clay Pits

Walking through the reserve is initially like walking through any similar wood but it soon becomes apparent that there are many water filled pools. These are the old clay pits that were dug for the former brickworks and this Nature Reserve is actually the site of those works. It was previously owned by Captain Haslam of Breadsall Priory but was purchased in 1984 by the Trust and is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as the pools create a range of important and interesting habitats for both flora and fauna.

In the next part we will return to the Church Lane area and head for Morley Hayes.
Back to Part 02
Forward to Part 04

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