Morley - Part 05 - The Croft & Brackley Gate
w/e 07 December 2014
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Morley header

Our objective in this part of the Village Trail is The Croft and Brackley Gate but first we begin at the entrance to the Morley Hayes Golf Club and make a short detour into the neighbouring parish of Smalley.

Morley Hayes

Morley ManorThe current boundary between the two parishes lies just to the north (i.e left) of the entrance to the Golf, Hotel and Restaurant complex but it would be remiss of me whilst conducting this tour of Morley not to stray less than half a mile into Smalley to see Morley Manor even though it is mostly obscured by a high wall (left). Presumably before the current boundaries were established the large house was in the Morley parish being built on the 325 acre Morley Sacheverall Estate between 1894 and 1899 for H. A. Sacheverall Bateman. During a Heritage Walk in 2008 I The Lodge Houselearned that the house was in private ownership but prior to that it had for many years been owned by the Dr. Barnardo's charity and was a home to many young people. The gardens of the Manor contained work by the architect Lutyens of New Delhi.

At the end of the drive to Morley Manor, the Lodge is standing empty at the moment but at a price in the region of £350,000 the Grade II listed stone cottage (right) is probably beyond the reach of most first time buyers.
To Morley Smithy

Returning now to Morley our route takes us in the opposite direction for a short distance from the Morley Hayes entrance towards Morley Smithy but it was thanks to Dr. Barnardo's that the stretch of footpath between the Manor and the Smithy was installed as the staff and children at the Home often enjoyed walks through the village where they became well-known. The footpath signpost on the left points across the busy road where traffic moves at high speed and it is with care that we crossed the road to continue to the next stage of the walk.
The Cinder Track

The sign points to the lane which is known locally as "The Cinder Track" and it leads to Moor Farm.
Morley Farm

The farm has undergone a name change as it was previously called Morleymoor Farm and was part of the Sitwell Estate. Originally thatched, the farmhouse was built in the 1700s but it had a new roof added together with a new frontage in the Georgian style in 1823.
The Croft

At the farm buildings the lane turns to pass in front of the farmhouse but on the right there is access to a field and two footpaths. The first path leads across the field to a cluster of cottages at The Croft.
Sept's Cottage

One cottage at the Croft which has now actually been split into two residences is know locally as Sept's Cottage. This is because the ancient stone building, Grade II listed, believed to be one of the oldest in Morley dating from the 17th century, served as home to the Slack family for at least two generations, one of whom was Septimus. Noteworthy features are the mullioned windows.

Cloves HillAt Brackley GateVehicular access to the cottages at The Croft is via Cloves Hill (left) and by following the lane to Cloves Hill and turning left, we reached the road junction (right & above) at Brackley Gate. Behind the row of detached residences at Brackley Gate are former quarries which have now become farmland. The quarries however are forever commemorated in the name of another farm and the road to Breadsall.
Quarry Road

And it is down Quarry Road that we need to go towards Breadsall as far as the bus stop where there is that second footpath to take us back to Moor Farm.
Across Ryknield Street

The path across this field to the farm actually crosses the line of Ryknield Street, the Roman road through Morley from the Little Chester area of Derby (Derventio) to Yorkshire. Somewhere along the line through the farmland of Moor Farm, the Roman road was excavated in 1949. To preserve the road it was recovered and has not been seen since.
Farm Track

Back at the farm the lane from Morley Hayes continues in front of the farmhouse to Brick Kiln Lane which can be seen here in the distance. The track peters out to become a footpath running more or less parallel to the line of the Roman Road and Quarry Road and eventually meets Brick Kiln Lane at the clay pits we saw in Morleuy Smithy part of the Village Trail. It is from there that we will resume in the next part.
Back to Part 04
Forward to Part 06

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