Ockbrook - Part 03 - The Moravian Settlement
w/e 29 February 2004

In this and the next part of our tour around Ockbrook we shall be taking a closer look at some of the buildings in the Moravian Settlement together with a little of the history of the area. For a closer look at the panoramic view below, click on the image to open a new window showing a larger version - 144kb.

In this part we start with the buildings on the left and work our way towards the right.
Moravian School

The building on the left of this view originated as a boys' boarding school in 1822 with the headmaster's house on the right being added in 1907. Closing in 1915, the boys and their masters transferred to another Moravian School in Yorkshire but girls and their teachers moved in the very next day. There have been many extensions and additions since and now the old headmaster's house is the school's administrative block. The school is attended by some 450 pupils, mainly girls although the the primary department (3-11) does admit some boys. The school still caters for a small number of boarders.
The Manse

This is The Manse and it is perhaps an opportune moment to relate how the Moravian Church first came to Ockbrook. A Bohemian Christian reformer by the name of Jon Hus was burned at the stake in 1415 and his followers founded their church in Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic, in 1457. An Anglican curate, Jacob Rogers was influenced by the Moravians and preached in Nottingham about 1740. He was heard and invited to Ockbrook by Isaac Frearson, a local farmer and this led to a "society" being formed in the village. The society was the forerunner of the congregation that was "settled" by Bishop Peter Boehler some ten years later with the church being built on the hill to the north of the original village in 1752. Middle class and wealthy people attracted to the village built many large houses and cottage industries developed with glovemakers, shoemakers and tailors becoming established. One such person was Mrs Elizabeth Bates who financed many of the buildings in the 1810s and 1820s leaving the building shown above in her Will to the congregation for the use of the minister.

The whole of The Settlement is now protected by a Conservation Order and several of the buildings, including the Manse, are Grade II listed. In the front garden are the remains of a sundial which is reputedly of Saxon origin and from the Abbey at Dale. Today, standing in the shadows of nearby trees, its purpose is largely decorative as its usefulness is somewhat limited.
Chapel Clock

Another sundial stands in front of the Moravian Chapel and although it gives an accurate time reading, the chapel clock made by Whitehurst and Son of Derby is probably easier to see. It bears the date 1827. Construction of the chapel started in 1751 and the roof was raised in less than two months, the chapel being consecrated by Bishop Peter Boehler on April 5th in 1752.
Whilst preparing these Ockbrook pages, one or two discrepancies in my original source of information have become apparent but when taking the images for this page we met the Minister who very kindly unlocked the doors giving us access to the chapel. He also pointed out "A Guide to a Walking Tour" on sale for the very reasonable price of just £1.00 that included much of the information included here.

Interior of Chapel

This series of images of the chapel interior demonstrate the simple style that is common to the Moravian Church. Originally the pulpit was on the west wall and the pews ran in a north-south direction with men and women entering by separate doors and sitting separately too. There was a gallery and musicians's loft at each end of the chapel. Several extensions and modernisations resulted in only the northern gallery remaining today (top right) but enabled the Congregation to celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2000.
 The Bishops' Walk

Returning to the outside of the chapel, we can pause for a moment on the chapel path which is known as "The Bishops' Walk". The flagstones are another link to Dale having been brought form the cloisters there.

 Back to Part 02
 Forward to Part 04

Home Page
Back to Ockbrook Index
Special Features Index

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.