Ockbrook - Part 04 - God's Acre, Single Sisters & Two Pubs
w/e 28 March 2004

In this part of our tour around Ockbrook we continue to look at some of the buildings in the Moravian Settlement and also move into Green Lane. The images from Ockbrook on this page with the exception of the two pubs which were photographed in March, were captured at the same time as those in the previous part.

PlaqueWe resume our series about Ockbrook on the Bishops' Walk outside the Moravian Chapel where, to the right of the chapel, is this passage. The plaque on the wall points the way to the Burial Ground at the rear of the building and commemorates its consecration on April 6th 1752 by Bishop Peter Boehler.
(Note the different spelling of "Bohler" on the plaque.)
God's Acre 
I took a number of photos of the Burial Ground and was undecided as to which to use here. Finally I stitched together two of them to form the panoramic shot that forms the top half of this image and added two more below. They all exude peace and tranquillity. The Burial Ground is also known as God's Acre and a feature is the lack of imposing headstones that are common in many other cemeteries. Instead, if you look closely, you can see rows of small engraved slabs bearing the person's name, age and the date of their departing illustrating the Moravians belief that all are equal. God's Acre now includes a Garden of Remembrance which is also used for the scattering of ashes.
Single Sisters' House

Returning to the road we can now see the properties to the left of centre of this picture that were originally built as the Single Sisters' House. The Sisters moved from a small cottage outside The Settlement where the earliest day school for girls had been established in 1751, to here in April 1760. Ten years later an extension was built to include new workshops and today this extension has been converted into three flats. The Sisters taught younger girls to spin, knit and embroider as well as farming in a nearby plot known as the Sisters' Field. Liley House, left of picture, was built in 1803 as the Girls' Boarding School and due to its success took over the Single Sisters' House in the 1870s. The school's head teacher is now the occupant of Liley House.
The Settlement

Opposite the Single Sisters' House the properties to the right of this image are collectively known as "The Houses On The Hill" and we shall return later to examine them more closely but for now, our route is forward and left into Green Lane where we will view two more of Ockbrook's pubs.
The Cross Keys

The first of those two public houses stands at the junction of The Settlement, the narrow entrance to which can just be seen on the left of this image and Green Lane to the right.
 The Royal Oak

Further down Green Lane and standing back from the road is the Royal Oak, the oldest licensed premises in the village dating from the early 1700s. An old well near the front door is now capped with a stone slab but once upon a time, water from the well was used to brew beer in the pub. The Royal Oak has been, and still is, a popular meeting place for several clubs and societies. Among those that have crossed the threshold in the past have been the Female Benefit Society; the Dale Abbey Society for the Prosecution of Felons (prior to the formation of the Police Force) and the Ockbrook Shaving and Swearing Club. In the days when cutthroat razors were the fashion, shaving and swearing obviously went together.

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