Sandiacre - Part 05 - Town Street and Lenton Street
w/e 5 February 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Click here to read David Roberts' "Memories of Sandiacre" - opens in a popup window

Having left the Erewash Canal behind in the previous part of our walk through Sandiacre, we will continue in this part in a northerly direction along Town Street and Lenton Street. Town Street was formerly called Church Street with good reason as there were several churches and chapels in the vicinity. We have already passed the location of at least two chapels. First there was the the building near the canal bridge at the start of our walk and then in Part 4 we were close to the site of the Primitive Methodist Chapel on Mill Lane that is now being developed as a housing estate.


As we begin our walk on Town Street, a prominent building is the Comet electrical store. When this was built an existing house and adjacent row of cottages had to be demolished but another existing building was Kings Roadincorporated into the design of the store. It is thought that this old building - painted white in the image above - was erected in 1826 as a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. By the turn of the 19th/20th century it had been converted into a grocery store and was known as the Italian Warehouse. It continued as a grocer's shop until the early 1970s. Redevelopment of the area has taken place opposite the shop but there used to be a lane called Taft's Terrace and a row of thatched cottages in the vicinity of what is now Kings Road (right) . It was here that Charles Wesley preached in an upstairs loft and it is perhaps his legacy that accounts for the number of chapels that were built nearby. The name "Taft" has been preserved in a small cul-de-sac off Church Street as Taft Avenue. (There are a couple of pictures and more information about the Italian Warehouse at Picture The Past - search for images DCER000254 and DCER001029).
Church Street junction

The "Comet chapel" (if I can call it that) was replaced in 1878 by another one at the junction of Church Street and Lenton Street. Today's Church Street still meets Lenton Street/Town Street at the same junction but the chapel was demolished in the early 1970s and the houses seen in the centre of this image were built on the site. (Again there is an image of this Wesleyan Methodist Chapel at Picture The Past - DCER001030).

As we turn into Lenton Street the first point of interest is the old quarry on the left where sand was extracted for use in local industries. It was used in the iron making process at several ironworks to the north both at Stanton and also at the Gallows Inn works and Bennerley works in Ilkeston. Later the sand was also used in construction work for new housing at Long Eaton to the south.
Lenton Street Chapel

But if you thought we'd finished with the religious buildings you'd be wrong for opposite the quarry is yet another structure that was erected as a chapel. I have been unable to find any information about this one but it is now used as an aquatic centre selling all manner of equipment and supplies to do with marine life. Jesus said "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." It seems that at least one of the buildings built to praise Him has now gone full circle and is occupied by a man of fishes!
Former Starch Works

A little further along Lenton Street, there are a number of industrial units occupying an area called the Ascot Park Estate. This rather grand name has superseded the Lawrence Street Starch Works - the name the site was known as after Lawrence Hall of Bramcote built starch works here in 1837.

Ilkeston Road

The starch works were purchased by J J Coleman who closed them in the late nineteenth century, the buildings subsequently being used as an iron foundry. The name however has remained in the lane opposite. The point also marks the place where Lenton Street becomes Ilkeston Road. We are now almost at the northern boundary of Sandiacre and although this is now the main road from Sandiacre to Ilkeston, up to 1900 it was little more than a footpath through marshy land.
Starch Lane

In those days the main route to Ilkeston would have been up Station Road (which is at the other end of Starch Lane) and over the higher ground via Stanton By Dale. And that is the way we must go to continue our walk in the next part with a look back at the origins of the settlement.

 Back to Part 04
 Forward to Part 06

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