Stanley Village - Part 1 - From The South
w/e 30 July 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Welcome To Stanley Village

The rural setting of Stanley Village in the early years of the twenty first century belies the fact that the county town of Derby (or city as it now is) is a mere six miles away to the southwest while the county's second largest town, Ilkeston is three miles to the east. It also hides the industrial background of the previous century when coal mining and brick making were major means of making a living for the residents. But Stanley's history goes back much further than that and there is a strong possibility that it was a Saxon settlement. In Anglo-Saxon Staen or Stan means stone and Ley or Ley means clearing. This first part of a planned six part monthly series should take us through the village and show some of the major places of interest in three of the four seasons of the year beginning on the southern outskirts of Stanley at the entrance to Manor Farm (below).

Manor Farm Entrance

Today as the sign at the entrance tells us, the farm is home to a pedigree herd of Holstein Friesians. From here we will follow the main road through the village first to the north and and then eastwards towards West Hallam and Ilkeston but there will be frequent detours both to the left and right to see points of interest on the way. As in previous Village Walks on this website I shall be using a leaflet produced by Groundwork Erewash Valley for much of the information but will also be gleaning snippets from other sources as well. So, if you're sitting comfortably, let's begin.

Manor Farm

From the entrance to Manor Farm, we can look across the valley through which Stanley Brook flows to the farmland beyond. In the middle distance is Manor Farm itself which according to the leaflet is "a modern farm with high-tech machinery and up-to-date buildings." There is also a glimpse of that pedigree herd. The original Manor stood in this area but opencast mining as recently as 1959 destroyed any surviving features.
Down The Hill

Leaving the farm we can now make our way into the village proper via Derby Road by descending the hill and passing through the former sandstone quarry that was backfilled in the early 1960s.
Sandstone Quarry

Evidence of the quarry which led to the formation of the Stanley Excelsior Rubbing Stone Company in the 1920s can still be seen from the road. It was found that the sandstone made ideal rubbing stones which were used for whitening thresholds and polishing woodwork. Even now, I can remember from my childhood, ladies on their knees scrubbing the steps to their front doors with such stones but don't ever recollect seeing them used on woodwork. As time went on and terrazzo steps and other materials started to be used in the building trade, the need for rubbing stones declined even though they contributed to the export trade by being exported to places as far away as India. The company survived for a while though as in 1929 the owner of the quarry had discovered another use for the waste material created in the manufacture of the stones and this was used to make concrete blocks - the Stanley Building Blocks. Examples of these blocks can still be seen in buildings not only in Stanley but also in places closer to Derby such as Chaddesden and Allenton.
Bridge Cottage

Inn SignAfter passing through the site of the quarry the road levels out (see title image) as it approaches Stanley Brook in the bottom of the valley. The road crosses the brook by a small bridge, seen on the left of the image above but hardly noticeable to the passing motorist. The brook flows directly behind this building on the corner of Dale Road. Previously, and still given away by the inn sign, this was a public house appropriately called the Bridge Inn although the sign now says Bridge Cottage. Dale Road was formerly called Sough Lane which hints at the village's industrial past as a sough is an underground channel for draining water out of a mine. It is here that we make our first detour from the main route to investigate the lane.
Brick Works Site

About half a mile along Dale Road, the narrow lane leads to a farm and a network of footpaths continues to Locko, Dunshill and Dale Abbey. Looking back from the farm gate, the area of overgrown land on the right was the site of the brickyard that developed here in the mid 1800s but there is little left now. To the left of the lane opposite the brickyard a small community of homes for colliers grew up in the later part of the nineteenth century but these too, like the brick works have now been demolished.
Stanley Kilburn Colliery

The colliers would no doubt have been employed at Stanley Kilburn Colliery which was just around a slight bend in the road from the brick works and can be seen here as we head back along Dale Road although it is hard to tell from its present appearance that there ever was a colliery here. It can be argued though that the success of the colliery between 1870 and 1885 resulted in the development of the village at that time. During the 1890s Bridge Cottagehowever, the company was taken over by the Derby Kilburn Company, the new owners driving a drift mine, Stanley Footrill to the southwest of Manor Farm near where we started our walk. By the end of the First World War, mining had ceased but as we now know, extensive opencast mining has taken place since destroying much of what remained from earlier times.

Returning now to the junction with Derby Road we'll turn right by Bridge Cottage, and head deeper into the village where we'll continue our explorations in Part 2.

Forward to Part 2

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