Stanton By Dale - Part 1 - Starting At St Michael's Church
w/e 13 April 2003

For the information about Stanton By Dale I am indebted to my wife Sandra who conducted much of the research, the staff at Ilkeston Library for help with archived material and the Erewash Groundwork Trust who provided an excellent leaflet packed with information.
 A swathe of green that is home to a golf course along the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border forms a protective barrier between the fast moving 21st century traffic on the London to Leeds Motorway and a village with a history that stretches back many hundreds of years.

Stanton By Dale stands on a hillside but the geography and flora of the area for the most part, shield the inhabitants from the industrial development that lies in the Erewash Valley below. Motorists using the road through the village as a shortcut between the M1 and Ilkeston could well be familiar with some of the architecture of the village but it is only on foot and with an inquisitive eye that more treasures come to light. This is the first in a series looking at some of the interesting features in the village that is only a few minutes drive from Ilkeston. Picturesque views over the Erewash Valley Golf Course (above) are one of the more obvious delights but our look around Stanton By Dale will begin at the opposite end of the village at St Michael's Church.
Industrial Site

The tower of the church is just visible among the trees (immediately above the lorry in the centre of this picture) from the industrial site below but is much more picturesque from close quarters.
St Michael's Church

St Michael's has witnessed unbroken divine worship on this site that has continued for over seven centuries. Much of the church dates from the early 1300s when it was either rebuilt or restored but there are several carved stones from even earlier although the tower was not added until the late 15th century.
War Memorial 

A War Memorial stands in the churchyard commemorating those from village who lost their lives during the two World Wars. It is also dedicated to the memory of the seven man crew of a British Stirling bomber that crashed nearby on a training flight in 1944. My wife Sandra tells a story from about this time. As a child in her pram, she was taken by her uncle, 14 years her senior, and some of his friends on a souvenir hunt when a plane came down near Stanton. It could well have been this bomber. Police were stopping all the local youngsters and confiscating the scraps of metal gleaned from the wreck but Sandra and Co. managed to conceal their pickings in the false bottom of her pram and passed the checkpoint looking the picture of innocence. Grandma, to say the least, was not amused and butter wouldn't melt.......
Gated Drive

But to return to our look at the village today, the approach to the church and the memorial is by means of a gated drive. Notice the old fashioned style of lamp on the left of the daffodil lined path and the bird box on the tree on the right in this picture - providing comfort for man and beast alike.
Middlemore Almshouses

A glance over the hedge to the right reveals a row of almshouses that the motorist passing through the village would surely miss. Built in phases between 1711 and 1904 the Middlemore Almshouses all appear to have been built at the same time and only closer scrutiny reveals otherwise. Each gable end bears a plaque showing the names of the benefactors.
Cheese Press

At the opposite end of the drive to the church is another interesting item from a bygone age. A large rectangular grooved stone was once part of a cheese press. It was the upper stone which was screwed down onto another stone thus forcing liquid out of the cheese placed between them.

 Forward to Part 2

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