Local History

A selection of posts here about the fascinating history of the area.

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    Who lived at Calke Abbey? Were they Harpurs, Crewes, or Harpur-Crewes? The truth is, they all did. Over almost 300 years, from 1622 when Mr Henry Harpur Esq., third son of Sir John Harpur of Swarkestone Hall moved to Calke House, or Caulk Hall (it wasn’t only the Harpur Crewe family who changed) they used […]

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    I have collected a considerable amount of local source material which may be useful to anyone engaged in genealogical research. Records The following records can be name searched and the results emailed back in Microsoft Word format:- The Census Returns for the following years 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 & 1891 and coming soon 1901Except […]

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    The Parish Church of St George in Ticknall is an example of the work of Derby architect Henry Isaac Stevens and was built to replace the old church dedicated to St Thomas Becket. It was consecrated by the Bishop of Hereford Rt. Revd. Thomas Musgrave on 6 October 1842. Remnants of the previous church stand […]

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    Ticknall village history, as described by Janet Spavold: Ticknall’s name was derived from its landscape setting and land use. The first syllable ‘tic’ reflects the pastoral economy of the time showing that it was grazed by goats. There were still goatherds in the area in the 16th century. The second syllable is ‘halh’ (Saxon) = […]

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    St Wystan’s parish church in Repton is a great survivor. Having seen the destruction of the monastery in the Viking raid of 873/4 and suffered serious damage itself, St Wystan’s recovered to be adopted by the Medieval Priory (founded for the Canons at Calke) as the church for the local community and outlasted its dissolution […]

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    Visitors to Ticknall often ask about the cast iron water spouts that are seen in various places in the village.  They were part of a public water supply installed on the instruction of Sir Vauncey Harpur-Crewe in 1914. The pillar fountains are Grade II Listed and were manufactured by Glenfield and Kennedy Ltd of Kilmarnock. […]

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    The Grade II listed Anchor Church has long been known as an Anchorite Cell. However, a recent study suggests that the dwelling, which includes a small oratory – or chapel – is likely to be from early medieval times. Archaeologists from the Royal Agricultural University’s (RAU) newly-formed Cultural Heritage Institute, working with colleagues from Wessex […]

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    Nowadays we take a clean, constant water supply for granted. Yet it is surprising how recently this came to be the case. Twenty years ago, Roy Hammerton wrote a treatise on the water supply in Ticknall and Calke for a booklet but this was never published. In 2016 we published the section on ‘Ticknall Water […]

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    This old photo of the original Dexter’s Cottage was taken from the Limeyards immediately opposite the weighbridge office which is now part of the present Limeyards Stables and shows the main road servicing the Limeyards. More about the Dexter family. The old village of Tichenhalle is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and probably existed from […]

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    In 1792 Ticknall Methodists Trustees paid 15 shillings for part of a garden on the old coach road from Calke Abbey to the Parish Church (now Chapel Street). The plot belonged to Sarah, widow of Thomas Dutton, joiner, and was opposite the present Chapel. There they built a Meeting House, which effectively replaced the overcrowded […]

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    There are over 30 known pottery sites in the Ticknall area. Excavations have produced 13th century Coal Measures White Wares on production sites. Documents from 1328 refer to “le cleyputs” and in the late 1200s “Henricus ad Furnum” (Henry at the oven) is named. It is probably a pot oven. By 1538-1547 seven potters were […]

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    We finished the last article warmly ensconced in the double privy in the Methodist church, which article was sent to Sharps Pottery Museum, so, if you are not at lunch, we’ll explore these ‘facilities’ a little further. I suppose the record in this country (perhaps the origin of ‘Privy Council’?) must be held by Hampton […]

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    The Thringstone Fault crosses the parish of Ticknall from east to west, separating the Coal Measures clays to the south from the upthrust Carboniferous Limestone to the north. Other outliers of limestone occur at Calke, Dimminsdale, Breedon and Cloud Hill, but otherwise limestone is fairly rare in the area. The Romans were well aware that […]

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    The clock was made by John Whitehurst Senior (1766-1834) of Derby – a notable clockmaker – in 1813. Our clock is a particularly rare example of Whitehurst’s work due to its small size. For the technically minded the clock is a two train chair turret clock consisting of an armchair strike movement with a pin wheel […]

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    Delilah (known as Dellie) Boswell was born in Wheldon, Northants, in 1800, a member of the well-known Boswell gypsy family. The family were allowed to camp in Calke Park – a rare privilege at a time when the Calke Abbey Estate was a very private place – and were welcome visitors to the Abbey. Delilah […]

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    The Ticknall Tramway was a primitive form of horse tramway which was born in the Canal Age and survived long into the Railway Age. For a distance of 8 miles, it wound its way through the rural areas of North Leicestershire and South Derbyshire. As much of this area is woodland or pasture, many remains […]

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    In the year 1739, the Hastings sisters of Ashby were in London for the season, along with many other members of the gentry of the land. They came to hear of a preacher called John Wesley and curiosity took them to Fetters Lane where a group of Methodists were meeting. They were immensely impressed, especially […]

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    Like many properties rescued by the Landmark Trust, Knowle Hill is a fragment, an intriguing memory of something once larger and finer. The fragment here is not just of a building, but also of a most interesting garden. Historical and archaeological research shows that in the two converging valleys which make up Knowle Hill we […]

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    The Ticknall Tramway was a primitive form of horse tramway which was born in the Canal Age and survived long into the Railway Age. For a distance of 8 miles, the Ticknall tramway wound its way through the rural areas of North Leicestershire and South Derbyshire. As much of this area is woodland or pasture, […]

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    Anyone interested in the history of Ticknall School may be pleased to know that a large collection of information and photographs has been collected, recorded and bound into a document by Teresa Johnson. It goes under the title of ‘Happy as Larks’ – this being a quote from one past pupil who summed up her […]

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