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DERBY

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 FINDERN

 

THE FEATURE

 

The pretty South Derbyshire village of Findern is situated five miles to the south-west of Derby. Its appearance is enhanced by a traditional village green with chestnut trees, encircled by white posts and chains and overlooked by the church and picturesque, mainly white walled properties.

 

Before the Parish Council took action in the 1950s to restore it, the green looked a sorry sight divided into four small grassed areas, divided by tarmac paths and frequently used by vehicles. The problem was in knowing who owned the green. Eventually ownership was traced to the Crown and the land purchased for £50.

 

The restoration of the green then started. This century, a village sign has been erected on the green to mark the Millennium and, more recently, a village map. During 2006, the neglected Parish Rooms have been transformed and together with the village hall now provide much needed facilities for what is a very active and resourceful community.

 

 

Findern Footpaths Group has improved over seven miles of public rights of way around the village. Apart from keeping the footpaths clear and the stiles in good repair, they have planted trees and wild flowers. Members of the group have created a new wood and been involved in several other projects. These include Ballast Hole Pond, near the Trent and Mersey Canal, where a pond dipping platform, plus bat and bird boxes have been installed. Large stones have been used to create a sitting area.

 

The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book, when it was held by Burton Abbey as an outlier of Mickleover. After the dissolution of the abbey, the Fynderne family, as the principal land-owners, lived in a fortified manor house on Castle Hill. A priory once stood near the church, where the monks were supplied with fresh food from the fishponds on Common Piece Lane.

 

Prior to the development of transport, the village was self supporting and it was here, in 1740, that Jedediah Strutt came as an apprentice wheelwright. He had an obsessive interest in machinery, but when his uncle died and left him a small holding, he took it over and returned to Findern to marry Elizabeth Woollatt who lived at the Old Hall, where he had previously lodged. Later he went on to set up the mills and their communities at Belper and Milford, which now form an integral part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

 

Silk weaving was a popular local industry with nearly every cottage having its own loom. Velvet making is known to have taken place at the 17th century Ivy Cottage, one of the oldest surviving properties in the village. The front garden of which was once used as a pinfold, to enclose stray animals.

  

The local farms took their grain to the miller. One miller was Joe Lovatt, a somewhat unusual character and a staunch Methodist. Once he had accumulated sufficient money from milling, like his predecessor John Wesley, he set off on horseback to preach round the villages in Derbyshire. When the money ran out he returned to milling.

 

In 1914, the mill was converted into a private house and was lived in during the 1980s by Edwina Currie when she was MP for South Derbyshire. It is possible to see 22 churches from the millís elevated position.

 

 

All Saintsí Church was rebuilt and consecrated in 1863, on the site of a Saxon place of worship. A Norman tympanum was rescued when the old building was demolished and can be seen in the church. Reg Parnell, the famous motor racing driver, is buried in the churchyard; he kept a herd of 700 pigs and 150 Ayrshire cattle at the farm next to Wallfield House.

 

Lower Green, or Bumpton as it is known locally, is the home of the Methodist Chapel. It was opened in 1835 with a tea party, which has become an annual tradition. There is a well in front and a garden which were renovated in 1984 by the Brownies, who won the National Aid Cherish Conservation Competition for their initiative.

 

Findern also had an early 18th century Unitarian Chapel, built just over five miles from Derby. At that time the law decreed that no Dissenting Meeting House should be built less than that distance from the town. It was demolished in 1939.

 

The Presbyterians had an academy in Doles Lane, in what are now a row of cottages, where higher education of a good standard was provided that was not available to dissenters through universities. Dr Ebenezer Latham, principal of the academy lived at The Longlands, which after serving as a hotel for a number of years, has been divided up for multiple occupation.

 

There are several old farms in the village no longer used for that purpose. On the corner of Bakeacre Lane, Spring Farmís name came from the well in the yard now covered by a flower bed. Further up Doles Lane, Willow Farm was a working farm until 1990. Archway Motors is built round the site of Yew Tree Farm, which had a large arched entrance. Tucked away behind the green is Corner House, an early 18th century farmhouse with a blocked up window to avoid paying window tax.

 

Somerville House on Main Street, with its high gateway to allow carriages entry, was built in the mid-18th century. Longlands Farm supplied the land for the car park at the Wheel Public House. The village school on Heath Lane is now separated from the main village by the new A50. On the same road, but on the opposite side of the canal, the Greyhoud Public House has been replaced by the Nadee, Indian Restaurant.

 

 

 

 

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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY

 

Melbourne Hall and Gardens (Tel. 01332 862502) once the home of Victorian Prime Minister, William Lamb, the hall opens its doors to the public during August (except the first three Mondays in the month) from 2pm-4.15pm(last entry). Contact to confirm future opening details.

 

Calke Abbey and Grounds (Tel. 01332 863822) ĎThe place where time stood still,í was the phrase used to describe this property when The National Trust opened it to the public in 1989. One of the most unusual of English country houses with large collections of birds, ornaments, paintings and photographs. Contact for opening details.

 

Foremark Reservoir (Tel. 01283 701709) a 230 acre reservoir provides footpaths, picnic facilities, sailing and good trout fishing. It is in the National Forest and a recent addition is an area of woodland planted with 10,000 trees. Parking for cars and coach parking (charges apply). The facilities include - on site toilets, cafe kiosk, all abilities trail, picnic area and play area. Disabled Facilities: Designated disabled parking.

 


 

REFRESHMENTS

 

The Wheel Inn (Tel. 01283 703365) popular village pub situated on the corner of Main Street and Heath Lane, remains externally much as it was a century ago. Open from 4pm Monday to Friday and from 12 Noon at weekends. Food served Monday to Friday evenings, Saturday lunchtime and evenings and Sunday lunchtimes only. Bar snacks are available daily.

 

Stenson Lock Coffee Shop (Tel. 01283 701933) overlooks the Trent and Mersey Canal, with the marina alongside and the Bubble Inn at the rear. There is plenty of seating outside and some inside. Normally open 10 - 4pm, please check for seasonal arrangements. There are also tea room facilities available at the Wyedale Garden Centre at Findern.

 


 

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ABOUT THIS SITE

This non-commercial website is based on Discover Derbyshire Supplements published by the Derby Evening Telegraph.

The site, my first, commenced  in December 2003, and is expanding quite rapidly. Every month an illustrated Newsletter is published giving details of:

 What's New, What's Coming and What's On.

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FINDERN WALK

 

This is an easy, flat walk, of approximately three miles in length. Nearly half of the walk is along the banks of the Trent and Mersey Canal, which comes alive with brightly painted boats at weekends and in the summer holiday season. 

 

The walk starts from the village green in the centre of Findern. The village is located just off the A38, south of Littleover, in South Derbyshire.

 

Findern Walk

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.