Return to the Home Page      Ockbrook Walk      Return to the Contents Page



Situated just to the north of the busy A52 dual carriageway, and only a short distance from the outskirts of Derby, Ockbrook has managed to retain much of its charm and at least a reasonable level of peace and quiet. There are two distinct parts to the village. The old settlement where Occa, an Anglo Saxon, and his people built their homes in the 6th century on the banks of the brook and from where the village derived its name. Alongside it is the Moravian settlement, a product of the 18th century, with its delightful terrace of red brick Georgian buildings and strikingly attractive church.


In 1739, Isaac Frearson an Ockbrook farmer, heard the Rev Jacob Rogers speak and was so impressed he invited him back to preach at Ockbrook. The offer was quickly accepted and he preached a sermon to the people of the village in Frearson’s barn. Although an Anglican, the Rev Rogers was very much influenced by the Moravian way of life.




The Moravian Church was founded in 1457, in Bohemia, and was based on simplicity in life and worship.    

Persecution followed and became so severe that in 1722 many followers of the religion fled from Bohemia and Moravia and moved to Tuscany, where they established the Moravian Church. From this base they sent out missionaries and consequently some made contacts in England, including John Wesley the famous preacher.   


In 1750, a Congregation of the Moravian Church was established in the village and after over coming many obstacles, mainly due to local opposition, two years later a church was opened on land bought from Isaac Frearson. During the latter part of the 18th century, Ockbrook was the centre of the Moravian Church in England. The Moravians were hard working, highly disciplined people with strict rules. They attended to the basic medical needs of the community, built schools and opened a shop as well as administering to the spiritual needs of the community.


The Moravians celebrated their 250th anniversary at the beginning of the new century, when any person associated with the church, by request had their name embroidered on a leaf, which formed part of a tree tapestry. It now hangs proudly on the wall of the church.


As one would expect with such a disciplined community their buildings are set out in a formalised pattern. The path known as ‘Bishop’s Walk,’ is a collection of flagstones brought from Dale Abbey.  Whitehurst of Derby made the church clock. Across the road, the bottom house at the end of another row of fine buildings, ‘The Houses on the Hill’, is where the first houses of The Settlement were built when the Moravians moved to Ockbrook. The Manse and the Moravian Church are both Grade II listed buildings and the centre of the village is a designated Conservation Area.


The arrival of the Moravians led to a considerable improvement in living standards in the village and more affluent people moved to Ockbrook; new trades were introduced including silk glove, shoe and straw bonnet manufacture.




Textile manufacture was very important and the framework knitting industry was carried on in cottages in the village. The Cross Keys fulfilled the joint function of a public house and silk stocking manufacture; Queen Victoria’s wedding stockings were made on the premises! The knitters’ window designed to provide the maximum light can still be seen today. However, during the second half of the 19th century,

competition from mechanisation slowly ended the cottage industry.


The Royal Oak is the oldest licensed premises in the village and dates back to the early 1700s, a stone slab near the font of the premises cover a well from where water was once drawn to make beer. Behind the Queen’s Head is the local cricket club that has achieved a considerable amount of success in recent years. One local character who certainly enjoyed playing for the club was Whackie Harrison who played for 42 years from 1891.


All Saint’s Church became the parish church around 1600, having previously served as a chapelry of Elvaston. The tower was built in the 12th century, the spire added later. The Norman font was restored in 1963 and returned to its rightful place, after being thrown out by a previous generation for use in the rectory garden. At the rear of the church is Church Farm, a delightful timber-framed farmhouse dating back to the 17th century.


The Old Post Office, now a private house, was once the Moravian Congregation Shop, where ‘best quality goods at reasonable prices’ were offered by the brethren. Shopstones Cottages were built as family houses and visitors to the Settlement usually stayed at the New Inn (now Greenside) which began business in 1792. The extension on the western side was used as a Sunday School and during the First World War as a hospital for servicemen.


The Reverend William Mallalieu, a cousin of Reverend James Mallalieu, Principal of the Moravian Boys School, who had married into a wealthy family, had the ‘Swallows Rest’ (now The Grange) built for him as a retirement home, but died before he could take up residence. It was said that he owned half the village at one time.                  



1.  Queen’s Head
2.  Former Moravian Congregation Shop
3.  Greenside
4.  Former Moravian Sunday School and Lecture Hall
5.  Ockbrook Independent Day and Boarding School
6.  The Grange
7.  The Manse
8.  Moravian Chapel
9.  Burial Ground
10. The Single Sisters’ House
11. The Houses on the Hill
12. Shopstones Cottages
13. Cross Keys Inn
14. Royal Oak
15. Manor House Farm
16. All Saints Church
17. Church Farm
18. Village Hall
19. Ockbrook Lodge
20. Ockbrook House

       Return to the Home Page     Back to the top of the page       Return to the Contents Page is an independent, not for profit website.

No recommendation of any establishment is implied by inclusion on this website.



Elvaston Castle Country Park (Tel 01332 571342) the first Country Park to be opened in Britain. Set in 200 acres of parkland with an ornamental lake, extensive gardens, stony grottoes, rock archways and many other interesting features. Open daily.


The Donington Grand Prix Collection (Tel 01332 811027) the world’s largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars. Exhibits from 1900 to the present day detailing the history of motor racing. Open daily.


Shardlow is one of the best-preserved inland canal ports in the country. It is a fascinating place to explore, still busy with boats, now used for leisure and not for commerce. It owes its existence to a Derbyshire born genius, James Brindley, who could neither read nor write but built the Trent and Mersey Canal. 



The Royal Oak (Tel 01332 662378) a traditional pub with a non-smoking lounge, snug and games room, it is the oldest licensed premises in the village dating from the early1700s. There is a separate dining area and outside courtyard seating. Meals are served every lunchtime, but evening meals are only available during the week. Olive Wilson recently celebrated 50 years as landlady (1953-2003).


The Bottle Kiln Cafe (Tel 0115 9329442) an art gallery, craft and gift shops, tea rooms and a beautiful Japanese Garden await at this restored site at West Hallam. Open all day Tuesday to Sunday throughout the year.





Provides a wide range of features  with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.


1.  To return to the main site click the link below.

Return to the Home Page

2.  To return to the contents page of the main website click the link below.

Return to the Contents Page



A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:

 Click below for details.

Discover Derby



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.





A popular and enjoyable walk on the edge of Derby, along quiet country lanes, through fields and woodlands, with a well preserved Hermit’s Cave and views of the Cat and Fiddle Windmill to add variety.


Initially the walk follows Far Lane, until it disintegrates into a track. Here an Archaeological Project Information Board, on land at Little Hay Grange, provides details of the excavation.


The walk continues across fields and through Ockbrook Wood to Dale Abbey and enters Hermitage Wood. Abundant wildlife exists in this ancient woodland. a


Ockbrook Walk







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