Tucked away in what were once quite remote rural nooks (now largely suburbanised) are houses with long pedigrees. Take, for instance, Park Hall near Walton — a one-time grand yeoman’s farmhouse in the huge deer park of the mighty Foljambes (mentioned in 1306) and rebuilt in the seventeenth century — virtually surrounded now by a tide of bricks and mortar. Not far away, though, are Spring House and Hawthorn Farms with their remaining Tudor sections and shared barn containing five sets of oaken crucks. Literally a stone’s throw separates their unimproved rusticity where hens still scratch, from the painful tidiness of boring villas.
Somersall Hall beside the burbling Hipper is successor to the ancestral seat of the Clarkes of Somersall (not to be confused with the Ashgate Clarkes). Only the gazebo in the garden behind remains as an obvious part of the earlier great house. The recent conversion of Somersall barns, stables and coach house to dwellings has saved this attractive little settlement — some of the charm remains despite the proximity of that boring suburbia across the stream.
High up on Walton hilltop a whole swathe of former farmland is safe from development because it is the 18-hole course of Chesterfield Golf Club. It came here just ninety years ago (from Somersall) and is one of Derbyshire’s best situated courses, commanding broad views over the valley of the Birdholme Brook and away towards the Peak District. Not much more than a golf ball’s flight away to the north is the site of what was the most important mansion in the Chesterfield area. Walton was held by William Peveril soon after 1066 but six hundred years ago it came by marriage to the powerful Foljambes who remained here until 1633, when the house and 1,500 acre park were sold for a huge price. The house lasted little more than a hundred years and was replaced by the important looking yeoman farmer’s dwelling we see today.Want to learn more about Europe cities, check www.europe-cities.com .
°The rural western perimeter of the town has been desecrated in part, mainly by inappropriate property development. Here and there, however, gems remain to surprise the unaware: they are especially precious for that rarity and must remain inviolate for the foreseeable future. To paraphrase another poet — Housman this time — these western borderlands, where fields and little woods tilt to the moors, are the happy highway where once we went but now can only come again in part.
Bolsover Castle is going to be buzzing with seasonal activity on Wednesday 18th October. The Children’s Society has invited over 40 stallholders to a Christmas Market. There are markets like this in many cities, learn something about France at this compare annecy hotels website. They will be selling original handcrafted items of fashion jewellery and ceramics, unique paintings, prints and books plus unusual and varied items for the home. A major attraction will be the food stalls selling lots of delicious goodies.
Local children have competed in a Christmas Card competition and prints of the best of these will be on sale. Of interest to golfers will be the Golf Studio in The Riding School. Do you want to go? – see here.
In our article on Bradley village, which appeared in our August issue, we mentioned the workshop of Mr and Mrs Tolley where they it ake Windsor chairs. We should like to apologise for referring to Mrs Tolley as Joyce – her name is Gill.