Interesting Burials – All Saints Derby

I was at the Derbyshire County Archives today. I was looking for any records of black servants in Derby between 1700 and 1800. I started looking at the records for “All Saints” (Derby Cathedral). During my search I found one or two interesting burials. Well, I say Interesting, but I guess only if you enjoy history. If you do,  here they are.

All Saints Burials

1762

  • Jan 28: Thomas Evat who was killed by a Tup (Male Sheep)
  • Nov.25: Buried in one coffin, William and Ann Drake
  • October 7th: Henry Joyce killed in a quarrel by a Butcher.

1763
Feb16: Stanley Mappleby. An infant. Boy was a bastard, his mothers
name Yeomans, and she owned (sic)on her death bed.

1764
May 4th: A stranger. Name unknown, a woman.

1765
Oct 24: His Grace William Duke of Devonshire

1769
April:  Buried Henry alsop an infant that escaped the fire. Bottom of Abby Bonny.

1770
Buried Hannah Golling in her hundredth year.

Smallpox in Derby

I also noted that Smallpox outbreak killed several infants in this parish this year.  Over the years the parish saw a few priests but I was particularly struck by the beautiful handwriting. The words were exquisitely written and writing a whole sentence must have taken several minutes as each and every letter seemed to have been lovingly crafted.

allsaints

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Arbour Low Stone Circle

Arbour Low Stone Circle

Arbour Low Stone Circle

Arbour Low Stone Circle Walk

In early October 2012, I was driving around the Derbyshire Peak District, looking for Interesting places to visit. I was about a Mile or Two North of Newhaven, I came across a sign to Arbour Low. Arbour Low is a large Stone Circle, described by the English Heritage Website as “the most Important prehistoric site of the East Midlands”. I had always wanted to go and find it but had previously not made much effort to find it.

I vowed to return. Two weeks later, my friend and I headed up there. The stone circle is located just behind a modern farm. You can park your car and wander up past the farm house, which i believe is a guest house.  It only takes a few minutes to arrive at the stone circle, and I have to say it’s “bloody impressive”.

Derbyshire’s Stone Henge

The stones are all lying flat now but they are huge, and make the “Nine Ladies” stone circle on Stanton Moor seem miniature. This is a proper henge.  I took a few photos, which can be seen on my flickr account.

If you are staying in Tideswell and fancy seeing an Ancient Stone Circle and Burial mound, I have included this map to help you get there.

Tideswell Tunnels Part 4

Tunnels to Tideswell Church

This summer saw me kindle an interest in Tunnels under Tideswell.

If you have read any of my previous posts you will know how my investigations went. If you haven’t read the articles before here are they.

I decided that I needed to go and see the Vicar. After all, I needed an “official line” on the matter. I called the vicar and arranged a meeting. He was kind enough to meet me at his house, and we had a 30-minute chat. I was somewhat disappointed with the outcome

Discussing Tunnels under the church with Tideswell Vicar

Around 26 June 2012, I went back to Tideswell looking for the hidden tunnels which are rumoured to be underneath the village. I was told to go and see the vicar.   I contacted the vicar by telephone and arrange the meeting at his house.   He arranged to see me early in the early evening I was quite hopeful that he would be able to shed some
light on the many questions I had to ask him regarding tunnels under the church.

We sat down and I began to ask the vicar about the rumoured tunnel from the back of the church to Church St.  Sadly the vicar said that he did not have any information about tunnels.  Like everyone else,  he had heard rumours but did not put any stock in
them, as he had never found any evidence of the tunnel or documents
pertaining to tunnels. Next, I asked him about the small room that sits over the north door that sits over the south door of Tideswell Church.  As you enter Tideswell Church through the South door, (main entrance)  on the right there is a small door on the left.

Tideswell Church South door. (note windows to the small office)

Tideswell Church South door. (note windows to the small office)

It leads to a narrow staircase up to a small office.  I went into this office as a school pupil at Bishop Pursglove School. The room was full of documents and books that, however, was about some 30 years ago.

I don’t know how much things have changed but the vicar told me that the little secret office, that seemed so mysterious in the fog of my memory, had been recently cleared out and there was nothing in there. It was now used as a storeroom he assured me.

“What about the records, though, if they have been moved, where are they now?”  I pressed.

Any ecclesiastical records were now held at the public records office in Matlock, he rebuffed my renewed pressure off easily.   Naturally this was a disappointing conclusion to our meeting, however, he did tell me that if I wanted to go into the cellar behind the church that I should ask the caretaker to let me in.  He passed me the caretakers number, telling me that he would be on his rounds that evening, and with that, we parted. I dialled the caretakers’ number.

Looking for Tunnels Under Tideswell Church

Mr Robbinson agreed to meet me and we went around the back of the
church,  just in front of the Institute by the old grammar school. there is an opening leading to the boiler house cellar.  Mr Robinson produced a large bunch of keys and we went down into the cellar.

Tideswell Church Boiler House Cellar

Tideswell Church Boiler House Cellar

My interest in the cellar was kindled by other residents who told me that have been into the cellar and told me that they had seen a bricked up archway that was surely the tunnel entrance.  As you go down the steps on the right there is a disused coal bunker. On the left, there was evidence of a brick arch this may, at one time have gone under the lady chapel but it’s difficult to tell as it’s been plastered over.

This wall, has an alcove which point into the lady chapel

This wall, has an alcove which point into the lady chapel

The end of the Cellar

The end of the Cellar

The cellar itself contained the new boiler and evidence of an old boiler of which the pipework has not been fully removed.   The cellar itself was long probably about 12
foot in length and seven feet high.   The cellar had an arched ceiling, but I could see no firm evidence that was visible that there was an entrance to any tunnel.

Earlier that day,  I had been looking inside the church itself.  If you walk into the church, then turn down towards the pulpit and then take a left into the Lady Chapel you will see some very old pews.  Behind the first seat on these old pews, one of the backboards is missing. If you look carefully, You can see an opening which could be the top of an old door or archway.  If you put your arm down into the cavity you can feel the top of the opening or an arch. See my photo. It’s impossible to tell how big this cavity is.

Tideswell Church - Secret Tunnel?

Tideswell Church – Secret Tunnel? See the cavity?

I had hoped that by going into the cellar would allow me to get to this cavity and thus
see the entrance to a tunnel.  However, it seems that the boiler and
the boiler cellar are just to the right of the Lady Chapel.  In fact whilst I was in the cellar I noticed a grate that looks up into the lady chapel, but not in the right position to line up with the archway behind the pews.

from the cellar looking into the Lady chapel

from the cellar looking into the Lady chapel. You can see the pipes of the organ.

All in all the trip approved pretty fruitless.  In fact, a thorough, if an enlightening disappointment.

Possible Priest Hole Beneath The Star Inn, Tideswell

The next night evening, the proprietors of ‘The Star Inn the allow me into their cellar beneath the pub.  I had heard a rumour that one of the small cellars was at one
time a priest hole.

Landlord, Jerry showed me into the cellar and we looked all around.  There is very little evidence of the room being used for anything other than storage.

The star inn, small cellar

The star inn, small cellar

In truth though I’m not sure what I expected to find, in the cellar of a working pub. Once again dear friends.  The trail has gone cold.

To leave you with a drop of optimism in your hearts, I have heard from Miranda Pennock.  Miranda used to live at Devonshire House. (See Part 3) where I have already unsuccessfully looked for a tunnel.  She assures me there was a room which was a priest hole and that there was a tunnel and her father helped to block it up. I am hoping that we can meet and she might be able to show me exactly where the tunnel was.

blog comment

blog comment-light at the end of the tunnel?

I have it on good authority from two very trustworthy gentlemen, who have asked me not to mention their names.  That there was a tunnel of some sort unearthed when they dug the footings for what was the ex-Servicemen’s Club. One of these gents has been in the tunnel and even found a coin dating from 17xx.

So, there’s still some faint hope that we might discover something yet.  I know Sheffield University came out to do some surveys, I may well get in touch with them, and see if they fancy looking again. Watch this space.  Please leave me a comment below, tell me where to look and who I should speak to next.

Tunnels Under Tideswell Part 1 |  Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Tideswell Tunnels – Part 3

Recent Tidza Tunnel Developments.

Tideswell Tunnels took a new turn this week. I met a young man convinced of their existence, which spurred me on , as I had been somewhat downhearted about my lack of conclusive evidence. I have got several new lines of enquiry. Thing is, once I get started on something I never let it go.

However, I actually need the people of Tideswell to support me, and actively assist me in my research. It should be noted that I’m now encountering reluctancy to talk about the tunnels. However, it is my belief that they are there, so why the secrecy? Some people know more than they are letting on. Help me peeps. Let’s find these tunnels.

Is There A Secret Tunnell to Blake House?

I called at Blake House, I had previously pushed my letter of introduction through the door, the family who now owns the house were more than happy to have a chat.  The owner, Phil Dobbin, said that he was fascinated by the concept but hadn’t had a chance to investigate further.  Outside the house, at ground level, there is a small lintel. the stone directly underneath it was loose and we managed to pull it away, revealing a small cavity but noting that could be seen in detail.  Mr Dobbin, said he wanted to pull up the flags in the garden to investigate further, at some point.

Blake House Tideswell

Blake House Tideswell – Tunnell entrance or Coal Hole?

A Tunnel from Devonshire House to the Star?

Paul Harrison at Devonshire House dropped me a line to say that he had an archway in the bottom corner of his cellar that was worth investigating.  Oddly enough we had sat in the Star inn just a couple of weeks before chatting about Tideswell history. Odd then that his house should be a prime suspect for one with a tunnel.  I called around and both he and his wife Carrie were helpful and enthusiastic.

They let me down in the cellar and Paul showed me a small archway in the bottom right-hand corner.  It was quite unusual because there seemed to be no logical reason for an arch there.  It certainly wasn’t a coal chute because the coal chute was to the left. (unless the visible coal chute was added later).

Devonshire House is very old and I’m told that it was one of the King’s Larders, and the original George Pub at one time. The cellar has a vaulted ceiling and still has some old meat hooks hanging from it.   As you can see from the image I took on my phone, there is a clear arch.  The rubble in front of the arch apparently does down more than 6 ft. Paul said he tried to unearth it but got fed up.

My initial feelings are that this might have been some kind of soak-away or sough which drained water or “other liquid” down into the brook which would run a few yards in front of the house.  However, I have heard from three living people that there is definitely a tunnel at Devonshire House.  I just haven’t found it yet, I will though.

Devonshire-House-Tunnel-Tideswell

Devonshire House Tunnel?

A Tunnel From Eccles Hall To Blake House?

I drew a bit of a disappointing blank at Eccles Hall. After about ten minutes fighting with the latch on the gate, I managed to get in and finally catch the attention of the homeowner.  I explained who I was and that I was searching for the hidden tunnels in Tideswell.  The lady who owns the house told me that she “wanted there to be a tunnel but there just isn’t”.

She also informed me that Eccles Hall and Blake House were built at different times so the myth that Samuel Eccles was visiting his lover in Blake House via tunnel was bunkem.   However, this is at odds with the testimony of one living women in the Village who told me that she has been into a tunnel located in the cellar at Eccles Hall.  Someone is clearly mistaken.

Tunnels behind The Shambles

I called to See Claire Fisher, who lives at The Shambles, you may recall part two of Tideswell Tunnels showed the details Philip Swarbrick had given me regarding a tunnel there.  Claire was enthusiastic, but sadly an inspection of her cellar area (now converted) into living quarters revealed nothing.  Philip’s description matched perfectly though. So I have stood at the exact spot where the Tunnel is meant to be, but it’s been bricked up and plastered over, so if there’s a way into it, it would have to be out in the yard.

Tideswell’s Tindalls Tunnels

Finally, although not directly related to Tunnels, I approached Tindalls and Chris Ashton, was good enough to let me look at the images he and his wife took of the cellar before it was closed off, and the shop refurbished.

I did ask to go down in the cellar but that wasn’t possible at the time due to the manhole cover sticking and Mr Ashton not wanting to break his floor tiles by prying it up.  Fair enough.  He told me that he’s seen no evidence of a tunnel but was kind enough to explain all the changes to the building and let me copy this brilliant photo of a small cellar room, which, I  guess was used for salting meat at one time or another.

Tindalls Cellar Tideswell

Tindalls Cellar Tideswell

I do hope that you are enjoying reading my posts about the quest for tunnels. There is, I assure you a lot more information to come. I’m working on it, and will post it all here as and when I get a chance.   Let me leave you with a question:

Tunnels Under Tideswell Part 1 |  Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Do you believe there are Tunnels in Tideswell? if so, where and what makes you believe.

Please leave a comment below, if you know anything or just have an opinion.

Retro Video features Tideswell

A tour of Tideswell, Derbyshire Retro Film

Showing its limestone hills, its church and buildings, and the locals who work in the quarry.

NOTE: This film has a French soundtrack.

Details
Release year 1944 Director A. Reginald Dobson Production company G.B. Instructional CinematographerJack Parker Running time (minutes)09 mins 46 secs SupervisorG.J. Cons
Original Description
‘This film describes an upland settlement, Tideswell in the Derbyshire hills. Tideswell is built of local limestone, and many of its inhabitants work in neighbouring stone quarries. A hillside stream supplies power for the mills. Farms are mixed, but there is less arable land than pasture; sheep and cattle thrive on the upland pasture.’
(Films of Britain – British Council Film Department Catalogue – 1946)

Trivia
The quarry featured in the film is now the Miller’s Dale Quarry nature reserve.
Working titles for the film included ‘Upland Settlement’ or ‘Upland Village’, in keeping with other films in the ‘Human Geography’ series, such as Lowland Village and Coastal Village.