Taken 2008 by William Holmes.Solution 2
Part of map supplied by William Holmes.
William Holmes writes:
I have been studying photo 044 on your web site and the location of this
cottage is incorrect. I have lived in Wirkworth since 1946 so I know my
way around. Ferne Bank Cottage is not in Greenhill but at Gorsey Bank.
The grid reference is SK2895-5300. When you pass Providence Mill in Gorsey
Bank there is a right hand lane to Hob Hall Farm. About 200 yards on the
left down a short drive is Ferne Bank Cottage. I have attached a map for
its position. I have been visiting the owners of this cottage for nearly
10 years and they confirm the picture on your web site is their cottage.
I have enclosed a present day photo and although there is an extension
built onto the front, the corner stones are the same. The vertical ridge
in the tiles coming down the roof is the same and the window sizes and
positions are also the same. I tried to take the present photo from the
same position as the old but bushes prevented me moving further to the
right. The cottage stands in an old gritstone quarry and part of the back
wall abuts the quarry face. Behind the cottage is the hill and some of
the trees still exist at the top. In the trees behind the left chimney
is another small disused gritstone quarry.
Gorsey Bank is a very old hamlet - it is mentioned In Burdett's map of
1767. I have looked at 86 Greenhill and its size and postion are wrong.
It is also built mostly of limestone - Ferne Bank Cottage is gritstone.
Maureen Griffiths has got this one wrong.
Incidentally I have been checking my old photo files and in 1997 the
present owners borrowed an old original framed photograph of this cottage
to be copied so they could have a permanent copy.
Fern Bank Cottage 1895
John Woodhouse and Sarah, at Fern Bank Cottage, Greenhill in 1895.
John was born in 1845 to William & Sarah of Wirksworth.
John Woodhouse and Sarah Robinson married in 1872 at Wirksworth.
In 1861 John is shown as a labourer, 1871 a plasterer, 1879 a Plate Layer,
1881 a Railway Labourer, 1891 a Railway Stationary Engine fireman and 1901 a
Cow Keeper. He and his family are shown in the Census for
In 1880 he was a
witness in an inquest
on the death of 3 railway workers:
John WOODHOUSE of Wirksworth said "I work for the London & North
Western Railway Company on the CHPR and I was at work yesterday in
the Hopton Tunnel.At about 2.15pm William HANDLEY who was near to me
in the tunnel near the scaffolding touched me on the chest and said,
Keep back, there's Joe Hallows killed; he's knocked all to bits. On
that I ran back with him to the outside of the tunnel. I went in again
directly and on reaching the place I saw a lump of rock had fallen on
to the 3 deceased men. I saw there was no life left in the men and we
could not remove the stones without help. William HANDLEY and John
COOPER had gone to the quarry and the men from there came up and took
the stone off them. From the tunnel mouth to the place where the stone
fell was about 30 yards and we had 2 lamps and I and 2 others went up
to the scaffold and threw the stone from the truck to the ground and
prized the loose stone from the site with a crowbar. I then went down
to remove the stones so as to put the scaffold back a bit. The bodies
were taken from underneath the stone within 10 minutes and the bodies
were crushed. There were 8 of us working in the tunnel but no others
were hurt, the portion of the tunnel where we were working is the worst
part of it and I believe that a permanent brick arch would have made
it stronger. I cannot say whether the deceased were used to this work
but they had worked in the quarries. I cannot say if any of them were
Taken 2007 by Maureen Griffith
Maureen Griffiths writes about her 2007 photo:
Further information about X044- "Fern Bank Cottage"(86 Greenhill)
This was the only view possible of the above, without committing
Comparison with the 1895 photo;-
1 The Hillside above the cottage is no longer there, quarried away
2 A road has been built,along what was the side of the house (left as you
look at the old photo) from where I took modern photo
3 The new "side entrance" is down steps, the old photo shows that piece
of land sloping down also.
4 The very distinctive ridge of tiles below the chimney stacks is still
there, and there are no others like this in the area. This convinces me
that not only is it 86,Green hill,(it said so) but also, beyond doubt,
It took some finding! as it looked nothing like the original, at first.
Best wishes, Maureen Griffiths
Source:G Robinson, 7 Pigot Road
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