Updated 20 Nov 2008

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 152


Posted 1933
Bridge cottage.

Postcard showing Willersley Castle, Cromford

Built for Sir Richard ARKWRIGHT, burnt down, rebuilt, now a conference Centre. More info can be found at: 1802 History and an Engraving. A "Guaranteed Real Photo" postcard, which shows a lot of detail at high resolution scan. There is an aerial on the roof, possibly radio. The nearest window has been "bricked up" with stone. See other photos of the Castle on: X106 and X358.

Unposted. The Drive, Willersley Castle, Cromford

Unposted. The Lodge, Willersley Castle, Cromford
Where the drive from the Castle meets Mill Road at SK300-573.
The Lodge at Willersley.

Photo taken: possibly 1938
Size: Postcard       

Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)

Have any more information about this photo?
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Stuart Flint writes:
I offer the following information

Edward Wainwright was Head Gardener to Richard and Mary Arkwright nee Simpson and then their son Peter Arkwright on the Willersley Castle estate in the 1830s - 1850s ... Edward married Sarah Wigley in 1858 she my kinswoman via Taylors Allens Beesley Macbeth and Flint..Edward and Sarah married at St Mary's Church in 1858 the Arkwright family church just over the bridge from the Castle now Cromford Parish Church .. Their witnesses were Fanny Arkwright daughter of Peter Arkwright and John Beastall of Morton who was Peter Arkwrights Butler.. Sarah was Edwards 2nd wife..He died in the 1860s Their daughter Louise became Head Accountant to Macbeths of Hulme and Stretford Manchester at their Commercial Tailoring Factories where they employed between the two units some 80 workers whilst Andrew Macbeth nephew of Thomas and Isabell Macbeth nee Spencer one of the Manchester Tailoring family (Isabell born Gorsey Bank Wirksworth she of my wifes kin and my sister in laws family of Potter, founded Andrew Macbeth Solicitors of Wirksworth now known as Andrew Macbeth Cash & Co now owned by Potter & Co of Matlock Gertrude Cecile Macbeth of this family married Lawrence Beesley of my kin who survived the sinking of The TITANIC in 1912 their son Alec Beesley marrying Dodie Smith the author of 101 Dalmatians and other books made into films by Walt Disney

William Smith my Gr Gr Uncle was also a Gardener on the estate but in time became Groundsman and Head Gardener at The Botanical Gardens Matlock Beth ..His son Samuel Smith a Spar Turner in time owned The Royal Museum Matlock Bath once owned by John Mawe and then Vallance & Walker (not my Walker family) and workshops on Museum Parade which he passed on to his son William Smith...William Smith senior originating from Clay Mills nr Burton Upon Trent married my Gr Gr Aunt Sarah Walker sister to my Grt Grandfather Joseph Walker

In the 1850s Richard Simpson was an oft time visitor to Willersley Castle he a J.P. from Eccles Manchester son of John and Elizabeth Simpson nee Hawksley Elizabeth born at Nottingham .she sister John Hawksley who married Mary Whittle of Arnold Notts whose son Thomas Hawksley born at Arnold in 1803 was a famous Civil Engineer who built Trent Bridge Water Works and thereafter was much sought after as a Gas and Water Engineer he being a Fellow of The Royal Society and President of The Institution of Gas and Water Engineers..also President of The Institution of Civil Engineers..He founded systems of water purification unknown of before.. Having worked as an Engineer for a brief time in Water Treatment at Haarlem Mill myself in the 1970s for Chord Chemicals, I read about Hawksley many years ago...

My 5XGrandfather Peter Simpson was a Fulling Miller and Woolcomber at a workshop on the land at Millers Green he leased from the Gell family 1720s where in 1771 a Cotton Mill was built by Sir Richard Arkwright and Partners where water was used for the first time to drive his machinery via the tributaries of The River Ecclesbourne some of which run underground down the back of my home ..In heavy rain some of this water entered my garden.. so much so that some years ago land drains had to be built at the foot of my garden The Mill by 1815 was known as Haarlem Mill

Whilst the waters which fed the dams at Arkwrights Mill are no more a small stream still runs near Speedwell Mill under the Callow Road near The Chequers Inn / Farm once the home of my 4XGrandparents Samuel and Millicent Colledge nee Simpson ,,,

. John Simpson was a Cotton Merchant with his brother Samuel Simpson..they brother's of Mary who married Richard Arkwright. Mary John and Samuel children of Adam and Elizabeth Simpson nee Oldham of The Stufy Manor House Bonsall.. Adam Simpson was nephew of my 5XGrandfather Peter Simpson . Adams sister Dorothy married Henry Flint Blacksmith son of Anthony Flint Grocer and Inn Landlord of Holloway Their daughter's Sarah and Dorothy married Samuel Prince ..1st wife Sarah and on her demise Dorothy. Samuel Prince's Uncle and Aunt were my 6XUncle and Aunt Paul and Edith Prince nee Henstock Edith sister of my 5XGrandfather Edward Henstock of Slaley Hall nr Bonsall who married Mary Frost of Bonsall...Edward and Mary's daughter Mary married William Hawley they my 4XGrandparents whose daughter Mary married John Killer of Middleton they my 3XGrandparents whose daughter Mary married Samuel Flint in 1830 they my Gr Gr Grandparents..Samuel Flint was one time Overseer at Ratchwood Mine but by the opening of The Cromford & HP Railway became one of the first Wharfingers at Middle Peak and Station Master at Steeplegrange when a primitive passenger service was run on the line he also a Coal Merchant at Flints Wharf Steepelgrange ..His son Henry Flint my Grt Grandfather was Wharfinger at Friden nr Hartington and Station Master at Parsley Hay .he also a Corn Merchant at Parsley Hay..Henry lived at Friden Station House now part of Friden Brick Works

Richard Arkwright after a time of co owning a MIll at Manchester with his brother's in law John and Samuel Simpson sold the mill to them .. In my teens my father Harry S Flint owned a Drapery Shop and on the counter was an oak framed display cabinet for cotton reels..Printed in gold lettering on the front of the cabinet were the initials J. & S.Simpson Manchester..The Simpson brothers were not as succesful in business as their brother in law and in time sold out to I believe Thomas Houldsworth .who also bought Arkwrights Rocester Mill which eventually was called Tutbury Mills

Many years ago I visited Rocester Mill..as members of my Flint family of Darley Dale and Two Dales removed to Rocester and Uttoxetor when a Cotton Mill Abraham Flint built at Ladygrove Road Two Dales failed due to a lack of funds he selling it on to the Deykeynes who converted the mill into Flax Manufacturing..This branch of my family on removing to Rocester and Uttoxetor had dealings with Arkwrights Abraham's heirs becoming Solicitors at Derby (Flint Bishop & Barnett founded by Abraham John Flint who married Catherine Orme dau of Robert Orme of Bakewell Grocers & Purveyor of Wine Wines...they living on Burton Road Derby. Abraham John Flint in 1931 was National Labour Party M.P. for Ilkeston he succeeded by Gorge Oliver he succeeded by Leopold Raymond Fletcher .

Their son Abraham Flint was an Derby Alderman members of his family becoming Barristers and Q.Cs at Nottingham .. .In my teens after major surgery I worked for Orme & Co at their Darley Dale branch as a Provisions Assistant, Orme & Co eventually taking over Seymour Meads and Hunters of Wirksworth where in 1906 my father aged 12 years was an Apprentice he becoming a Master Grocer ./ Draper / Gents Outfitter at Middeleton and Wirksworth . Ormes then became part of International Stores they being taken over by Fine Fayre now known as Somerfields )

John Flint. F.R.C.S. an heir of Abraham Flint of Two Dales returned to Winster from Rocester as a G.P. .. living at Wensley I am led to believe he was Medical Officer to Mill Close Mine and was a friend of the Brittlebank family Solicitors of Oddo House Winster

In recent years I have made contact with a lady of this family.... Another heir of Abraham Flint was Charles Flint who married Esther Aston of Bilston he also a Solicitor at Stafford His Grandaughter Fanny Flint on the early demise of her parents lived at Bolehill with my family of Thomas and Mary Hall nee Flint (Thomas a Baker and Farmer at Bolehill). Fanny married Alvin Smedley of Steeplegrange whose family were of my wifes Evans and my Wright / Frost family.. Alvin Smedley was my Grt Grandfather Joseph Walker's Foreman Master Stonemason whose heir today of the same name is a friend of mine who lives near my home.. he a stalwart of Wirksworth British Legion having served in the 2nd W.W. his wife deceased of Canadian birth being a good friend of mine who often played the organ and the piano at Church services I preached at and at Barmote Court (Senior Citizen Flats) Midweek Fellowship meetings which I often spoke at about music and family history or leading services .

Samuel Simpson retired to Matlock Bath whilst I believe John Simpson retired to Nottingham ..

When Willersley Castle was purchased by The Wesley Guild in 1929 my Uncle Rev Sydney Austin Price lived at The Mews Willersley Castle when he was Superintendent Minister to Wirksworth Methodist Circuit 1932 -( Rev S.A. Price married my mothers sister Elsie Walker) .In the late 1930s Joseph Walker & Sons..my Grandfather John Walker being one of the sons with his nephews Isaac and Joseph Walker , built Wirksworth Methodist Manse on Derby Road which within the last 3 years when Wirksworth Circuit was absorbed into Matlock Methodist and United Reform Circuit has been sold and purchased by an allied member of the Walker family.who originally built it.. In the 1950s my brother in law Rev Arthur Macgregor Brown deceased (married my sister) lived at The Mews Willersley Castle when he was Probationer Methodist Minister to Wirksworth Circuit his "Boss" Rev Arthur Roebuck who lived at The Manse at Wirksworth ..

Three of my immediate family today work at Willersley Castle.(Christian Guild Holiday and Conference Centre) my son continuing the work as a Gardener / Woodsman / Handyman on the estate which Edward Wainwright began in the early 1830s

Just along the road from Willersley Castle is Bow Wood which on 30th May 1700 my 7XGrandfather Thomas Hoades purchased from John Spateman of Rodenook Farm Wessington he a land owner (the Wigley and Gell family married into Spatemans) I have it on record via manuscripts belonging to the Arkwright family that John Spateman purchased Boughwood on Cromford Bridge End Matlock and Browns Wood and Whitfield on Noth side of Derwent except two Smelting Mills called Lums Smelting Mills on 20th June 1682 Also on record is 30th May 1700 Indenture John Spateman to Thomas Hoades possession of Browns Wood and Whitfield North side of Derwent and Bough Wood Matlock Cromford Bridge End..My Hoades family are also on record in the Arkwright manuscripts re the Will of Thomas Hoades which states 10th July 1712 Will of Thomas Hoades of Wirksworth which includes shares left in the will to his wife of Ratchwood Orchard and Ravenstor Groves and shares in all other meers to his son William Hoades (William my 6XGrandfather ) Ratchwood Orchard Thisely and Ravenstor Mines plus The Bage Wall Close and The George Mines Bolehill and The Dovegange Mines were managed by my Flint family from 1640s - 1890 ie Henry Coates my 8XGrandfather at The Dovegange Samuel Flint my 4XUncle his heirs being Wigley's and Beesley's and his brother Joseph Flint my 4XUncle his son Henry Flint and his son Herbert Flint.. By the 1880s the main shareholder of Ratchwood Mine was Frederick Arkwright of Willersley Castle ..My Gr Gr Uncle Samuel J Sheldon had to inform Arkwright that as he had not kept the mine in workmanship that the mine was to be given over to The Hopton Wood Company ,,By the 1950s a kinsman of mine by Sheldons Councillor Leslie A Doxey owned the land where Ratchwood Mine was situated and built bunglaows on the site..Ratchwood Mine is still to be seen at the foot of one of the gardens..

John Spateman in his will left a Smelting Mill and land to Thomas Nightingale and by the mid 1700s my Hoades family sold Bow Wood to Nightingales as a source of White Coal which fed the Smelting Mills.. My Grand fore bare family of Killer in this same period where Woodsmen at Bow Wood living in cottages above where Wood End House was built.. Bow Wood today is cared for by The Woodlands Trust . Peter Nightingale 2nd sold most of his estate to Sir Richard Arkwright . but Wood End House after the Milnes family and Swettenhams had left the property became part of the Smedley estate at Lea Mills..One of the more recent Directors of Lea Mills lived at Wood End House when my Aunt Doris Walker was a Departmental General Manager at Lea Mills in the 1930s - 1960..

My 7XGrandfather Thomas Hoades who owned the shares at Ratchwood Founder, Orchard and Ravenstor Mines on Colehills twixt Steeplegrange and Rise End was partner / shareholder to Robert Greensmith whose family built a large Manorial Grange where Steeplegrange gets its name..Greensmiths heir sold the Grange to Sir Richard Arkwright in the 1760s which Arkwright demolished using the stone to build his first Mill at Cromford

Isaac Hoades my 4XGrandfather married Anne Shaw whose nephew John Shaw began the family dynasty who opened up quarries at Matlock Dale Colehills Hoe Grange Longcliffe and with Peter Bowne founded Bowne & Shaws Quarry Middle Peak.. When Anne died Isaac married Elizabeth Peach whose heirs are the Macbeth family aforementioned
Regards Stuart G Flint

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