Updated 21 Mar 2008
WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900
Dale Top Barn about 1940.
Muriel Brooks nee Bradley and Dale Farmhouse being built in 1951
Dale Farm and farmhouse built 1951.
1922 map. Most of the fields shown belonged to
Dale Farm, OS Ref=SK 280-545
About 1960 the Quarry expanded, swallowing Dale Farm and
many of its fields. The Farm used to be at the letter 'F' of
'Dale Farm' in the Google Earth image below.
The exact position of Dale Farm has been worked out by comparing
the 1922 map with the 2007 satellite image, identifying fields that
still exist from their shape, and interpolating.
Dale Farm was 235 metres above sea level, the quarry floor at this
point is 211 metres a.s.l., 24 m (79 ft) below the old farm.
Dale Farm, Wirksworth.
Dale Farm was about half a mile NW from the centre of Wirksworth,
at the end of The Dale. The OS reference was SK 280-545.
However, the quarries along the road between Wirksworth
and Middleton expanded South West and eventually swallowed the
Farm and its fields about 1960.
Originally the farm was just a
barn, serving the fields around it.
The farmer lived down the Dale in the town. Later more brick barns
outbuildings were built.
In 1951 a
farmhouse was built next to
the outbuildings, but in
1956 the farm was
sold to the mining company planning expansion of
the limestone quarry. The family finally left the farmhouse in 1957.
Gradually the quarry expanded. Today (2008) the farmhouse, outbuildings
and most of the fields have disappeared without trace. The position
of the old farmhouse can only be
Herbert Brook has also contributed an album of photos
showing a way of life now vanished, seemingly idyllic, but in fact hard
and very recent. Many thanks Herbert.
On the OS map 1837-1842, a reference
is made to "Dale Top Barn", which may have been at the same
position as the later Dale Farm.
Much of the information on this page was supplied by Herbert Brooks,
whose father Ernest and grandfather Herbert (1883-1951) were tenant
farmers at Dale Farm.
"Dale Top Barn" on OS map 1837-42,
approx OS ref=SK 281-545
1956 Farm sale.
Stewarts and Lloyds Minerals Limited
Brigstock, near Kettering
24th September, 1956
Dear Mr Brooks,
I herewith enclose you a formal letter confirming the
arrangements I made with you last Thursday, on behalf of the
Company, regarding the proposed purchase of your farm, which I
think sets out fairly the arrangements we made.
You will notice that I have not stipulated any time
limit regarding your obtaining a house in the vicinity of
Wirksworth. We fully realise that you will do your best to
find a house for yourselves, and we hope that you will be able
to find something during the coming six months.
In order that the matter shall be regularised, I have
sent a copy of the formal letter to Messrs. Wilson & Wilson
and have asked them to get in touch with Mr. Barnett, in order
that a formal contract for sale can be drawn up and signed.
With regard to Mr, Heath's account which you handed to
me last Thursday, we are quite agreeable to meeting the payment
of this account, but in order not to complicate matters, it
should be part of the settlement under Item (g) of the official
letter. So, if you will pay this account, and then send it on
to Mr.Barnett, your solicitor, he will recover the amount
from Messrs. Wilson & Wilson, our Solicitors, in the final
settlement on the completion of the Conveyance.
With kindest regards to Mrs. Brooks and Herbert, and
also to yourself,
Field removals in 1956.
Middlepeak Quarry 2007, taken from the air by
Neil France in his paramoter.
The quarry cliff is about 50 metres high.
Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)
Have any more information about this photo?
Please e-mail the author on:
Herbert Brooks writes:
The map you sent is an earlier one and does not show the house my Dad
had built to go with the farm buildings.
The Field numbers are 531, 532, 533, 534, 536, 489, 488, 471, 472, 473,
474, 490, 491, then I'm lost because I would be only 4 when the quarry
fenced through 533, 534, 490, 472 and was no longer used for farming,
but quarry use. He also rented considerable acres in the area.
I've got a map from 1957 for 471 called Lady Day informing Dad they
would be taking this field. The attachment shows Dad in field 531
sometime in the 1940's. He also delivered milk milk within the town.
Herbert Brooks writes:
Please find Lady Field map attachment for 1957
At the moment I can not find the case with the detail of when the Farm
was purchased, but have included a few other items which may be of interest.
Dale farm Hay making shows a picture from 1949 of my grandad
Herbert Brooks and my father Ernest Brooks- Dad is in a picture on
page 48 O'er Back And On the Hillock by Jack Doxey
Dale farm first valuation made me smile because of the contents, because
we use the saw bench today for a bbq.
D Marsdens - we have loads of these makes interesting reading when you
look at prices etc.
The Western Derbyshire map is 38 " x 36" with loads of references
to Wirksworth retailers published 1900
The Wirksworth Branch Junior Imperial League meeting was just a newsclip
found in a book, but we have no date - but Matlock Mercury
King's Field Feb 1956 we have a variety of issues.
However back to Dale Farm I'll try and locate the material. Dad & family
lived the bottom of the Dale when they first bought the farm. I do have
some pictures of when the farm house was built. We moved out of the house
in 1957 because of the damage caused by the blasting, but the house and
farm buildings where not knocked down until 1974.
Will be in touch.
1938 Ernest Brooks at Dale Farm.
1938 Herbert & Ann, Dale Farm.
1938 Ploughing in field 448.
1938 Anne Brooks feeding the hens.
1938 Dale Farm.
1938 Dale Farm.
Ernest Brooks at Dale Farm.
Herbert and Ernest Brooks at Dale Farm.
Ernest Brooks at Dale Farm with his first motor bike.
William and Margret Hannah, Sep 1917.
Farmer Brooks and stooks, about 1940.
Top: Hilda 1892,Herbert 1883, Edith 1881, Lionel 1892, Fanny 1893, Ernest 1885
Bottom: Margret Hannah 1856, Mary Anne 1895, Maggie 1898, William 1855.
Field 536 with Middleton Top engine House on the horizon.
1938, Anne Brooks feeding the pigs.
1949 Haymaking at Dale Farm
Anne Brooks nee Rowe.
William 1820 Ann
| | | | | | | | |
1826 1829 1831 1835 1839
Mary Eliza Martha Alice Benjamin Ann William Samuel Elizabeth
William 1851 Mary
| | | | |
1853 1855 1859 1861 1863
Alfred William Sarah Mary Eliza
William H 1881 Hannah
| | | | | | | | |
1881 1883 1885 1887 1892 1892 1893 1895 1898
Edith Herbert Ernest Robert Lionel Hilda Fanny Mary Maggie
|  Ann
Herbert 1912 Anne
Ernest 1951 Muriel
[Informant] Herbert 1976 Anne
John David [Informant]
1928 RENT for DALE FARM, Wirksworth
Arthur J.Marsden, F.A.I.
Wirksworth Grammar School Trustees
January 10th, 1927
Dale Farm, Wirksworth
We have now heard from Mr Fox, the Landlord of the
above farm, enclosing your letter to him of the 6th.
We regeret that owing to illness Mr Fox has been quite
unable to attend to matters hence the delay. He now writes
us that he is sorry to say he cannot accept £65 per annum
for the farm. Whilst admitting that the house is some
distance from the land he considers that the quality of
the land and the business it can do must have some bearing
upon the ultimate rent obtained. Having regard to the
representations we made to him upon your behalf he
instructs us to offer you the farm at a rental of Seventy five
pounds (£75) per annum and we trust you will see your way to
close with this offer.
Geo Marsden & Son
1928 VALUATION for DALE FARM, Wirksworth
Lady Day 1928
Valuation of Tenant
Rights & Fixtures
The Dale Farm
Mr H Sheppard
Geo Marsden & Son
VALUATION of Tenant Right and Fixtures upon The Dale
Farm in the parish of Wirksworth in the county of Derby from
Mr H Sheppard, the outgoing Tenant to Mr W Fox the landlord
or his incoming Tenant, Mr H.Brooks.
As at Lady day 1928
Armoured Piping from Tank to Cooler
Cooler bracket and stand
10 Cow chains
Quantity of Hay on loft at consuming price
Stackyard Stack of new Hay at consuming price
No 536 3.649 Grass mown, Manured & spread. For labour thereon.
No 488 2.421 Grass Mown. Manured & spread. For labour thereon.
For the Manurial Value of the Feeding Stuffs
consumed upon the Holding during the last two years of the
Tenancy according to Messrs Voelcker & Halls Tables.
We the undersigned after making the necessary
deductions do hereby estimate the value of the above mentioned
items, upon behalf of both parties, at the sum of
TWENTY FIVE POUNDS SIX SHILLINGS AND FOUR PENCE
£25 : 6 : 4d
Geo Marsden & Son F.A.I
Auctioneers & Valuers,
1949 FIRST ANNUAL VALUATION for DALE FARM, Wirksworth
FIRST ANNUAL VALUATION
of Live and Dead Farming Stock,
Impliments, Produce and Tenant-right at
situate in the Parish of Wirksworth
in the County of Derby for
MESSRS.HERBERT BROOKS & SON
for Income Tax purposes.
Made June 7th 1949
As at April 6th 1949
Ayrshire Cow, due September
Ayrshire Heifer, Due September
Red and White Heifer, due September
Roan Cow in full milk
Roan Cow, due July
Red Cow, due August
Roan Cow, due September
Red Cow, in full milk
Roan cow, due September
Red cow, in full milk
Black barren cow in full milk
Red cow, due July
Blue cow, due July
Ayrshire Cow, due July
Dark Blue Cow, due July
Red Cow, due July
Roan Barren Cow
Red Barren Cow
Red Poll Stock Bull, 4 years old
2 Ayrshire-cross In-calf Heifers,
2 Black Incalf Heifers, due October
1 Blue Yearling Heifer
1 Black Yearling Heifer
Roan Rearing Heifer calf
Red and white rearing Bull calf
Brown Mare Pony, aged
20, 1 and 2 year old hens
Bamford Horse Rake
30 Galvanized sheets
Ladder, 18 rounds
Ladder, 18 rounds
Ladder, 32 rounds
2 Stack cloths
Bamford Clipper Chopper
Water Bowls for 14 cows
26 Cow chains
Iron Saw Bench
12 Circular Saw Blades
Single Ridge Drill
Milk Float on rubbers
Refrigerator Pan and Scye
2 Milk Buckets
2 Delivering Cans
2 Milk Churns
Set of Pony Harness
3 Cart Ropes
2 Short Ropes
Bamford Side Delivery Rake
30 Cwt Chain Blocks
14 Old Churns
Wooden Fowl House
do do do
Wooden Fowl House, span roof
Lister 2½ h.p. Engine
12 Hay Forks
3 Hay Rakes
3 Manure Forks
Cross Cut Saw and hammer
Quantity Joiners Tools
Austin 8 h.p. Motor Van 1938
1939 Morris 10 h.p. Car
Ford 26 h.p. Motor Lorry
Fordson Tractor 1945,
on pneumatic tyres
Bamford Tractor Mower
Talbot 2 furrow plough
2½ tons Oat Straw Chop
7 tons of Hay
30 cwts Home grown oats
8 acres manured and spread
once chain harrowed
531 4.082 G.M. Ploughed by Order
Growing Oats after Oats (For the
seed bill and cultivations)
Manured and spread (Labour only)
491 5.385 G.P. Ploughed by Order
Part growing oats after oats,
(For the seed bill and cultivations)
Part prepared for cabbage and potatoes,
once ploughed (For the ploughing)
Remainder of field G.M. (No claim)
473 2.341 G.M. 1 acre ploughing by Order
Now ploughed after mangolds and cabbages
(For the cultivations,
and usual compensation
on greencrop ground)
Fordson N 1943
T.V.O.=Tractor vaporising oil
Tractor vaporising oil (or TVO) is a fuel for internal combustion engines,
produced from paraffin (kerosene). In the United Kingdom and Australia,
after the Second World War, it was commonly used for tractors until
diesel engines became commonplace. In Australian English it was known
as power kerosene.
The post war Ferguson TE20 tractor, a carefully researched and
near-ideal tractor for use on British farms, was designed around a
petrol (gasoline) engine. Although there was a campaign for the
reintroduction of agricultural Road Duty (tax)-free petrol, which
had been curtailed during the war, this was not forthcoming.
Perkins Engines supplied some conversions into diesel engines which
could use un-taxed red diesel.
As a substitute for petrol, TVO was developed. Paraffin (kerosene) was
commonly used as a domestic heating fuel and was un-taxed. Paraffin has
an octane rating of zero and would damage an engine built for petrol.
The manufacture of paraffin involves the removal of aromatic hydrocarbons
from what is now sold as heating oil. These aromatics have an octane
rating, so adding some of that otherwise waste product material back
in a controlled manner into paraffin gave TVO. The resulting octane
rating of TVO was somewhere between 55 and 70.
In practice TVO had most of the properties of paraffin, including the
need for heating to encourage vapourisation. As a result the exhaust
and inlet manifolds were adapted so that more heat from the former
warmed the latter. To get the tractor to start from cold, a small
second fuel tank was added that contained petrol. The tractor was
started on the expensive petrol, then once the engine was warm
the fuel supply switched over to TVO. So long as the engine was working
hard, like when ploughing or pulling a load, the TVO would burn well.
Under light conditions, such as travelling unloaded on the highway,
the engine was better on petrol.
Some tractor designs included a radiator "blind" that would restrict
the flow of air over the radiator which led to the engine running hotter,
which could help with starting. If the radiator blind was left shut,
though, there was a risk of engine damage, especially in warm weather.
The phrase petrol-paraffin is often used to describe engines that use TVO.
This can be interpreted either as
the use of the two fuels, starting on petrol then switching to the
the use of a mixture of petrol and paraffin as a substitute for the
TVO was withdrawn from sale by UK suppliers in 1974. An approximation
to the correct specification can be made from petrol and heating oil
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