The Silk Mill exemplifies one of the changes brought about, or at least accelerated by, the war. In 1914, although working-class women could be found in pubs with their husbands, many pubs were ‘male drinking dens’ which no ‘respectable’ women would enter, except possibly into the ‘Jug and Bottle’ to fetch beer to drink at home. These would have a separate entrance and be partitioned off from the rest of the pub.
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Mr Grundy’s Tavern is housed in part of 36 Ashbourne Rd, a fine Georgian property, now The Georgian House Hotel. It has the distinction of being the only pub in Derby named in honour of a WWI veteran. The on-site microbrewery is also named after him and the names of its beers have a WWI theme, such as ‘1914’, and ‘Bullet’ and ‘Sniper’.
The once handsome, but now neglected-looking, three-storey, seven-bay building opposite the former Mechanics Institute (now Revolucion da Cuba) is still signed as the Wardwick, but currently (2019) closed. It was originally built as a townhouse in the early 1700s, but later became the offices for a brewery built on the gardens to the rear.
At the time of the Great War, the brewery was run by Altons and Co. Ltd, one of Derby’s major breweries. It was big enough to serve around 150 tied houses, but pubs were smaller and more numerous 100 years ago.
Altons had been taken over by Strettons Derby Brewery Ltd in 1903 but continued to be run as a largely separate concern from Strettons, which brewed at a site on the Ashbourne Road (DWWIPP-4). As described in other Wonders in this series, WWI had a major effect on Strettons and Altons and Derby’s other major brewer, Offilers.
[Read more…] about DWWIPP-1: THE WARDWICK TAVERN
These delicate fingers of rock on opposite banks of the Dove are one of the scenic highlights of the dale. Amazingly, the 25m- high leaning finger of Ilam Rock has several rock climbing routes up its precipitous sides, while Pickering Tor has a gaping cave at its foot.
Both were left stranded as free-standing pillars of hard reef limestone when the softer rock was eaten away by the glacial meltwaters of the last Ice Age. Artist JMW Turner captured Ilam Rock in a popular painting, which undoubtedly contributed to our view of this as a sublime landscape and reinforced it as a place of interest to visiting tourists over the years.
The path now swings east opposite Hall Dale to pass the impressively-yawning water-worn cavities known as Dove Holes. Beyond here, the riverside path passes a number of weirs before running under the impressive vertical cliff of Raven’s Tor. A gentle meadowland path, rich in lime-loving flowers such as rockrose and thyme, now takes you into the hamlet of Milldale, which is reached by crossing the narrow Viator’s Bridge
As small towns on the edge of the Peak District go, New Mills doesn’t seem to have anything special on its ordinary-looking surface. Walk just a few steps in a downwards direction though and all of that changes.
Running right below the main shopping and residential streets is an astounding natural feature – The Torrs. Our trail ventures into this deep gorge cut by two powerful rivers, the Goyt and the Sett.
This is a great spot to take in an overview of our journey – and this is an overview, in every sense! The dominant old industrial building one hundred feet below is Torr Vale Mill, with the River Goyt swirling past it in a dramatic curve. Next to the mill is the railway line which links Greater Manchester and Sheffield, via a two-mile long tunnel under the high moors of the Peak District.
Hanging precariously between the two and directly over the raging river is the newest addition to this complex landscape. It’s just a thin ribbon from this distance, but will provide the highlight of this trail’s end…
Spend a few minutes simply taking in the atmosphere of this incredible place; the mossy walls, the clumps of fern, the absence of direct sunlight. There are hidden niches and side-aisles too, so have a good explore.
It is not hard to imagine that it must have been a centre for pagan worship long before the arrival of Christianity. There are even signs that modern day pagans revere the chasm, from the little offerings you may spot here and there. It is a deeply hidden place.
Lud’s Church is sometimes cited as the inspiration for The Greene Chapel in the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Read the poem however and the mysterious chapel turns out to be a grassy burial mound well north of the Mersey. It is true, though, that the anonymous author hailed from this region and many evocative local place names, such as Wildboarclough, find echoes in the poem.