West Hallam - Near The Crossroads
w/e 29 March 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Village Sign detailMapperley LaneFrom the bottom of Derby Road at Ilkeston, the High Lane in three sections East, Central and West respectively, passes through the parish of West Hallam. Where the name changes from High Lane Central to High Lane West a lane (right) leads off to the north to Mapperley Village whilst another road to the south is St Wilfrid's Road leading to West Hallam village centre.
Village Sign

Spring was definitely in the air this week with seasonal flowers blooming on a small grassed area on the Ilkeston side of the crossroads where a new village sign was erected not too long ago. The sign depicts St Wilfrid's Church and the coats of arms of three families whose names are forever etched into the history of the area - Scargill, Newdigate and Powtrell. (See detail in small image top left)
Bottle Kiln

Also at the crossroads but in the opposite direction to Ilkeston is the Bottle Kiln. Today this is an art gallery with craft and gift shops, a buttery cafe and a Japanese Garden and it has been transformed from the original kiln on the site. An information board gives some of the site's history as follows:

"This site was originally an estate sawmill making pit-props for the Newdigate Estate coal mines. In the mid 19th century additional buildings were erected to house a small brick works using materials from a nearby clay pit. The bricks were fired in beehive kilns.

Two bottle-neck kilns were built by the 'West Hallam Art & Earthenware Company' in the early 1920s utilising the earlier buildings and adding further workshops and a boiler house with a square chimney. The pottery failed in 1933. One kiln was demolished in the 1950s causing local concern and the present outer kiln shell was registered as a 'listed' building.

The Stone family purchased the derelict site in 1983. Charles Stone designed and built the present complex of which only the kiln shell is an original building, with substantial help from his sons. The business here has been run by the Stone family ever since."
Our route on this occasion from the crossroads took us down St Wilfrid's Road into the village centre but as this has been well documented previously (usually when the Well Dressings are taking place) I did not take any photographs but continued along Beech Lane (another area previously photographed) to Station Road.

Cinder House

A right turn into Station Road leads back to the High Lane but about half way along Station Road is an interesting building. It seems unremarkable at first glance but there is a clue in the name of the gate "Ye Olde Cinder House" and a close up of the walls shows an unusual building material. The house was built in 1833 to celebrate the birth of Francis Parker Newdigate, son of the local Squire and it was built from cinders made from the burning of large pieces of local clay from Mapperley Park. The material was used as an experiment and although it has stood the test of time becoming a Grade II listed building in 1986, the experiment could not have been all that successful as it did not catch on and the house is thought to be unique.
Play Area

Until the last quarter of the twentieth century much the land bounded the four roads High Lane Central, St Wilfrid's Road, Beech Lane and Station Road was open farmland but since then a large proportion of it has been filled with new housing. There are some green spaces left though and this one on the other side of the road to the Cinder House has been transformed into an attractive play area.

Community Hall

The West Hallam Community Hall stands adjacent to play area and although it fulfils a useful function and is a much more imposing building than the Cinder House, for me it doesn't possess anything like the character of its historic neighbour.

Station Road (on the right) joins at another crossroads on the High Lane where High Lane West changes to Belper Road and Park Hall Lane seen here on the left, leads off again to Mapperley Park and then on to Mapperley Village. The car dealership on the corner of station Road and High Lane West has traded for many years under the name of Millhouse, this name having its origins in the windmill that once stood here.
Methodist Car Park

Our journey back to Ilkeston from the second crossroads took us past the Bottle Kiln again and also past the nearby West Hallam Methodist Church. The church is a good neighbour to the Bottle Kiln providing an overflow car park when necessary. It is also another place that has been seen previously on this site in even numbered years when they hold Flower Festivals in the church hall usually at the beginning of May.
Click here for pictures from 2002 and here for 2006.

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