Derby - Markeaton in March
w/e 12 March 2017
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
We've driven past Markeaton Park at least three times
each year for the last forty years and one year during September
actually started a walk in the Autumn Footprints Festival from
there. This was the first time though since June 2005, nearly
twelve years ago, that we've made it our prime objective.
We parked in the car park off Markeaton Lane and entered the
park via the Mundy Play Centre.
The Play Centre has many free facilities for children including
a paddling pool, climbing frames, crazy golf, bouncy castles,
swings, slides and a spider net and many more attractions. The
Centre is open every day of the year although some of the attractions
are seasonal. The facilities are available for children up to
twelve years of age but students at Derby University that overlooks
the park are welcome to enjoy the rest of the park.
We took the path from the Play Centre towards the Craft Village
which passes Aldercar Wood where the daffodils were just starting
The path leads by a bridge over a water course (which expands
to form Markeaton Lake) where waterfowl gather on and near the
terrace hoping to be fed by visitors.
The Craft Village is housed in the old stable block of the former
Markeaton Hall which was the home of the Mundy family. Information
boards are dotted around the park telling the history of the
estate. This one starts "The Orangery and stables were built
around 1775-76 following the completion of the new hall ...."
The Orangery which now houses a cafe is thought to have been
designed by Derby architect Joseph Pickford. It is at this point
that I would encourage you to look at an image from June 2005
a new tab/window) taken from a similar position to compare
with this one. In 2014 the archeological remains of Markeaton
Hall were excavated. The Hall had been demolished in 1964 after
years of neglect.
A long straight path from in front of the Orangery leads through
the garden to the Yew Walk, an area of the park that is included
in £3.4 million three year restoration project.
Among the many attractions at Markeaton Park there is what best
can be described as plenty of "parkland" - trees, grass
and at this time of year spring flowers plus sports facilities
and not forgetting rowing boats and pedolos that can to hired
for use on the large Markeaton Lake, part of which is visible
Before we left the park, we made our way back through the Craft
Village to have a look in the walled garden which is now used
as the Friends of Markeaton Park Community Garden.
From there we made our way back by the terrace and over the bridge
to follow the path back through the Mundy Play Centre to the
car park. Just a passing thought - if it takes as long again
to visit Markeaton Park as it has done since our 2005 visit,
it will be the year 2029 and I'll be quoting Bruce Forsyth: "I
am not doddery... doddery I am not!"