Ockbrook - Part 06
- Back Down The Hill
w/e 30 May
We began our
exploration of Ockbrook in December last year and since then
we have learned that the village is actually two rolled into
one. We left the old part of the village founded in the 6th century
to walk up Bakehouse Lane to where the Moravian Church set up
"The Settlement" on the hill to the north. Now we begin
our descent back towards our starting point and the conclusion
of the series in the next and final part.
On a clear day there are
some excellent views from here across the surrounding countryside
to the south of the village. We could retrace our steps down
The Settlement and turn left at Greenside (see Part
2) but a convenient
footpath across the green open space opposite the Moravian School
is a useful shortcut.
From the corner of the tennis
courts, the path leads to the road in front of a Shopstones Cottages.
The two cottages numbered 9 and 11 (centre right) were built
in 1799 and the garage at the side of number 9 was originally
a workshop. Number 11 was designated initially by the Church
Elders as the Girls' Boarding School which at that time comprised
five day scholars and one boarder. The following year, 1800,
larger premises were required and the school moved to Hillside
which we saw in Part 5.
In 1825 two more cottages,
13 and 15, were added at the left hand side of the row. At that
time the cottages were inhabited by some of the stocking makers
that had come to ply their trade in the village. The building
on the far right of this picture is another that we saw earlier
called Greenside (Part 2).
A left turn at Shopstones Cottages now takes us past this building
which as the name plaque at the porch shows is known as the Old
Post Office. It stands on the site of a barn complex which is
where the Brethren preached when they first arrived in Ockbrook
in 1739/40. Offering "quality goods at reasonable prices"
it was converted in 1768 to the Moravian Congregation Shop and
replaced by a new shop in 1820. It continued trading until the
end of the 1920s when the shopkeeper, Mr John Orchard, died but
by this time it was not a viable business.
The road in front of the cottages has now
narrowed to become one of the village's many jittys and alleyways
and here can be seen one of the cast iron lamp columns that still
survives in Ockbrook. They were originally supplied by gas, conversion
to electricity began in 1929 but the village lamp lighter could
still be seen making his way around the village with ladder and
taper as late as 1945.
The particular jitty that we are
following, now bisected by a fairly new development, eventually
emerges onto Flood Street at the side of the Ockbrook Garden
Shoppe. There is another cast iron lamp column here complete
with ladder arms but in this view it is hidden in the shadows
beneath the tree.
The shop was built in 1915 and for many
years traded as a branch of the Derby Co-operative Society. The
only evidence of this nowadays is to be seen in shop porch which
still retains the initials DSC in the floor.