February 2021

What’s an angel doing in Saltergate?

One of the features of older Chesterfield was the large number of long yards in the Market Place area. In this post we look at one of these survivors – Angel Yard which started in the Market Place and ran right up to Saltergate.

When the Crown officials, who had charge of the manor of Chesterfield, decided to move to a new and present market area, at the end of the 12th century, they also laid out burgage plots. On the Low Pavement and Central Pavement side of the market these went right down to the banks of the river Hipper. But, on the opposite side they were constrained by those already on Saltergate. Many had yards to access the properties that were built on them.

1) The Angel Hotel, Chesterfield Market Place. Pictured in 1892, decorated for the tuning of the first sod of the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, the archway entrance led through to Angel Yard.

You can still see remnants of these plots and yards today. A traceable one is Angel Yard, which ran from the Angel Hotel on the Market Place, right up to Saltergate. Our first photograph shows the one-time Angel – decorated for the turning of the first sod of the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway in 1892. The archway to the right leads up to Angel Yard. Fast forward to the late 1920/1930s for our second photograph – complete with trolley bus. The Angel Hotel was burnt down in 1917, but had closed in 1915. The adjacent post office (which opened in 1886 after being in the Market Hall) took advantage by extending towards its next-door neighbour – the then Westminster Bank. Note the gap between the two – probably remnants of our Angel Yard. This gap is still there – our third photograph.

At Saltergate – our fourth photograph – next to the Barley Mow public house, Angel Yard still exists. You can still see it has a street name plate and it actually looks like a yard. It runs down towards its now isolated end in the Market Place, cut off by the relatively modern Rose Hill.

There are still other fragments of the burgage plots and their yards left – perhaps most notably on Central Pavement with Theatre Yard and Ward’s Yard. But many went when The Pavements shopping centre was developed at the rear of Low Pavement. A stark illustration of the former burgage plots can be seen on our seventh and final illustration – part of the 1883 Ordnance Survey 6 inches to 1 mile map of Chesterfield. Note the long black blocks of property – following the boundaries of the old burgage plots.

You can find out lots more in our Chesterfield Streets and Houses book.

2) After the Angel burnt down in 1917 (after being closed in 1915), the post office (left) extended over its site. But there’s a gap between the two properties which is probably the entrance to Angel Yard. Note the single-decker trolley bus – the Chesterfield system was in operation from 1927 until 1938.
3) That gap is still here, but now ends a little beyond the parked car.
4) Back up the hill at the Saltergate end – Angel Yard is still very much extant – starting at the Barley Mow public house – it still includes housing.
5) Angel Yard sign on the side of the Barley Mow public house, Saltergate.
6) The long former burgage plots can easily be seen on this 1883 Ordnance Survey map. In the Low and Central Pavements area they run right down to the river Hipper. Angel Yard starts from just above the ‘e’ in ‘Market Hall’. on its way up the Saltergate.

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New Bolsover and Newcastle’s famous department store

There’s a tenuous link between New Bolsover and a famous department store.

It was Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge, (1845-1911) at whose behest New Bolsover model village was constructed for the Bolsover Colliery Company, in the 1890s. As managing director of the company, he tried to ensure that his worker’s conditions were improved with such developments as New Bolsover and later Creswell. His Father, also Emerson Muschamp (1817-1892), created and owned the famous Bainbridge department store in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, credited with being the first such store of its kind. It’s still open, though not on its original site and is now part of the John Lewis Partnership.

Emmerson Bainbridge (junior), who followed in the family tradition of improving conditions for his workers by creating New Bolsover.

Bainbridge junior must have taken note of his father’s actions towards his employees. Just as in New Bolsover; at Newcastle, Bainbridge senior improved the conditions of his employees. Though conditions were harsh, many of the staff lived in a well-furnished hostel nearby. The picture here is taken from The Black and White Parliamentary Album of 1895 – when our Emmerson M Bainbridge (junior) was MP for Gainsborough. (Source: https://ia800305.us.archive.org/34/items/blackwhiteparli00compgoog/blackwhiteparli00compgoog.pdf) Find a more in our ‘snippets’ article.

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Whittington – the start of our draft text postings

We have started to add some draft text to our website, starting with Whittington (and Brampton), both near Chesterfield.

The former township and later civil parish of Whittington, Chesterfield, is a diverse one of some 1,581 acres. The former township of Brampton occupied about 7,900 acres. They are very much work in progress, but take a look here https://derbyshirevch.org/draft-text/. We’d be grateful for comments, additions or corrections.

For Whittington you’ll find information on manorial history, education and some of the economic history chapter. The Albion Pottery (as advertised here in about 1938) is covered, but the larger Pearson’s Pottery isn’t. It is actually in Newbold parish – as we explain. We also include an account of Frith’s works at New Whittington, responsible for a fair part of the growth of this community. Other industry, including mining, is also covered. Representing text to come is a contemporary photograph of the devastation caused to the 1863 parish church, in a January 1895 fire. It was rebuilt – the new 1896 building still stands today.

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