History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonROADS IN COACHING DAYS

ROADS IN THE COACHING DAYS.

Before the new road was made, about 70 years ago, the main road was over Middleton Bank, through the Old Moon Inn yard, and part of the present stable yard of the Hall, to join Calver Lane, a few yards out the village.

A Mounting Block is still to be seen on the premises.

At this period Middleton was a posting town, and there was no nearer station than Whaley Bridge or Chesterfield, so relays of horses were kept at the Old Moon Inn. “Lucy Long” and the Market Coach used to make the journey to Sheffield every Tuesday and Saturday, via Calver, Baslow, Owler Bar; carriers' carts also ran on these days. These were driven by Messrs. Peter Elliott and James Hallam.

The old TOLL BAR stood on the Bank near the Cliff Bottom. Owing to the death of a little child, who was knocked down by one of the coach horses, near Mill Street, a new road was opened about 1840. This was made by the Peak Forest men, who used jumpers for boring. It necessitated the removal of the Stag's Head premises and the inclusion of part of the grounds occupied by the Mill Dam, known as the “Lomb”. It was opened by Lord and Lady Denman, who first rode through in their carriage. Dr. Pegge's M.S. in the College of Arms says: “The hill in this town is so steep that when Mr. Ashton was High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1664; he had no coach, and the Judge asked him why he did not bring one. He replied, ‘There were no

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such thing as having a coach where he lived, for ye town stood on one end’”.

It is often asserted by the older residents that the old stage coach used to go up the Town Gate, and one can still follow the track it appeared to take up the “Mostyn Knoll” and over Longstone Edge, ere the road through Eyam Dale was thought of. When the pipes were being laid for the water supply in 1902, the blue washed walls of a cottage and fireplace were discovered in the middle of the roadway in the Dale, near the Smithy, and about 30 years ago the ruins of a lime-kiln stood in the middle of the road near the end of the boundary wall of Rock Cottage. It is evident that the road must at one time have peen much narrower than at present. Indeed it may have been a mere bridle or pack saddle road. These were branch roads traversed only by a saddle horse. One of these went from the Ball to Longstone, and a gate took the place of a stile. When the first Lord Denman was an under-graduate he paid a visit to Derbyshire. The first entry is dated Saturday, July 14th. 1798. Writing from Stoney Middleton he says: “On Thursday morning I left London on the Derby coach, and, after a journey which I did not think very pleasant, arrived at New Haven yesterday before two. I then came across the country to this place in a post-chaise.”

End of Chapter XV: => NOTABLE PERSONS LIVING IN MIDDLETON

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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