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Monument record MDR5876 - Alfreton Park, Alfreton

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

SK 406556. Alfreton Park. No evidence of medieval park pale. (1) The earliest reference to Alfreton Park is in 1330, although it was almost certainly in existence before that. Its medieval boundaries are not known with any certainty and those mapped are no more than an approximation. The north-eastern boundary probably lay a little to the west of the Chesterfield Road, the present course of which was laid out in the late 1780s, and the south-eastern boundary is probably marked by the common rear boundary of properties along King Street. Much of the western boundary may be indicated by field boundaries shown on the Parliamentary Enclosure Map; however, there are no obvious features visible on historic maps that might mark the line of the south-western corner of the park. It is possible that the park took in an area around the church which, prior to imparkment, had been part of the medieval, or even the early medieval settlement. Earthworks, in the form of two or three terraces or platforms, were noted in the area immediately to the west of the stile by the church. When the hall was rebuilt in the early 18th century, ornamental gardens were laid out at the same time, and the park was stocked, or re-stocked, with deer. The enclosure map of 1812 shows that by that date the area thought to have been the medieval park had been divided into a number of closes, some wooded. (2) Bateman describes some of the park at that time. Beneath the house was a piece of woodland intersected by two avenues, one terminated by a Temple of Diana and a bust and the other by an obelisk above and a piece of water below. Below there were several rural moss huts and an octagonal grotto ‘built of different mineral productions’, painted inside with representations of scenes from Walton’s Angler. A pheasantry is shown on late 19th century maps. Alfreton Hall lake was converted into a swimming pool in 1934 and later modified into the current Alfreton Lido in 1964, while the park has been purchased by the County Council and opened to the public. Some 20th century development has taken place within the park, including a school and an adult training centre. (3) Sanderson's map of 1835 shows a line of trees running parallel to the Chesterfield Road, but very approximately 100m to the west of it - this may perhaps have been the original eastern boundary of the park. (4) The existence of a park in Alfreton parish can still be traced on the ground, despite the parish being much affected by industry. Alongside the much-altered course of the Alfreton Brook is clear evidence of a mill leat and pond [see SMR 16222]. The narrow strip of land to the north of the brook forms a buffer strip, possibly a freeboard, separating the parks of Alfreton and Shirland. Alfreton Park lies within a neat parcel of land, enclosing Alfreton Hall, bounded by the parish boundary to the west, the A615 to the south, the Alfreton brook to the north and the A61 to the east. Part of this plot still provides an open and accessible public recreational area. Reference to a park at Alfreton is first made in 1205. Some features of the medieval park remain. Areas of enclosed woodland and open farmland form a patchwork in the northern end, whilst a more formal, designed landscape with free-standing trees fills the area around the present Alfreton Hall. This is all that remains of an earlier house built in 1735, much enlarged in 1855-6. The original capital messuage is said to have stood closer to the town. (5) Approaching the hall is an avenue of old beeches with a large open space of lawn to the north front of the mansion. Deciduoud and evergreen trees are dotted on the grass. There are also purple beech, sycamore, holly, cedars of Lebanon, oaks and elms in a symetrical outline. The flower garden is bounded by glasshouses to the north, consisting of vineries, conservatory and fernary. The carriage drive is flanked with roses and rhododendrons, with a miniture lake to the side. Mr. Palmer Moorwood, in residence at the time, requested flowering and fine foliage plants for the embellishment of the mansion, therefore many glasshouses were required to meet the demand. A large number of vines for grapes were grown and cultivated with the glasshouses, though with not much success. There was also a walled kitchen garden within the grounds. Various other glasshouses were kept for peaches, vines, fruiting pines, melons and apricots. Noted as well was a span-roofed glasshouse for cucumbers. (6) Alfreton Park (as of 1892): owner- Charles R Palmer Morewood, esquire, acreage- about 160 acres, fenced partly by iron and partly by hedgerows, water supply- natural, number of fallow deer- about 50, sheep and pheasants, the timber was planted about 150 years ago, the date of the park is the reign of Henry III, some very well grown oaks with clean stems- some 40 feet to first branch, several large spanish chestnuts, one girthing 17 feet, at three feet from the ground, the park slopes away from the house to the south and east and commands fine views of the Derbyshire hills, there are many fine trees, sycamore, scotch fir, serrated beech and poplar. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Ordnance Survey Corr 6" (G T Warwick).
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. 1812. A Descriptive and Historical Account of Alfreton.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Stroud, G. 1999. Extensive Urban Survey: Alfreton. Archaeological Assessment Report.. p 14.
  • <4> Map: Sanderson, G. 1835. Twenty Miles round Mansfield.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Wiltshire, M & Woore, S. 2009. Medieval Parks of Derbyshire. pp 20-1.
  • <6> Unpublished document: 1876. 'Alfreton Hall', Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Whitaker, J. 1892. Deer Parks & Paddocks of England.



Grid reference Centred SK 404 559 (1056m by 1664m) Centre

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Record last edited

Jan 23 2024 9:48AM

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