Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Calke Abbey part 1

Yesterday, Malcolm and I had a lovely long walk around the estate of Calke Abbey and the Staunton Harold Reservoir in the south of Derbyshire. The walk was suggested by our good friend Jayne and we managed to avoid getting wet as it started to rain as we got back to Jayne's home.

We left Jayne's home and set out towards the Staunton Harold Reservoir. The reservoir has a surface area of about 209 acres and gets it's name from the local word for Limestone (staunton) and the name of the local Lord of the Manor (Harold). The reservoir itself, used to be a group of six ponds and small lakes, owned by the Harpur Crew family, dating back to the 17th century.
On from the reservoir, we crossed fields and entered the woodland which covers areas of ancient lime quarries, some evidence of which can still be seen among the trees.
The Lime Works were at their peak during the 18th and 19th centuries, but the workings date as far back as the 15th century. The Lime was transported along Ticknall Tramway and there is also evidence of this tramway in the form of bridges and tunnels.
As the tramway approaches the entry to Calke Abbey, it passes through a tunnel under the drive to the Abbey. The tunnel is about 140 yards long and was built in 1802 by Derbyshire Engineer Benjamin Outram to carry the Ticknall Tramway and connect the brickyards and lime yards around the village to the Ashby canal.
More fascinating facts from our walk tomorrow.......
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