Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Smalley

At about the half-way point of my walk yesterday, I reached the village of Smalley. The name comes from the Anglo Saxon and means a narrow woodland clearing and is an ancient village, getting a mention in a charter of 1009 by King Ethelred the Unready. Moving forward a few centuries, it is said that while staying in Derby and at the end of their march south from Scotland, Bonnie Prince Charlie's troops visited various nearby villages, including Smalley.
As I approached the village along Bell Lane, I passed a delightful house called Smalley Lodge. This had once been one of the many lodges which policed access to the Miller-Mundy's Shipley Hall Estate.
Nearby, Smalley Dam gave a nice place to pause a moment and take in the small pond below.
The dam was built by John Redford of Smalley Hall at the end of the 18th century but was neglected and silted up until restored to it's former glory in the 1990's. away in the distance, a pair of Mandarin ducks sat on an overhanging branch. The male bird added a bit of much needed colour to this extremely dull day.
Time to turn my feet homeward again and as I approached Shipley Park again, I took a detour away from Bell Lane and across the newly accessible fields which have recently been surface mines. Here too, proper paths have been laid which makes walking much easier in the wet.
This path took me behind Flat Meadow Farm (a view which we don't normally get) and onward towards the Shipley Park visitor centre.
From there, it was back home along more well-known paths and time to put my feet up with a cup of coffee. It had been a good walk, taking in a lot of new sights and a long walk too!
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