Portion of Parish Map from 1841
The land has an interesting history. On the 1786 Enclosure Map it is shown to be part of a larger plot in the ownership of Joseph Bagley Bradshaw Esq., however, by the 1841 map showing the field names in Holbrook, it is a separate plot named Gorsey Piece. In 1835 the owner was John Austin and the occupier John Hall junior. Later in 1843 it was advertised in the Derby Mercury as a parcel of Freehold, Arable & Grassland for Sale by Auction. The sale took place on Saturday 16th December at the Lion Hotel, Belper. Although not recorded, it was probably bought by the Strutt Estate at this time.
On the 1880 map it is marked as both a gravel pit and a quarry. It was extensively quarried during the latter part of the 19th century, the stone being used for local houses and walls in Belper Road. Subsequent to the quarrying it was used as a dump for household rubbish in the early 20th century, local people even recall dumping ash there up to the Second World War. The land was used for agricultural purposes, mainly chickens, and then tenanted by a local builder who kept a horse and goat there as well as his building supplies.
The Parish Council bought the plot from the Strutt Estate in 1981 and developed it as a nature reserve, clearing rubbish and planting trees.
Information supplied by Richard Biggin
Contact Details: Siobhan Burton Tel. No. 07307 858622
Updated: 6 May 2021