Former Saxon settlement and home of the Harpur Crewe family
Until the 1980s, most of the village of Ticknall in the National Forest was owned by the Harpur Crewe estate. It still has the character of an estate village and enjoys an unspoilt countryside setting. A lodge and lime avenue lead the way to Calke Abbey (National Trust), former home of the Harpur Crewes. The lions head cast iron pumps and Corsican pines scattered through the village are other features provided by the family, who were also responsible for the alms houses built in 1772.
Brick-making and lime-burning were big business in Ticknall in the 18th and 19th Centuries and the brickyards and limeyards were connected to the Ashby Canal by an early tramway of c1802, whose course can still be traced. The tramway crossed the A514 via the well-known landmark known as “Ticknall Arch”, and was carried under Calke Park in a cut-and-cover tunnel.
From the 16th to the 18th Centuries, Ticknall also had a thriving pottery industry. “Ticknall Ware” was known throughout the Midlands and fragments of it can be picked up everywhere around the village today. The industry steadily declined during the second half of the 18th Century.
The parish church is an example of the work of Derby architect H.I. Stevens, and was completed in 1842. Remnants of the previous church stand in the churchyard, along with a simple medieval cross. Next to the church is a cricket ground and look out for the attractive polygonal lock-up on the main street that was used to house vagrants and drunks in times past.
In a mysterious and secret spot north of the village is Knowle Hill, a property of the Landmark Trust. It was originally a strange and irregular house built in the 1690s by an eccentric member of the Burdett family of Foremark. It was used by the Burdetts while their house at Foremark was rebuilt around 1760, but was afterwards reduced to a summerhouse with accommodation for a gamekeeper.
Nowadays the village has a number of small shops and local pubs with accommodation. Set amongst a network of walking trails you can explore its fascinating history whilst taking in the rural countryside views.
The village also has its own thriving community magazine Ticknall Life featuring articles on the history of the village and local walks.
- Ticknall Derbyshire
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