Whitwell, Derbyshire



Whitwell is a village in
Derbyshire Derbyshire ( ) is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands, England. It includes much of the Peak District National Park, the southern end of the Pennine range of hills and part of the National Forest. It borders Greater Manchester to the n ...
, England. The population of the civil parish (including Whitwell Common) taken at the 2011 Census was 3,900. Although Whitwell celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in the 'Whitwell 1000' celebrations of 1989, it is much older than this celebration suggests. The earliest written references to Whitwell are from the Anglo-Saxon charters. However, many of its historical sites predate this period. Within the parish are several
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age ( Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly a ...
burial mounds, an Iron Age fort and settlement, the remains of a Roman villa, medieval field systems, and both a Norman and Saxon church. The World Heritage Site of
Creswell Crags Creswell Crags is an enclosed limestone gorge on the border between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, England, near the villages of Creswell and Whitwell. The cliffs in the ravine contain several caves that were occupied during the last ice age ...
was until recently within the parish. Whitwell Old Hall is a medieval manor house. Whitwell is a thriving village with strong community spirit. The village has many active clubs and societies, including Whitwell Scout and Guide Group, Local History Group, Whitwell Players, Whitwell Brass Band and junior band, C of E, Methodist and Poplar churches, Natural History Group, green bowls club, cricket club, and football club. Whitwell has five public houses. It previously had as many as 11. The current pubs are the Holmefield Arms, The Jack Ups (Whitwell Social Club), New Middle Club, The Half Moon and The Royal Oak. The biggest employer of the village is the quarry and works south of the village managed by Tarmac and Lhoist, which supplies limestone and other products all around the world.

Whitwell Wood

Whitwell Wood is a large area of ancient woodland covering approximately 171 hectares. It forms part of the Welbeck Estate, one of the former medieval dukeries of Nottinghamshire. The wood is managed on a long-term lease by the Forestry Commission. It is a predominantly broad-leaved wood with over 20 species indicating ancient woodland, a number of interesting archaeological features and a freshwater spring known as the Ginny Spring. The valley of Bandhay Dike (containing the spring) is designated as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). This designation is partly due to the varied flora, but also because of a number of species that are rare in the region; particularly rare orchids. As such, the wood has a very high nature conservation status. A Three Shires Oak once stood in a field beside Whitwell Wood, traditionally marking the meeting point of the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire; a younger oak has been planted further from the wood close to the new meeting point of the counties.

Whitwell Gap (Hwitan Wylles Geat)

Anglo Saxon poets recorded King Alfred's grandson, King Edmund, conquering the 5 Boroughs from the Viking Earls in 942 AD, reaching as far as Dore & "Hwitan Wylles Geat" (the Whitwell Gap). Whitwell Gap would have to be a significant landscape feature to warrant mention in an Anglo Saxon chronicle and be easily identifiable but the current location of this feature is unknown. Various theories as to its location are often discussed locally including Creswell Crags, the valley of Bondhay Dike (being an ancient border) and Markland Grips.

Famous Whitwellians

One of Whitwell's most famous sons was
Joe Davis Joseph Davis (15 April 190110 July 1978) was an English professional snooker and English billiards player. He was the dominant figure in snooker from the 1920s to the 1950s, and has been credited with inventing aspects of the way the game is ...
, world
snooker Snooker (pronounced , ) is a cue sport played on a rectangular table covered with a green cloth called baize, with six pockets, one at each corner and one in the middle of each long side. First played by British Army officers stationed in I ...
billiards Cue sports are a wide variety of games of skill played with a cue, which is used to strike billiard balls and thereby cause them to move around a cloth-covered table bounded by elastic bumpers known as . There are three major subdivisions ...
champion from the 1920s to the 1940s. His Whitwell home (on Welbeck Street) bears a plaque commemorating him. Les Jackson,
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separated from continental Europe by t ...
cricketer and Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1959, played for Whitwell Cricket Club and came to watch their games on a Saturday afternoon until his death in 2007. Also from the village are Chris Adams, the
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English (), is a historic county in South East England that was formerly an independent medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It is bounded to the west by Hampshire, north by Surrey, northeast by Kent, south by the English ...
and England cricketer and Ian Bennett, a former professional goalkeeper for
Birmingham City Birmingham City Football Club is a professional football club based in Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, it was renamed Small Heath in 1888, Birmingham in 1905, and Birmingham City in 1943. Since 2011, the first tea ...
and Huddersfield Town, whose family still lives in the village.
Great War World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with fightin ...
poet A poet is a person who studies and creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be the creator ( thinker, songwriter, writer, or author) who creates (composes) poems ( oral or wri ...
John William Streets was from Whitwell, recorded as living in Oak Terrace, now Portland Street. Streets was recorded wounded and missing on the first day of the
Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme (French: Bataille de la Somme), also known as the Somme offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place betw ...
and later recorded killed in action. His poetry collection ''The Undying Splendour'' was published posthumously in 1916. The village is the birthplace and childhood home of J. T. Edson the author, whose various escapism-adventure series sold over 27 million copies globally; the Edson family lived in Whitwell from Victorian times.

See also

* Listed buildings in Whitwell, Derbyshire


External links

Whitwell Parish Council
{{authority control Villages in Derbyshire Bolsover District