Crow Lane and Dobbin Clough Farm

From this blog we’ll start taking a look at some of the ‘new thoughts’ on Tapton’s history revealed at our talk in April – thanks to research by the Derbyshire Victoria County History (VCH). This time we take a look at Dobbin Clough Farm and how Crow Lane possibly got its name.

The talk, by our Philip Cousins (our vice-chairman) looked at a range of topics across the area that are currently being newly researched by VCH, under county editor Philip Riden.

How did Crow Lane get its name?

A perhaps familiar view of Crow Lane. But how did it get its name?

We now think that Crow Lane got its name from a Thomas Crow.

He tenanted land in 1503 from the Foljambe estate. This was probably near Dobbin Clough. It appears in a rental of that date.

This is thanks to research by Philip Riden at the University of Nottingham’s archives department, in the Foljambe papers there. This new research is finding out a lot more about this once important family’s interests in the Chesterfield area.

Dobbin Clough Farm

VCH has put together a history of the property, which we will only briefly summarise here.

A recent view of Dobbin Clough Farm, Crow Lane.

Thanks to Sanderson’s map of the 1830s we know that, in this period, there were two farmsteads to the north of Brimington Road (Lockoford and Swaddale) and several to the south (Cote (or Court) House), Dobbin Clough, Dryhurst, Oldfield, Plover Hill and the Sidlings). All seem likely to have been established on former common-field arable after inclosure. A holding named Twelve Acres Barn in the 1830s (later Piccadilly Farm) probably originated in the same way. It’s impossible to date their establishment exactly.

The house at Dobbin Clough farm, Crow Lane, appears to date from the 18th century, but roof trusses in a barn are said to be much older. 

The name Dobin (or Dobyn) Holm occurs in 1328 and 1347, as do Roger Dobyn in 1377 and Roger Dowbyn in 1428. It’s not clear whether these names refer to the modern Dobbin Clough farm on Crow Lane, which was also known as Dawkin (or Dorking) House for much of the 19th century.

An extract from Sanderson’s map of ‘Twenty miles round Mansfield’ of 1835. Crow Lane was later diverted at its Chesterfield end, under the North Midland Railway, near Chesterfield Station. The fields labelled ‘in Brimmington’ are so-called detached parts of that parish that were geographically in Tapton. We’ll explain this in a later blog.

In 1863 Dobbin Clough, a freehold farm was offered for auction. Most of the land lay in Tapton, with small areas in Brimington and Newbold. In 1891 Dobbin Clough, still with 85 acres, was auctioned, together with Top Farm in Brimington.

Between 1893 and 1910 Dobbin Clough was rented by Frank Haag, a Chesterfield pork butcher. Bankrupt in 1912 he attributed this partly to his decision to take the farm, which he described as ‘absolute waste ground’ at the start of the tenancy. In 1907 Dobbin Clough was owned by T.P. Wood of Brambling House (which is nearby in Hasland parish).

By 1921 Dobbin Clough had passed with the Brambling House estate to GA Eastwood. Some years later it became owned by the borough council, who used part of the land as an extension to the golf course. After being empty for some time it was later sold.

When VCH publishes its account on Brimington and Tapton, it will address more fully the history of the house. This will also include addressing the old and baseless tradition that two timber trusses in the barn were removed from the leper hospital at Spital. Apparently they both used to have a carved centre boss and are particularly fine. This story appeared in T.P. Wood’s Almanac for 1903, reappearing in a Rotary Club talk by W. Hawksley Edmunds in 1932.


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