Was there a court at The Court House, Tapton? (No!)

Another look at new thoughts on Tapton’s history, courtesy of the Derbyshire Victoria County History (VCH). This time we briefly look at the Court House, across the railway line on Brimington Road, Tapton.

The Court House, seen from the railway bridge at Tapton.

Cote House – now The Court House – is a corruption. There was no courthouse here.

But Cote House was already in existence in 1559 when it was on lease from Rowland Durant to Richard Johnson alias Edmondson.

The present brick-built house and outbuildings probably date from the late 18th century. In 1796 an estate auction sale included four houses and three cottages at Cote. This may be the property, said to be at ‘Coate’, purchased in 1799 by Isaac Wilkinson from the Revd D’Ewes Coke of Brookhill Hall (in Pinxton) and his wife. If so, several houses have since been demolished at Cote.

We saw this Sanderson 1835 map in our last blog. It shows the ‘Cote House’ near the top left.

In the 19th century Cote was the name of a single dwelling, occupied at different dates as both a farm house and by farm labourers. In 1907 Cote House farm was owned by Mrs Markham and let with 30 acres to a George Marshall.

Cote House passed to Chesterfield Corporation as part of the Tapton House estate in 1925 but was later sold.

By this 1876, 6 inch map of the area the name had been marked by the Ordnance Survey as ‘Court House’ (Derbyshire Sheet XXV.NW
Surveyed: 1876, Published: 1883 – courtesy the National Library of Scotland – https://maps.nls.uk)

And our theory about its current ‘Court House’ name?

We think that it started to appear as this due to a misunderstanding when the Ordnance Survey people visited the area. Could they have asked the occupant what the property’s name was, to receive a broad Derbyshire reply; ‘It’s the Cote House’, which actually sounded to the chap from the OS as Court House?

Whatever the reason there was certainly no documentary evidence that courts of any kind were ever held here!


The blog is one of number following a talk to our local history group in April 2022 on ‘New thoughts on Brimington’s and Tapton’s History’. When VCH publishes its account on Brimington and Tapton, it will address the history of this property more fully.

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