On this page you’ll find a gallery of local images.

We’ll be adding more images to this page, so please keep checking back. We’d also be interested in any photographs (or other documents) you might have of Brimington and Tapton – please contact us.

Unless credited all images are from the local history group’s collection or from our members.

We have chosen the illustrations on our home page to represent Brimington and Tapton. To start our gallery, we’ll take a look at these pictures (1 – 7) and explain why they are included.

The two ‘famous faces’ are (top right) George Stephenson (the ‘father’ of the railways, who lived at Tapton House) and Henry Bradley (middle left), a leading light in the Oxford English Dictionary, who lived on Brimington Common, during his younger years.

1) Bradley’s father worked for John Knowles, who operated a blast furnace on the Common at what is now known as Furnace Farm (pictured here in February 2018) in the 1850s. You can find out a lot more about Bradley and the furnace in the article on Henry Bradley here, originally published in Brimington and Tapton Miscellany. (Philip Cousins).

2) An Edwardian view of High Street Brimington. In the distance is the archway entrance to Brimington Hall, demolished from the 1920s onwards. This Jacobean mansion was a sad loss to the village when it was demolished. To the extreme right is the wall to the parish church burial ground, which was removed and built further back in the 1920s as road traffic increased. Further on are a block of stone houses which still survive. To the left is Wheatley’s sweet shop, followed by Twelve’s chemist shop, beyond is Church Farm, now replaced by a petrol filling station and fast food outlets. Turning to the left, at the end of the buildings, would lead onto the bottom of Manor Road – an area called Pondwell Corner, as there was a pond there.

3) A modern view of the parish church taken at the annual village gala in June 2012. Brimington was created a separate parish in 1844, until this time it was a chapelry of Chesterfield Parish Church. It became a civil parish in 1898. This is probably the third building on the site. There was an earlier chapel, with a tower added to it in 1796. This chapel was replaced by a new building in 1808. The tower was retained. In turn, another larger building – the present church – was opened in 1847. The tower was raised and remodelled at this time. You might be able to see the site of an earlier clock on the tower masonry. (Philip Cousins)

4) Tapton House, in November 2020. Best known as the last home of George Stephenson, who died there in 1848 – probably in the bedroom above the entrance. We have also researched about George Stephenson’s third wife – his former housekeeper – in our Brimington and Tapton Miscellany 6. For details on how to obtain this see our publications page. (Philip Cousins)

5) This is a view from Brimington Parish Church tower looking towards the gated entrance of Brimington Hall. Photograph (3) was taken from street level a little further back from the bottom left of this photograph. Church Farm is to the left, with Pondwell Corner beyond. To the bottom right is the former National School opened in 1840. It was superseded by the buildings of the Brimington United District Board Schools built on Brimington Common and Devonshire Street in the 1870s. It was demolished in the 1970s. The buildings to the left and behind the National School still survive as dwellings. Although this image appeared in Vernon Brelsford’s 1937 ‘History of Brimington…’, it must actually date from the 1920s.

6) A more modern (May 2008) view of Brimington village centre, from the church tower, this time looking in the opposite, northern, direction. High Street stretches out, left of centre, whilst in the right distance is the parish of Whittington. To the bottom is the Grade II listed ‘Post House Nursery’, which for some years was the village post office. It was formerly thought to be a local farm house of the Heywood family. There’s still a farm building extant at the top of Heywood Street which is named after this once important Brimington family. (Philip Cousins)

7) A relatively unknown engraving which appeared in Samuel Smiles’ ‘Lives of the Engineers’ biography of George and Robert Stephenson. This is taken from the 1879 edition, but was presumably in earlier editions. We have only used a portion in our banner, but have reproduced the whole engraving here. It is actually captioned ‘Tapton House’ – but the house is obviously out of scale with the rather romantic depiction of the scene. Presumably the steam locomotive with train is meant to indicate the North Midland Railway, opened in 1840, which runs though both Tapton and Brimington on its way to Leeds via Rotherham Masborough. The large building to the centre is probably a former malthouse, along with possibly the former chemical works, the latter of which was situated in an area between the Chesterfield Canal and river Rother at Mill Green (which was also the site of a former mill). Although the picture is perhaps a little confusing, the person to the extreme left may be sitting on the entrance to the original Chesterfield Canal wharf of 1777. The historic course of the river Rother is the boundary between the township of Tapton and Chesterfield hereabouts.
This area would have changed considerably when the Midland Railway opened its direct line to Sheffield in 1870 and the Great Central Railway (GCR) opened it loop line in 1892 – cutting off the original wharf. The GCR ran through Brimington and there was a station at the bottom of Wheeldon Mill. We traced the history of this line and the station in Brimington and Tapton Miscellany 3.

8) Though this Edwardian postcard proclaims that this is ‘The Manor House, Brimington’ this humble dwelling is obviously nothing of the sort. It stood until sometime after 1955 where number 100 Manor Road now stands. Local tradition, recorded in the 1920s and 1930s, stated that this dwelling was built on the site of the former manor house. What most local people now call the ‘Manor House’ – the Grade II listed number 76 Manor Road – is more likely a former farm associated with a manor house (it was formerly called Manor Farm). Throw into the equation the existence of Brimington Hall and we have, perhaps, another contender for the site of a manor house! There’s a short newspaper extract about the above cottage available from our downloads page, from c.1955. The cottage marked the start of Brimington Common.

9) Down to Princess Street, New Brimington, for this Edwardian postcard – the number 20 denotes it was part of a series. Presumably parents of the children might be suitably impressed and buy copies! The 1876 Ordnance Survey map shows New Brimington being laid out, but not fully developed. Local historian Vernon Brelsford, in his 1937 ‘History of Brimington…’, tells how New Brimington was laid out – Victoria Street being the first street so constructed. Here the majority of houses were owned by the nearby Staveley Coal and Iron Company. Princess Street was opened out as part of a new road constructed from Queen Street (in the extreme distance) to High Street. Until this time there was no direct vehicular access from the bottom of New Brimington. At one time all the kerb edgings in New Brimington were of iron cast in the Staveley company works. Unfortunately they were removed in the 1970s and none survive.

10) Another Edwardian postcard – this one of High Street. To the right, on the corner of John Street, is the general provision merchants business of Henry Phipps. A ‘self-made man’ he rose to become an alderman and the ‘father’ of Chesterfield Rural District Council and was a parish and county councillor. Phipps purchased the Openholes, near Westwood in 1938 and presented this to the parish council. To the left are the premises of ‘T Starbuck, Fruiterer’ next is Albert Land’s grocery shop. Starbuck’s later moved to be replaced by A Derbyshire Ltd. who were drapers. Lands, who established the shop in 1899, continued until they sold out to the present shop owners – Birdi – in 1984.

11) This 1930s view of Chesterfield Road looking towards the centre of Brimington would be hard to replicate today, if only for the lack of traffic! To the right is the farmhouse of Grove Farm. For many years the Creswicks farmed from here. The field to the right was known as Creswick’s field and hosted the fair until the early 1970s and events such as the hospital committee demonstration. It was only built on in the early 1990s. To the centre you might be able see a cottage, which is at the bottom of Hall Road just beyond is the Red Lion public house. The cottage has gone, but the pub remains.

12) An image some only some 30 years before our previous one, the small cottage at the end of Hall Road, we mentioned previously, is to the right. Behind it; the tall dark building is the Brimington branch of Chesterfield grocers E Woodhead & Sons. The Ark Tavern public house (a former Methodist meeting house), is to the left and is followed by the Red Lion public house. Devonshire Street (leading to Station Road and Wheeldon Mill) turns down out of view, in front of the Red Lion. After the small shop, which appears to whited-out windows is Hunters, who were tea dealers, had shops throughout the area. They also offered an early version of dividend stamps. Their premises are currently a pharmacists. (Courtesy Alan Sharp).

13) The former National School building, was situated opposite the parish church, on Church Street. Originally opened in 1840, it was demolished in 1975. This view was taken in May 1973. (Courtesy Alan Sharp).
14) Another image that would be difficult to replicate today due to increased traffic. In this 1950s view, to the right, is the former post office and newsagents. The white building beyond is the Miners Arms public house. On the opposite side of the road, behind the railings is the recreation ground, which was given to the parish when this area of common land (hence the name Brimington Common), was enclosed by an Act of Parliament, finally ‘enrolled’ in 1853. The road which leads from Brimington to Calow was mostly laid out as result of this enclosure – the reason why it is relatively straight. This road once had three names. The village end was Manor Road, the centre section Northmoor Road and the southern (Calow end) Southmoor Road. In the 1949/50 period the whole became known as Manor Road. Record holding footballer Joe ‘ten goal’ Payne lived in this area, near the Miners Arms.
15) Our thanks to John Green for allowing us to add this postcard of the 1906 Sunday School Union procession to our gallery. The Sunday School Union was a very big event in the village at one time. Members of the non-conformist Sunday schools would process around the village and have tea and entertainment afterwards. We’ve covered the union in our Miscellany 8, which is available to purchase from us. Of particular interest is the rather strange structure to the left of the outhouses (which are actually privy middens) to the houses on Coronation Road. We’ve zoomed in on the structure and filtered it a little in out next photograph.
16) This mysterious structure can be revealed as the remains of a brick kiln which was operating for some years on the site of what is now Eastwood Park (locally called ‘thistle park’). There’s a free download on brick-making in Brimington available from our downloads page which explains a little more about this fairly short-lived enterprise.
17) Any children out there need a free tea? The photograph was taken outside the Great Central Hotel, Wheeldon Mill. It shows a large group of children with attendant adults and is captioned: ‘These area few of the children supplied with a free tea by Mr and Mrs G.B. Graham of the GC Hotel, Brimington. March 22nd. We think this photograph was taken around 1912 as trade directories show GB Graham was licensee here at the Great Central Hotel from 1904 until last named in 1912. By 1922 Robert Britt was the licensee. You can read more about treats in the Station Road area of the village in our Miscellany 2 journal , which is available as free download.
18) Thanks to our group’s secretary, Janet Walmsley, we’re able to include this splendid view of the then Great Central Hotel, Wheeldon Mill . It was posted in 1907, the recipient being a Miss Carrington of Rushstead Hous (sic), Brimington Common. The hotel was originally known as the New Inn – the name change happening sometime between 1904 and 1908. More recently it has been renamed The Mill and is probably more famous as the home of former England and Sheffield footballer Peter Swan. It was never a railway owned building.
19) There’s snow on the ground in this 1950s view of Station Terrace, Wheeldon Mill. No central heating to go home to for this group. Station Terrace was across the road from the old Great Central Hotel. Backing on to the canal, they were on the land opposite Drake Terrace that’s now a car park. The terrace stood on the site of former pottery active in the 1820s and 1830s. A typical corner shop is to the Station Road end. A lorry ran into this in about 1970. As a result number 1 (the shop) and 2 Station Terrace had to be demolished. The remainder of the terrace was demolished sometime after a compulsory purchase order on them was competed in 1980. (Courtesy the late Ray Surr.)
20) Brimington Division’s then county councillor Walter Burrows is being filmed by ITV’s Yorkshire Television on the official opening of the Wheeldon Mill canal bridge, 30 May 2001. He’s about the cut the ribbon allowing the first official passage of a boat under the new bridge. The bridge was culverted in the late 1960s. For many years local people saw little realistic prospects of canal restoration, bit it’s now restored and navigable from commencement in Chesterfield right through to Staveley.

Page last updated 5 March 2022.

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