Lead Mining Guided Walk on a dry, beautiful Sunday afternoon 28th April

The group meet outside The Barley Mow

The group meet outside The Barley Mow pub Bonsall

What a good turnout for the guided walk on Sunday! About 20 local residents turned up to try out the first of the guided walks to promote the local history trails around Bonsall. After a quick pint in the Barley Mow http://www.barleymowbonsall.co.uk we were ready to face the hills and dales…….

Walking past the site of the Calamine Mine near Puddle Hill

Walking past the site of the Calamine Mine near Puddle Hill just up hill from the Barley Mow

 One of the many capped lead mine shafts on Bonsall Moor

One of the many capped lead mine shafts on Bonsall Moor – using railway sleepers from the disused railway line nearby, closed as a result of the Beeching Act. D.H. Lawrence wrote about the lead mining landscape in his short story ‘The Virgin and the Gypsy’.

Peering down the shaft - this one is about 80ft deep with a corner at the bottom

Peering down the shaft – this one is about 80ft deep with a corner at the bottom

Mike reads a poem written for the (mostly) illiterate lead miners to help them remember the lead mining laws

Mike reads a poem written for the (mostly) illiterate lead miners to help them remember the lead mining laws, customs and liberties – he only read a short section from this very long poem.

Mike Lynch of the Bonsall History Society reads the lead miners poem by Edward Manlove.
 Titled: The Liberties and Customs of the Lead-Mines within the Wapentake of Wirksworth in the County of Derby.
London: 1653.

To find out more about Edward Manlove, a lawyer residing in Ashbourne and the full text of the poem visit https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Manlove,_Edward_(DNB00)

The dogs were engrossed

The dogs were engrossed

A picnic by the restored Lime Kiln near Hollowchurch Way

A picnic by the restored Lime Kiln near Hollowchurch Way

The official launch of the 6 History walks around Bonsall will be on Sunday afternoon 19th May – all welcome!

Launch of the Bonsall History Trails! Sunday May 19th 2pm, Bonsall Village Hall

The Pig of Lead Pub, Bonsall

The Pig of Lead Pub, Bonsall

Telling our story: Bonsall History Project celebrates £9,300 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant with the launch of 6 history walk leaflets around Bonsall

Bonsall History Project is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) ‘All Our Stories’ grant.

After months of research and preparation the 6 walk leaflets are now complete and will be officially launched at Bonsall Village Hall on Sunday May 19th at 2pm.

To help the village tell its own story and find out more about the heritage of Bonsall the project has included research trips to Ruddington Framework Knitting Museum, the Black Country Living museum, Matlock Mining Museum, a landscape photography workshop, a social media workshop and lots and lots of walking!

On Sunday May 19th at 2pm villagers are invited to come along to a celebration and launch afternoon where they can collect their Bonsall History Trail leaflets.

There will be a display of photos and historic images of Bonsall and refreshments.

Peter Fellows of Bonsall History Group said:

“We will use the event to give a free set of six leaflets to each household in the village. The illustrated leaflets cover the historical development of Shops and Pubs; Lead Mining; Framework Knitting and Other Trades; Schools and Churches; Bonsall’s Landscape and Historic Routes through the village. They each include a walking map to guide users around each route. Everyone is welcome to the launch and we hope to give you the opportunity to find out something of why Bonsall has developed in the way that it has.”



Bonsall History Blog: A walk through history www.bonsallhistory.wordpress.com

Bonsall History Website www.bonsallhistory.org.uk

Bonsall Village newsletter Mutterings  www.bonsallvillage.org

Heritage Lottery Fund

Emma Sayer, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said:

“Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the The Bonsall History Trails and Leaflets Project as the Bonsall History Project embark on a real journey of discovery.”

Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories funding stream is now replaced by Sharing Heritage


Second Archive Film Night is a hoot!

The second archive film night which was presented as part of the The Bonsall History Trails Project attracted a full house at Bonsall Village Hall. After the relative sobriety of the excellent British Transport Films Unit ‘Peak District’ film, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX86reWvrKk – there were plenty of laughs as we watched films about hen racing in Wirksworth, one man’s struggle to scale High Tor in Matlock Bath and a blast from the seventies – a film about the Janet Reger Underwear Factory. £65-£85 for a night dress! In the 70’s! You’d have to be Joan Collins to afford that!


Mike and Jon ready the DVD projector before showing the films

The footage shown of Matlock in flood was astonishing whereas the images of Matlock in the deep freeze in the 60’s weren’t quite as shocking given the conditions around Bonsall recently! For more information about these films see http://www.macearchive.org

See the current Janet Reger website here http://www.janetreger.co.uk

With refreshments at the end (thank you Brenda!) it was a great night out and a welcome break from the unremitting snow and winter weather.

Bonsall Wildlife Talk starts at 7pm 16th February

Talk on Bonsall's wildlife - talk starts at 7pm

Talk on Bonsall’s wildlife – talk starts at 7pm

Sorry! the talk by  Dan Abrahams starts at 7pm and not 7.30pm – don’t be late (if you are it’s my fault!).

Bonsall Village Hall, 7pm Saturday February 16th


Discover Bonsall’s wildlife: Talk by Natural England at the Village Hall, Sat 16th February – all welcome

Bonsall Moor

Bonsall Moor

Natural England’s Dan Abrahams, Lead Adviser (SSSIs), is coming to the village hall to talk about why Bonsall is so special when it comes to landscape, flora and fauna. Dan will be telling us about the unique flora that has evolved on Bonsall Moor and other sites. “There are a number of SSSIs around Bonsall (Via Gellia Woodlands, Bonsall Leys, Masson Hill, Rose End Meadows). Via Gellia and Bonsall Leys are within the Parish itself,” Dan said.

Sat. 16th February. Bonsall Village Hall 7.30pm

Mountain pansies on Bonsall Moor

Mountain pansies on Bonsall Moor

From coral seas, through Ice Ages, tundra and wildwood to the Bonsall Moor of today we travel through a three hundred and fifty million years to trace the origins of the Bonsall landscape and the wildlife that it supports.

Leadwort on the spoil heaps on Bonsall Moor

Leadwort on the spoil heaps on Bonsall Moor

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) means the site is one of the country’s very best wildlife and/or geological sites. SSSIs include some of the most spectacular and beautiful habitats: in Bonsall this comprises of the species-rich limestone grassland on Bonsall Moor which supports unusual and interesting plants, parts of the Via Gellia woodlands and Masson Hill. Nearby in Cromford is Rose End Meadows and the Cromford Canal.

Wild Orchids

Wild Orchids


Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge Monday nights BBC2 9pm

Dancing on the Edge filmed at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

Dancing on the Edge filmed at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

The Black Country Living Museum steps into the spotlight in Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge (BBC2, 9pm).  During January 2012 the Museum was transformed into a film set as Hollywood stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, John Goodman and Jacqueline Bisset joined British TV legends Mel Smith, Anthony Head, Caroline Quentin and Jane Asher in Dudley to film scenes in the Museum’s 1930s bedroom, the Darby Hand chapel and the 1900s village.

Monday 4 & Tuesday 5 February, 9pm, BBC2 and every Monday thereafter

Bonsall Landscape Photography Course: Sunday 27th January


Stepping Lane, Bonsall

Stepping Lane, Bonsall, Derbyshire

There are just 2 places left on the Landscape Photography Course! If you are a resident of Bonsall then you are eligible to come along. Contact Jon to book your place aj.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk

The course will be given by local professional photographers Ian Daisley http://www.iandaisleyphotography.com http://www.highstonegallery.co.uk and Alex Hyde http://alexhyde.photoshelter.com

All you’ll need is a digital SLR or high end compact camera. The emphasis is on a relaxed day with your camera in one of the most beautiful parts of Britain. Under the guidance of Ian and Alex, professional photographers, you will learn composition techniques, the importance of managing light and various camera controls so that you can make the camera do what you want it to at whatever level you are.

Saturday 30th March – Next Archive film screening in Bonsall

December archive film screening of Derbyshire

December:  archive film screening of Derbyshire in Bonsall Village Hall

If you would like to investigate the history of Derbyshire on film, have a look at the website of the Media Archive for Central England (MACE). This is the regional film archive covering the East and West Midlands http://www.macearchive.org. You can search over 40,000 film titles. Just enter a search word into the online catalogue. Bonsall History Project will be screening more Derbyshire footage in March, if you find any particular films of interest, contact Kay and she will find out whether we can screen them at the next archive film screening on Saturday 30th March kogilvie@lincoln.ac.uk

Viewing footage of old Derbyshire villages

Viewing footage of old Derbyshire villages

Bonsall History Trail Social Media Workshop at the Barley Mow pub, Bonsall

We’d like to thank Collette and Dave for letting us use their lovely pub the Barley Mow, Bonsall for our very convivial Social Media Workshop with Lucie Kerley, Digital Participation Manager and Blogger. Yesterday’s session helped oil the wheels for planning our Social Media campaign to keep everyone informed about how the Heritage Lottery Funded Bonsall History Trails project progresses.


“Been to a Social Media workshop a couple of years ago and have been using it ever since. It’s great to keep up to date with the latest tools and applications.” RuthBonsall History Trail's Barley Mow Social Media workshop

“My head is reeling… but I’ll have a go at blogging because I want to help share the information we uncover.” Kay

We will be keeping people informed through: