Mayfield Heritage Group Meetings – all welcome

Following the refurbishment of the Church Rooms, we have now moved back to holding our meetings there. We have also changed our meeting times for the autumn/winter period and will begin our meetings at 10.00 am.

Next Meeting:  Mon 6th January 2020  at 10.00 am       

Church Rooms,  Mayfield  

Ashbourne: Clock Makers to the World

7 PM, Wednesday 15th January 2020

Church Rooms, Mayfield, DE6 2JR

We are delighted to announce that John Robey is to give a talk about clock making in Ashbourne.

John’s talk describes the development of clockmaking in Ashbourne, from a small number of craftsmen making clocks for local customers, to being major manufacturers of the movements for grandfather clocks and wall clocks.
The talk will be illustrated by numerous photographs of local clocks and details of the manufacturers concerned, regarded as being ‘renowned throughout the Kingdom’.

‘Renowned Throughout the Kingdom’

Ashbourne has been home to numerous clockmakers and their work, many started in the early 18th century.  In the 19th century, the town was a major producer of movements and parts for longcase (grandfather) clocks with the Harlow firm making movements of the highest quality and selling them to “clockmakers” in all parts of Britain and America.  Later, church clocks and wall clocks were a speciality of several firms, including Haycocks who are still manufacturing in the town.  For over 300 years Ashbourne has been a clockmaking centre and was once the town’s largest employer! 

John is an excellent speaker who has been given awards for his highly entertaining and informative talks.  Ignore the weather and beat the January blues; come along to the Church Rooms in Mayfield at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 15th January 2020.

A talk at the recently refurbished Church Rooms

Thursday 14th November at 7.00 pm. Church Rooms, Church Mayfield 

Mark Tyack will give an intriguing and informative talk on the Leek and Manifold Light Railway. One of the earliest light railways built in England.

As Mark’s talk will highlight and explore, there were some “big business” motives behind its creation. Was this light railway ill-conceived or a lost opportunity? Or was it a railway like HS2 whose costs ran out of control and in this case led to its closure.

Please come along on Thursday the 14th of November for this interesting talk. You’ll also have the opportunity the check out the recently refurbished church rooms. Now, this is a great opportunity.

Priest Holes Found during Old Hall restoration

A Priest Hole was found on Friday 25th January 2019 whilst replacing badly worn floorboards in the loft at Old Hall in Mayfield. You may be aware that we have been following the restoration work taking place at Old Hall and this is exciting historical news.

The image below shows light entering the false chimney flue via the hatchway from the priest hole.
A view up the fireplace chimney toward the priest hole
The entire left hand flue constructed in the inglenook of the Tudor parlour is false and was made solely for the purpose of the priest hole.
Looking at the priest hole from the loft above
The flue being capped off with a flagstone located beneath a passageway in the loft adjacent to the chimney breast.
The inglenook fireplace below the priest hole
Access to the priest hole from the flue was most probably via a short removable ladder and the hatchway covered over by an oak board to hide it from view.
For more information on the restoration of Old Hall in Mayfield please click here.

More Memories of Mayfield 

Thank you to everyone that attended our More Memories of Mayfield event on the 27th April. We had over 60 attendees and received lots of information and feedback. We are still working through the responses and we’ll be getting in touch with people soon regarding follow up from the event along with an update on the website.

Thanks once again for your help and input.

Following the great success of our books “Memories of Mayfield” and “Mayfield 2000”. Mayfield Heritage Group is launching the start of our new book “More Memories of Mayfield” and we would like everyone’s help to bring this to print.

To kick start this, we have organised a Village ‘get together’ at the

Memorial Hall on Saturday 27th April 2019 from 2 pm to 5 pm.

There will be free refreshments available.

The new book will cover the period from 1939 to 2020. We would like to gather information on the more recent events in Mayfield so that we can inform people in the future of how life was in Mayfield in the mid-20th century up to 2020. The book will also utilise new technologies and we will include videos, animations, and sound in our eBook version.

To do this we are looking for everyone to help bring this to life. We invite you to come along with your memories, photos, books, newspapers, and videos to help us to make an initial timeline that we will use to create the book. We will have photos to help jog your memory along with subject ideas and a rolling slideshow of images to help.

Even if you are relatively new to Mayfield you may still have valuable information of more recent times.

We will be updating the information over the next few weeks so please come back to this page for the latest information. You can always keep up with what is happening by joining our Facebook Group “More Memories of Mayfield”. You can access the group from this link.


Future Events & Projects planned for 2019

We now have our list of new events for the 2019 and we will be listing the events here soon.  Events and projects that we are currently working on include

  • The launch of an ‘Industrial Mayfield’ leisure walk
  • An illustrated history of the vicars of Church Mayfield
  • An evening of local tales of Mayfield including poaching and other events from the Local Assizes in the 18th and 19th century
  • A village meeting to launch and discuss plans for a new Mayfield Heritage Group publication following on from our books “Memories of Mayfield” and “Mayfield 2000” books

For further information please email [email protected]

The Old Hall, Middle Mayfield

Restoration Project – Update Summer 2018

There have been some exciting updates on the restoration of Old Hall in Middle Mayfield.

Click on this link to see what’s been happening.

The Old Hall Rear Elevation After Restoration
The Old Hall Rear Elevation Before Restoration

Project to record unique doors and windows in Mayfield 

The Heritage Group is embarking on a new project where we will record the doors, windows, gates and the like that are found in Mayfield. This project is inspired by a similar project undertaken in Italy. The aim of this project is to document in an interesting and artful way the unique and vernacular characteristics of Mayfield. To see examples of our current photos please click here If your property has an interesting entrance door, door furniture window, garden gate or the like then we’d love you to send us a photograph for us to include in our website project. They don’t need to be old or historical just interesting and an example of Mayfield’s uniqueness.  Please send copies of your photographs to our email address [email protected] or if it is a physical photograph please hand a copy to any of the following MHG members

  • Fran Carlisle – 01335 345831
  • Linda Greenwood – 01335 344290

Please indicate where the photo was taken and that you are happy for us to your image or photograph on our website. We are happy to credit and place the copyright on any of the images sent to us.

Photos that will bring back memories.

Picadilly Lane, Upper Mayfield 1965

We have been contacted by a lady in Switzerland called  Verena Buser who stayed with her husband at the Sunnyside Hotel in 1965.  She and her husband took many photos around Mayfield and Ashbourne between 1965 and 1989. She has kindly sent the Group a selection of photographs from those years and we would like to share them with you. Sunnyside Hotel was run by the Hanbury family in 1965 and Verena has fond memories of her time spent there. Her husband was working at the Nestle factory in Ashbourne for a few months. Hopefully, the photos will stir up some great memories you have of Mayfield, Ashbourne, and Derby. Please click on the thumbnail below and it will enlarge the selected photo. Let us have feedback or stories that these photos bring to memory and we will share your stories and comments online.

To see the full set of photos please click here 

cropped-mhg-logo-e1460639581181.jpg The Mayfield Heritage Group ensures that the wealth of historic buildings, stories, and traditions of Mayfield are preserved and celebrated.  We welcome anyone with an interest in Mayfield Heritage to join our monthly meetings, where we discuss the latest projects. We have a growing list of talks and visits that we arrange that are open to members and non-members. Please see the list of events on the right-hand side of this web page or go to Future events diary. To read the reviews of our visits please select Reviews of Talks and visits 

Have you ever wondered what the origins of the name ‘Hanging Bridge’ are? To find out more click on the image below.

Coloured view of Hanging Bridge
A coloured view of Hanging Bridge, Mayfield

We welcome contributions of articles, photos and memories of Mayfield in the past. If you would like to share your articles, photos or memorabilia then please get in touch.

View from Hanging Bridge in 1860 showing Frank Wright’s corn mill and the mill workers’ cottages below Lichfield House”
View from Hanging Bridge in 1860 showing Frank Wright’s corn mill and the mill workers’ cottages below Lichfield House”
Early Corn Mill and view of Bowmer Bond Mill C1796 – Looking from Hanging Bridge

The Heritage Group visits many places of interest and we particularly enjoy showing our village to visitors: click here for more information.