Thursday 2 June 2011

Gorsey Bank

This was set to automatic posting, but either I did something wrong, or Blogger malfunctioned, because it didn't post. Hence, it is rather late. Sorry.

My personal challenge for this round of Miss Jenny Matlock's alphabe-Thursday is to post about a location within the borders of my own county of Derbyshire, UK, for each letter of the alphabet.

Look for the letter, to see where I am.

G is for Gorsey Bank.


Gorsey Bank is a delightful little corner of Wirksworth, tucked away up the hillside above the secondary school, Health Centre and Leisure Centre.

In spite of the fact that hardly anyone passes through here (because there is no where to pass through to), the gardens and houses are beautifully kept; as though on show to the world.

Providence Mill, built around 1833, is one of the creators of the symbol of bureaucracy; red tape. In this factory, and five others like it, was made the red tape used to bind official documents. This particular mill was run by John Bowmer and Sons and from 1890, was powered by a gas engine with gas supplied from the local gasworks in Warmbrook.  During the first world war, the tape had another purpose. It was used to bind the fuses of bombs. Narrow tape is still made in the area. In 1970, Bowmer & Sons merged with an Ashbourne firm and the process was moved to a site on the River Dove.

(Providence Mill from the rear)

Prospect House is well named. It sits high on the bank side with a superb view over the town.

The area is criss-crossed with little jitties; beautifully clean, winding across the hillside, between the houses and round the gardens.

At the foot of the Bank is the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Teresa of Lisieux. St Teresa was born in Alencon, France in 1873, one of nine children. She entered the convent of Lisieux and pronounced her holy vows on September 8, 1890. The rest of her short life was spent in service and she died of tuberculosis on September 30, 1897, aged just 24 years. Her feast is celebrated on October 1st.

Near the church, is the Gorsey Bank war memorial on which is inscribed the names of ten local men; five who died in WWI and five more in WWII.

Dropping down a little further, the road crosses a railway line at Gorsey Bank Crossing. This is the Ecclesbourne Valley Line; a once closed railway which has been restored and reopened by a group of enthusiasts. It now exists as a Preservation Society, staffed by volunteers and running passenger services the 9 miles down the Ecclesbourne Valley between Ravenstor (just north of Wirksworth) and Duffield (just north of Derby). Trains run in spring and summer, on weekends and Wednesdays. They attract visitors to the town of Wirksworth and the surrounding area.

The Gorsey Bank Crossing is the first level crossing on the line when travelling south. It is about half a mile below Wirksworth station. The new gates were hung in November 2007. The north gate apparently hung and swung perfectly, while the south gate proved a bit of a pain in the proverbial!

(As a reward to the north gate, I chose it for inclusion.)

Gorsey Bank was a real surprise. I hadn't been here before, but found it absolutely delightful; even on a damp, grey Wednesday!


  1. I really like Wirksworth but didn't know this area of the town, it looks really interesting. I recently read something about the railway between Wirkswirth and Duffield now being open. This looks like another place on my 'to visit' list:)

  2. We are only up to "G" and I am already wondering what you will come up with for X and Z!! This is a wonderful post, and your photos are excellent!!

  3. What a pretty place! I love the stone, the winding lanes, the gardens. Great visit!

  4. Love the houses and the place ! It must be nice to walk around there.

  5. It IS delightful! I love all the stonework and the jitties! (jitties--that's new to me)

  6. I love all the stonework and walls! This is a area I would find absolutely enchanting. I dream one day of living in a little stone house in the middle of nothing!

    What a grand link!

    Thanks for letting us continue this journey without lugging our luggage far, far away!

    You are a gem!


  7. A quick comment I have been to Gorsey many times, although have lived all my life in Kent, my mother (who died when i was born) came from Gorsey Bank, a house called Greenwood at the top of Gorsey Bank.
    Thanks For the presentation ( I have got to go back!)

  8. My ancestors were from Gorsey Bank I enjoyed this very much