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Simonfield to The Brook
Lecture and Presentation by Roger Wood 2013

- Page 3 -

Simon Field Map

We are fortunate that by 1778 Richard Lowe had purchased the Park Hall Estate and commissioned William Radford (Junior) to produce a detailed map of his Lordship. This showed thumbnail sketches of the engines and collieries.

Also in 1776 Johann Jacob Ferber the celebrated German mineralogist  toured Derbyshire. He observed at Stainsby and Simonfield two steam engines. One of the ordinary form and construction. The other the invention of Mr Barber the proprietor of the mine, which differed a little.

The wells to descend into the mine were perfectly round wholly built of brick. They descended by means of a small cask, in which the person supports himself upright, or else seated on the rope or chain.

Picture Of Ferber

John Barber became bankrupt in 1784 and the whole of his Smalley estate was placed on the market. Also owning property in Nuneaton, Warwickshire he moved away from Derbyshire.

Stainsby House was purchased by the Sitwell family.

Note the names of the fields and location of Hawley’s Cottages. John Hawley owned many properties in Mapperley and the Park Hall area.

Hawley’s Pond can still be found along Slack Road.



The Simon Field Club

An increase in the workforce soon brought about a close friendly community. But being in such an isolated place and working in dangerous conditions. It was important that miners had a social life.

To accommodate this. Land was given by Richard Lowe outside the Park Hall Estate near “Swine Hill Lane Smalley” to build a Clubroom.

Founded in 1769 by the miners working the Simonfield coal and ironstone mines. “For the benefit of the miners and their families”.

Charles Kerry in his “Smalley in the County of Derby Its History and Legends”. Gives an excellent account of the building.

Describing the building as a low 25 yard long Single Storey Building with a thatched roof, containing a kitchen and brewhouse.
Providing a place for holding many recreational activities for the miners and their families.

(The forerunner of the Mapperley Colliery Sports and Pastimes Club)

An Annual Dinner was always held on the Tuesday of the Whitsun holiday which included a procession from the Clubroom to Smalley Chapel led by the Colliery Band.

Following a successful Whit Tuesday event in 1845 a supper was held for the children on the Wednesday Evening with 55 children attending.

John Kyte (Junior) was the President of the Club.

By 1850 membership and funds had fallen, but supported by Honorary Subscribers they were determined to revive it. John Radford and the Reverend Samuel Fox of Smalley  joined the members at the dinner.

Falling membership continued and the Club officially closed on November 13th 1866. After being in existence for 91 years 10 months.

With the Estate being sold to John Radford  of Smalley for £241 - 6s – 4d.  A keen supporter of the miners.

John Radford died soon afterwards purchasing the club and it remained derelict for many years.

Eventually it became the property of Francis Shaw who sold the brewery equipment in 1874.

The meeting room was demolished and the kitchen converted into a dwelling house and farm.

The farm still stands today and retains the name Club Room Farm.

The area surrounding the farm was opencast mined.


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