Shardlow Heritage Centre

A Walk through the Village

The Shardlow Heritage Centre offers guided walks for groups by prior arrangement, and has on sale a 'Village Trail' leaflet (price 25 pence) which guides the walker round the port area of the village. (see our  Home Page ) On this web page, we give you an insight into older parts of the village along the main London Road, and some further details within the port area. References to the 1882 map are those on our page  1882 Map of Shardlow , the individual frames being 'west', 'west-central', 'east-central', and 'east'. 
The oldest parts of the village comprised scattered hamlets round farms and at road junctions. 

Approaching from Derby, Moor Farm is at the entrance to the village on the left (just off the edge of the  1882 Map west ). On the right is the Grove which was originally a farm occupied by the Hardy family and from the 1890's the orphanage of the Shardlow Union Workhouse. The main buildings of the workhouse have been replaced by modern housing . The workhouse started life in 1811 as the House of Industry for Shardlow, Draycott, Sawley and Worthington. By 1814, 24 other parishes had joined and in 1832 the Shardlow Poor Law Union was formed - by 1857 there were 49 parishes in the Union. We have in our archives many interesting plans and documents which give an insight into how it operated. 

The photograph shows the building  that was the orphanage. .
former orphanage
Shardlow used to have many small shops in people's houses and the present post office is on the site of one of these, that used to be run by the Ward family. Earlier still, a shop was run from a shed adjoining the end of the terrace adjacent to the post office. This may be the terrace marked '54' on the  1882 map - west
Moving on, Shardlow School is at the junction of the road from Ambaston. This road junction was an important focal point as here too was the site of the stocks and pinfold. The first school here was built in 1810, the present building dating from 1850. George Gilbert wrote of his experience as a pupil in the 1820's under the schoolmaster 'fiery' Furniss. 'Some of his punishments were grotesque and harmless enough, he would sometimes dress a refractory boy out like a guy place him on the back of his donkey with his face towards the tail of the animal and send him off round the village with all the other boys yelling and hooting after him, another time he would lock him up in the village round house or lock up of which he kept the key, then again he would place him with his legs in the stocks which were also close to the school and there let him stay for an hour or two.' 
Empire Day at the school
empire day at the school
At the next road junction, where the road from Aston on Trent comes in, is the Dog and Duck, a cruck framed building, tree ring dated to 1480.
Here also are the Dower House ('plot' 95), a farm (97), and Shardlow House (98) - the Cowlishaw family's oldest home in the village. The footpath (the north sides of 'plots' 100, 104) marks the continuation of the old road from Aston to Great Wilne and onwards over the river Derwent to Church Wilne. ‘Plot’ numbers are from the  1882 Map west-central image
the Dower House
    Shardlow House
The Dower House
Shardlow House

On Aston Lane, near the bend, are cottages which have an interesting history including a carpenter's workshop and a framework knitters cottage - the results of a detailed investigation into these is on display in the Heritage Centre.
Aston Lane cottages

Back onto London Road, continuing past the Aston Lane turn, on the  1882 map west-central  the building at 106 is Shardlow Manor. This was the home of the Burgin family. Shardlow Manor was taken down and rebuilt in 1746-7 by John Chambers of Wilne for Mr Alpheus Burgin at a cost of £43. The Burgin family owned large portions of Shardlow including the Dog and Duck and part of the land on which the church was built. Shardlow Manor was later used as the rectory and is now a nursing home.
Shardlow Manor
Next comes the Shakespeare Inn, a coaching inn. 
the Shakespeare Inn
The Shakespeare Inn

Nearby used to stand the Rose and Crown of which a traveller in 1789 tells us 'we put up at 4 o'clock at the Rose and Crown just placed to my wishes though the hostler being drunk, and the women of the house sulky were great drawbacks. But we had a good room, and our horses sweet hay: our dinner of lamb chops was greedily eaten, and I now (finding no bad effects) drink of their sweet ale'. 
On the other side of the road where now there is a car sales business, there used to stand a blacksmiths forge and cottages. 

Shakespeare Inn with the Rose and Crown behind
The Shakespeare Inn with the Rose and Crown behind

The church was built in 1838 on land donated by the Sutton family of Shardlow Hall, which stands opposite. We are fortunate in having much of the original correspondence about the building of the church and its daily business for the first 100 years. A detailed survey of the monuments in the church and the graveyard can be consulted at the Heritage Centre. 
The original frontage of Shardlow Hall faced the road from Aston Lane to Great Wilne (now the footpath), the original building being 1684 with additions and a new frontage when the new turnpike (London Road) was put through in the 18th century. 
Shardlow Hall
Shardlow Hall new frontage - early 1800's


London Road passes by green fields before reaching the port area which prior to 1766 had only one building, which was a  river warehouse about 1/4 mile upriver. All this changed with the cutting of the canal. 

1766 map of port area immediately prior to the cutting of the canal, showing the warehouse on the Cowholme (just below Warehouse Close); Fleetland Close the site of the Clock Warehouse and the Shardlow Heritage Centre; and the main road crossing the Trent over the  Cavendish Bridge, built 1759. 

Having left the Hall and Church, the first surviving roadside building on the right is the oldest canal warehouse in the village, in which the Heritage Centre is situated. The  1882 Map east-central  shows another building to the west - this was 'the Limes', a building of great significance being the Shardlow offices of the Trent and Mersey canal company. It had been given a new victorian exterior, but locals say that the interior had survived with original features. The building was demolished as part of the scheme to restore the prized Clock Warehouse which straddles the adjacent canal basin. In 1995, the site was purchased by Mansfield Breweries and redeveloped as a family pub, complete with a representation of an Upper Trent Barge in the canal arm under the building, and providing accommodation for the Heritage Centre in the adjacent warehouse. 
The oldest canal warehouse in the village - the salt warehouse which houses the Shardlow Heritage Centre
salt warehouse

 The road continues over the canal (bridge 3) and immediately before the Navigation Inn is a turning left into Wilne Lane, leading to Great Wilne and thence to a footpath crossing the river Derwent to Church Wilne. The section of Wilne Lane from the London Road to Great Wilne probably did not exist before the enclosure of 1758, the old route being as previously described from the Aston turn. 
The building on the left as you turn into Wilne Lane is Broughton House, the home of the  Sutton family before they bought the Hall in 1826. 
The Navigation Inn was also a property of the Sutton family, and is described by Pastor Moritz in 1789 shortly after it was built. He was not too happy about the company 'a wilder, coarser, type of man than those I met gathered together in the kitchen of this inn I have never seen'. 

Navigation Inn
Navigation Inn and Broughton House at the time that James Kerry was licensee and before the road widening of 1936

Continuing along Wilne Lane, the next building on the left  was built by the Soresby family in the 1770s. They were an important canal carrying company here from the time the canal was built. 
the Lady in Grey
Now refer to the  1882 Map east . Note the ropery building off to the right on the side of the field, run in its early years by the Sutton family and from the 1870's by the Henshall family. 
The Trent Brewery, erected about 1860 by Zachary Smith, was on the site now occupied by modern houses just before the Wilne Lane canal bridge. A public car park is opposite. From the canal bridge, the New Inn and Malt Shovel are on the left. 
Ropewalk building
The Ropewalk building
Malt Shovel
Narrowboats carrying iron pipes from Stanton to Devizes 1995

Leading off Wilne Lane to the right is Millfield, where a large steam corn mill was operated from 1860 until it burnt down in 1885. We are still searching for drawings or photos of this, but a granary survives although reduced in height to create a 2 storey dwelling.
the granary on Millfield

The Methodist Chapel (now a dwelling)  marks the start of Great Wilne, the oldest part of the parish, where Roman remains have been found. Here are a fine buttressed barn, Tudor cottage and interesting farmhouses and buildings.
Methodist Chapel
A harvest festival in the Methodist Chapel, Great Wilne 1892
It is thought that at Great Wilne another road went off to the right and was then the main route to a crossing of the River Trent thought to be a little upstream of Derwentmouth. There were Iron Age and Bronze Age settlements on this route near to the River Trent, which have been investigated by the Trent Peak Archaeological Trust, and ancient bridge remains have been found in  the gravel quarries on the other side of the Trent. The 18th century turnpike road crossing at Wilden Ferry, now Cavendish Bridge, is the crossing in use today. 
Tudor Cottage at Great Wilne
Tudor cottage at Great Wilne
After Great Wilne the road comes to an end, although it used to continue straight ahead to a crossing of the river Derwent at Wilne Mills, variously used for corn milling, lead rolling and slitting, and cotton milling. From the road end, the present footpath to the right leads to the modern footbridge and Church Wilne. 
Wilne Toll Bridge in the 1920's
toll bridge at Wilne
There are alternative footpaths from Great Wilne, including one to Derwentmouth Lock on the canal, from where one can walk the towpath back into the village - or continue downstream along the River Trent to Sawley. 
New footbridge over River Derwent, looking back to Great Wilne
new footbridge at Wilne


Visit Shardlow and its Heritage Centre for a fascinating insight into this 18th century canal transhipment port. Follow the village trail of the port area, on sale at the Heritage Centre!  See our home page.
Home Page
Exhibition and Special Events 
Brief History of the Village
1882 Map of Shardlow
Shardlow - placename and surname
A Walk through the Village (THIS PAGE)
Photo Gallery 
Dobson's boat yard   (NEW 30/10/2016)
Links to Related Sites
 Setting the Scene and 1852 Plan
 Carriers by River and Canal at Shardlow
 Boatbuilders at Shardlow
 Other Traders in the Canal Port
Local Waterways on Old Postcards


 This page is maintained by  Shardlow Heritage
last updated on 3 December 2013