WEST HALLAM HERITAGE EXTRACT
…… (100 acres of pasture and 30 acres of arable) but neither of the Cromwells appeared at court to answer the charges, instead, their representative named Gaugy went. Cromwell was found guilty and fined. This example shows how the lords would "acquire" land from the village and if he got away with it his manor would become greater.
This enclosing of commonlands went on until 1591 and the poor person who would have kept a cow and a few sheep to sustain himself and his family and also to clothe themselves would not now be able to keep a goose or a hen.
The de Cromwells appear to have been a quarrelsome family as for some reason, Ralph de Cromwell strongly objected to Simon de Arderne of Mapperley hanging people on the gallows owned by Simon at Mapperley. In 1269, Ralph and a gang of his warriors visited Simon's manor and forcefully pulled down and removed the gallows and pillory there. Ancient arrow heads were found on the north side of High Lane West in the 1930s and it is possible that this was the site of one of the many battles between Ralph and Simon. A small silver coin found to be a grout dating from 1307-27 was discovered under the site of Glebe cottage in 1860.
All the authentic records of the village are of robbery and violence. The place was over run with vagabonds as the town of Derby was a place of sanctuary, and the folk of West Hallam were constantly sending for the coroner to say that someone had been found dead in the parish. Wrong-doers sought sanctuary in the churches and the rich people usually got off scot-free.
FROM COUNCILLOR HARRY SMALES - CRESSWELL
The first records of this historic village appeared in the Domesday Book of 1086, the church of St. Wilfrid's is over 700 years old. A beautiful new Methodist Chapel was built on High Lane West and opened in 1991, the old chapel is now used as a church hall. The old Girls' School is now the Village Hall and is used for social occasions etc.
The parish used to be a small agricultural and mining community but is now basically a dormitory village for workers in Derby, Nottingham and Ilkeston, it is thriving, dynamic and growing.
Since the 1960's it has expanded considerably with new houses and a population of 5,000. This means that there are many young people in the village and the school is full and thriving.
The local facilities have increased with the Dales Shopping Precinct, the Community Centre and Sports Hall. Despite the growth in population the village outer limits have remained the same, the new developments being within the square four main roads, resulting in the retention of a village atmosphere.
There are numerous clubs, social groups, youth groups and sports organisations like the History and Rural Societies, Scouts and Guides, Petanque (French Boules), Cricket and Football Clubs. For the ladies there are the Women's Institute, Wednesday Club and Flower Arranging. Art groups and evening classes at Scargill School are also popular. At the Village Hall and Community Centre children's playgroups are organised. Local Drama groups produce a Pantomime and other yearly shows, the local Choral Society meets weekly.
A yearly Carnival is organised by the PTA of Scargill School with a procession of bands and floats around the village, followed by events and stalls in the school grounds-
The Well Dressing Week is in July. During this festive time the many visitors can appreciate the natural beauty of the wells and enjoy band music and street entertainments by a variety of traditional performers. "The Village" is closed to traffic during the first two afternoons and market stalls appear on the street and cream teas are served in the Village Hall and in the School Square.
On High Lane West stands a rare Bottle Kiln which has been sensitively developed into a buttery, art gallery, gift and craft shops. On Station Road is the unique Cinder House.
There are several ancient trust charities originating from bequests made by wealthy residents dating as far back as the seventeenth century which continue to benefit the community today.
The villagers enjoy a good social life and community spirit. West Hallam is an attractive place in which to live and bring up a family.
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