The Community Centre, opened in 1986, was built as a village school in 1897 for the increased population following the sinking of the Colliery in 1890. Turn right from the car park. The tiny cottage used to be Mrs. Coupe's sweet shop and later, Dick Streets' cobbler's shop. In the last century, when the Malthouses were there, a ladder led to the bedrooms.
At the bottom of Titchfield Street (named after the Duke of Portland's eldest son) are the remains of an old cottage, which used to be occupied by Mr. Bugg and, briefly, by a dentist evacuee from Lowestoft. Follow Titchfield Street to the Butcher's Arms. On Mason Street, named after Canon Mason, long time rector and benefactor of this parish, and adjoining the pub is Clergy House dated from about 1830, which used to house the curates.
Opposite Clergy House, a flight of steps leads to the High Hill, reputed to be the last crag of the Pennine Ridge. A service used to be held annually in August, just below the path between the rocks, to commemorate St. Lawrence to whom the church is dedicated. From the path, towards the church, much of the old part of the village can be seen, as well as Long Curtain Row, the first set of 'modern' terraced houses to be built. In the opposite direction, there is a bird's eye view of the more modern development of brick houses dating from the sinking of the colliery.
Follow the path by some modern bungalows to reach Hillside, formerly Godley Hill, Palmer's Hill and Stoney Hill. Just before the Mallet and Chisel (formerly Mallet and Tool) are the remains of some cottages behind which, in the distance, Whitwell Common can be seen, site of a Civil War skirmish in the 1650's. Opposite the Mallet lies the 'Cottage', a former blacksmith's of about 1860 and behind this is the High Hill Quarry from which the stone is believed to have been obtained to build the church.
The patch of grass at the bottom of Hillside lies on either side of the Dicken Dyke, piped underground from this point to avoid the flooding of former years, and is the site of the old Pound or Pinfold for keeping stray animals. The school gardens occupied the field behind the Pound, which stretches up to the 'new' Rectory, built in the 1880's to the design of Pearson, the famous architect who restored Steetley Chapel (Chapel of Copmanhurst in Ivanhoe?) and who also built Truro Cathedral. Trees were planted along the East side of the school gardens to commemorate former schoolmasters, including one for Burley Higgins, one of the 'Few' in the Battle of Britain.
Follow the road to Amen Corner, the junction with Scotland Street, noting on the left the first stone house next to the old Pound, occupying the site of Flax House, a three storey house used for spinning flax according to May Lowe, local historian, who used to write in the Parish Magazine. The stone house next door is believed to have been elevated from a one storey cottage and to have been used as a school by a Mr. Fazackerly during the last century. Look for the dovecot at No. 21 Scotland Street before you reach the junction where stands the boarded-up shop, which used to house Dick Street's cobbler's shop and before that Chippy Hazlehurst's fish shop. Rose Cottage used to be opposite.
Turn left up Scotland Street towards the Church. On the right used to be a high stone wall, boundary of Walker's (Manor Farm) orchard. On the left is East View (1905), which occupies the site of what used to be (c. 1843) the Methodist Chapel above a tallow chandlers. A little further towards the Church, lies an entry alongside Mr. Cross' house, which leads into the former Teapot Yard, where brown teapots were made (?) and where the 'Barracks' stood before they were turned into dwellings, since demolished.
The Norman Church is steeped in history and full of interest. The extension to the Norman tower is readily visible, but less obvious is the fact that the rounded apse has been replaced (c. 1400) and that during this century, the chancel roof has been raised to allow the East window to be seen unobscured. Behind the Church lies the Old Hall, dating from about 1400 and associated with the Manners family. Old Hall Farm, its outbuildings and dovecot have recently been converted into dwellings. A good view of the High Hill is obtained from Old Hall Lane at the East end of the Church.
Turn left along High Street towards the centre of the village. More change is taking place at Manor Farm on the right, next to the old stone George Inn, now also converted to dwellings. The cottages opposite the George Inn seem to belong to three distinct periods. A change in masonry about 18 in. in height probably indicates an early timber-framed structure. Also, as in many other old village cottages, the roof appears to have been raised. These cottages were probably used as stables and lofts for the George Inn, a busy coaching inn with its mounting steps, on the old Chesterfield to Worksop Turnpike road before the road past Whitwell Wood was made.
Close to the junction of High Street with Worksop Road, Mews Cottage has a patch of lawn in front of it, which used to be No. 38 High Street, the site of the old Post Office. The Green with its pump (decorated by the Scouts and Guides at Well Dressing time) at the junction was overlooked by a saddler's shop and a blacksmith's shop, and also by a small, private school. Below the blacksmith's shop is the old stone wheel, used for fitting iron 'tyres' to cart wheels. Proceeding down High Street, Chapel Yard is on the left, one of several sites used for worship before the present Chapel(s) were built. Schoolchildren used to think it was lucky to jump and touch the curious 'pork-pie' stone in the cottage wall below. Nearer the Square, the Post Office has stood for over 100 years, though there were attempts to move it to Welbeck Street in the 1930's. The large brick house next door was occupied by Dr. Lawson, who had the brick house built as a shell to an existing stone house. Opposite stands 'Slaney's' house and orchard.
The Boot and Shoe used to have smaller windows and a wall used to separate it from the footpath. In front was Pear Tree Cottage on the site of the War Memorial. Reg. Gee, joiner and undertaker, occupied the house behind the village pump (in use well into this century) - Shepherd's Walk is the path beside this house up to Butt Hill (archery connections?). Branks Farm was on the site of the Health Centre. Sapsford's wheelwright and joiner's shop remains little changed outwardly from last century and is now occupied by Biggin's builders.
As we climb Hangar Hill (Hunger Hill) towards the Welfare, Starkey's Steps next to Biggin's lead to Long Croft. They may have been named after a farmer in the last century or after a Chelsea Pensioner of that name, who may have fought at Waterloo. The Fair used to have its stalls and booths on Long Croft after moving from the Square. Opposite the Welfare Hall is Ivy Cottage, which was one of two cottages converted to living places from an old malt kiln. A few yards further along is the Co-operative Store, on the site of old Sowmetal Yard. Originally, in 1896, the store was on the other side of Spring Hill, at Prior-wall Crescent, and jutted right out into Hangar Hill roadway.
After walking about 100 yards down Spring Hill, turn right into Malthouse Road. The stone cottages are thought to have housed the maltsters from the maltkilns, though the fact that only one of the houses has a 'proper' doorway might indicate that at one time these were the Malt House.
Spring Street runs across the front of Thacker's Garage and facing it at the junction with Station Road, are shrubs which hide the site of the old Reading Room provided originally by Canon Mason. Turn right to the old pump in the Square, then left, up Shepherd Walk to Butt Hill. To the left is another old blacksmith's premises, then the 'Jack-Up' Social Club, a former guesthouse and also another school, and beyond that again lies East Parade, home for many railway workers after the railway and 544 yard tunnel had been completed.
To the right, Man's Head Cottage (1825) lies opposite Butt Hill Farm, which is about 200 years old and was occupied by William Webster, farmer and village constable during the latter half of last century. There are cells in the cellar. Mr. Unwin, land agent and surveyor, and later surveyors lived in the last house on Butt Hill opposite the Butcher's Arms.
Turn right at the Butcher's Arms, along Titchfield Street to return to the Community Centre, passing Dog Lane on the left.
We hope that you have enjoyed your tour of the old village of Whitwell.