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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Derbyshire
A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Ashbourne - three early twentieth century engravings

Discussed below:

Ashbourne, The Mansion

The Mansion, Church Street, Ashbourne. The house and garden.
Image © Ann Andrews
Dr. Taylor's House, Ashbourne [1]

The Mansion, near the end of Church Street, is an early eighteenth century building. Probably the best known guest was Dr. Johnson who used to visit his lifelong friend, Dr. Taylor, in the reign of George III. Samuel Johnson apparently used a small room that became a bathroom, so this would have been on the back staircase. Here is the view from the garden, including the wonderful octagonal room designed by Robert Adam which is entered from the garden by a flight of steps. The spire of St. Oswald's can be seen behind the trees.

The gardens extend down to the Henmore Brook; when the Henmore broke its banks in the floods of the late 1950's and early 1960's the water went quite a way up the garden. For part of its history The Mansion was home to Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School's girl boarders and the webmistress lived here for six years during term time.

Church Group from Matlock, photographed in The Mansion garden in the 1920's, is elsewhere on this website.

Ashbourne, The Old Grammar School

On the opposite side of the road from The Mansion is the Old Grammar School founded in 1585 and named after the then monarch, Queen Elizabeth I. It was a great honour when, four hundred years later, Queen Elizabeth II visited the school.

Pupils, amongst whom, briefly, were two of the grandsons of Sir Richard Arkwright[2], were taught in the old school building for over three centuries until the new school was built on the Green Road. There was a playground behind the building and the gardens extended up the hillside. The road on the Old School side is below the pavement and there are two sets of stone steps to assist those wishing to cross.
Sir Richard Arkwright

The Old Grammar School, Church Street, Ashbourne.
Image © Ann Andrews
The Grammar School, Ashbourne [1]

There were boy boarders at the school for around two hundred years but in some years ago the Old School building was sold and converted into dwellings.

When the contents of Osmaston Manor were sold, the then headmaster Donald Kimmins bought some very fine Grinling Gibbons linenfold panelling; it was installed in the main entrance way (through the second doorway from the left) by a master and some of the pupils.

To the right of the main door are four large windows. This was the panelled dining room where the Queen was entertained to lunch in 1985 and was the original schoolroom.

One of the stories told on dark winter's nights by girl and boy boarders alike was that the ghost of Lady Cockayne, wife of one of the school's founders, walked the length of the junior boys' dormitory on the first floor.

Ashbourne, Church Street

The architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner[3] described Church Street as "one of the finest streets in Derbyshire". The engraving below shows Owlfield Almshouses (1640) which have their doorways opening directly onto the street. Sideways to the street are Pegg's Almshouses (1699). The brick wall with the blank arches was The Mansion's stables. Then comes The Mansion and St. Oswald's Church, which has a lovely set of wrought iron gates dating from about 1700, is further along.

Church Street, Ashbourne.
Image © Ann Andrews
Church Street, Ashbourne [1]

The churchyard, filled with daffodils in the Spring, has many tombstones and inside the church are some very fine monuments, especially those to the Cockayne and Boothby families that are in, and just outside, the Boothby chapel in the North Transept. Of especial interest to many is Joseph Bank's white marble carving of Penelope Boothby dating from 1791 (see on site image).

More onsite info about Ashbourne:
Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811 (A) See Ashbourne
The Gentleman's Magazine Library

Also recommended
Wishful Thinking's photograph of the Old School

Illustrations by Nelly Erichsen, in the collection of, provided by, researched by and written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] Firth, J.B. (1908) "Highways and Byways in Derbyshire" MacMillan & Co., London. Illustrations provided are from this book.

[2] Fitton, RS (1989) The Arkwrights, Spinners of Fortune Manchester University Press ISBN 0-7190/2646-6, p.262.

[3] Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953), "The Buildings of England, Derbyshire", Penguin Books.

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