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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Derbyshire
A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
 
The Cross, Bonsall (1), four postcards
Postcard of Bonsall Cross from personal collection
 

This lovely coloured postcard, from a photo by C. F. Hartle of Bonsall, was sent by Hilda Margaretta May Walker, Ann's great aunt[1], in 1908 to her mother Margaret Jane (Jennie) Walker (nee Swain[1]). The Walker family lived in the village for years before moving to Manchester and the Cross stands in front of the grocer's shop they ran.

Another relative was very much involved in the village life of Bonsall during the last century. Robert Clay (1799 -1874)[2] was the Bonsall miller. He was responsible for taking water into the village and on the well outside the church yard in Church Street there is a memorial to him from the grateful people of Bonsall. He was also one of the churchwardens involved with the restoration of St. James' Church that was completed in 1863; the work was paid for by public subscription. Robert Clay gave the church a new pulpit. His tomb in the churchyard has recently been relatively restored.

Glover, in 1833, describes Bonsall as being "set in a romantic valley amidst abrupt limestone rocks, and watered by a beautiful trout stream"[3]. He doesn't mention the Cross but Adam, writing a few years later, remarked that "There is an old Cross in the centre of the Village which is a curious object[4]".

Bonsall Cross is the tallest cross in Derbyshire and the first date on it is 1620 - which may be the date that it was first repaired. It was here that, during the Napoleonic Wars, the French prisoners-of-war were allocated to the local farms. Farming apprentices were also hired here at the village's annual 'Wakes'. The street's unmade road, of crushed limestone, is clearly visible.


Coloured postcard of Bonsall Cross, 1892
This second, somewhat battered, image of the Cross was taken from the bottom of Church
Street, with the High Street going off to the right and Yeoman Street to the left. It was sent by
Hilda to her mother, possibly around 1925 as she refers to two nieces who were with her.
Hilda owned a cottage at Slaley. The card was sent with instructions that it had to be kept and
also that Mrs. Slack had provided "some lettuce, 2 boilings (?chicken), some beans and
some cress".


I have both the coloured (above) and sepia versions of this card. What is especially interesting is that the buildings behind the Cross, at the very top of Yeoman Street, were clearly demolished between when the above photograph was taken in 1892 and when the picture for the card below was taken. The third image also shows the top of Yeoman Street, but the buildings on the right have changed. The property on what is the corner of Yeoman Street (extreme right) has a shield above the front door at first floor level, with the date 1896 and the initials G.K. on it.


Photograph of Bonsall Cross, also in my family's collection
On the back of this card is a message from Sarah & A to one of the web mistress's relatives.
An extract reads:
"We have managed to make a move to Rose Cottage, Town End, Bonsall,
which is about 4 minutes from the subject of this view".
Please get in touch if you know who Sarah & A were.


This third view was taken from the bottom of Church Street at the junction with the High Street. On the right of Yeoman Street are several business premises. The shop behind the car is the Co-Operative Society Limited, next door is the West Yorkshire Bank and the shop with the sign advertising Tea with Hovis is Westerman's Quality Stores. There are tins of food piled up in the window and a sign inside the store advertises Vim.

A schoolboy is sitting on the steps of the Cross and behind him, to the left, is the King's Head public house. Harry Bunting was the publican at the time. The King's Head, according to the post war writer Nikolaus Pevsner, "was established in 1677. The house has traditional low three-light mullioned windows, and two irregular gables[5]". Note the stone steps outside the pub's door which were used to mount horses.

Although we have to allow for artistic interpretation, The King's Head is shown amongst the group of buildings behind the Cross in the image below.


My fourth view of Bonsall Cross is from a painting by Henry Hadfield Cubley who lived in Matlock Bath between approximately 1887 and 1908 and painted many Derbyshire scenes. Children were frequently photographed, or in this case painted, sitting on the steps[6]. The woman with the red head scarf is undoubtedly Mrs. Cubley and one of their daughters is patting the dog. The card's sender wrote "I have often heard father and mother speak of this cross, I suppose you will know it quite well".  
Cubley's painting of Bonsall Cross


Elsewhere on this web site:
Bonsall in Kelly's 1891 Directory
Pigot's 1828-9 Directory, with Matlock, Matlock Bath and Darley includes Bonsall names
Pigot's 1831 Directory, with Matlock and Matlock Bath, includes Bonsall names
Pigot's 1842 Directory, also with Matlock and Matlock Bath, includes Bonsall names
Our Genealogy
Research Queries
Matlock Charities
Frank Clay, artist. Examples of the work of a Derbyshire artist. Frank was Ann's father


Postcards in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
1. "Bonsall Cross", Postcard is one of the "Canterbury" Series J. H. S. D. Photo by C. F. Hartle, Bonsall. Posted 1908 (re scanned Aug 2007).
2. "Bonsall Cross, Matlock" is one of the Valentine's Series, No. 17504, first registered in 1892. Postal date cannot be read, but possibly 1925.
3. "Bonsall, The Cross", no obvious publisher.
4. "Bonsall Cross, Derbyshire", published by Raphael Tuck & Sons "Oilette" [Regd.] Art Publishers to their Majesties the King and Queen. Postcard 1684. These postcards had the usual side bar for the card's title and message that was part of all postcards produced in the first decade of the twentieth century but has been omitted to present a slightly larger image. Posted on 9 Dec 1907 in Sheffield by M A Moxon and sent to Miss S Woodhouse, Heanor.
Written, reasearched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References and notes:

[1] Both born at Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales. Seven Walker children were born at Bonsall, including the web mistress's grandmother. Richard Arnold Walker, the eldest son, was killed at Gallipoli. He is unfortunately not named on Bonsall's War Memorial, despite having been born there. The web mistress has long felt that his exclusion from the list of names was a disappointing decision made by the then vicar. Instead, he is commemorated with on his parents' headstone in a quiet Salford churchyard.
[2] Robert Clay was born at Bonsall and died there.
[3] Glover, Stephen (1833) "The History and Gazetteer of the County of Derby ..." Edited by T. Noble. pub. Derby and London.
[4] Adam, W. (1840) "The Gem of the Peak" London; Longman & Co., Paternoster Row MDCCCXL
[5] Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953), "The Buildings of England, Derbyshire", Penguin Books.
[6] There is more information about Henry Hadfield Cubley and further examples of his work in the Matlock section of this web site. Start with his biography.




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Bonsall Cross (2)