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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Derbyshire
A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
 
Darley Dale, Oaker Hill (One Tree Hill), 1900-10
One Tree Hill, Oaker


William Adam, writing in 1840, described how Oaker, or Oker, Hill attracted attention because it appeared to have a solitary tree on its summit though closer inspection revealed that there were actually two trees on the hilltop. Adam quoted a poem written by William Wordsworth which tells the story of two local brothers:[1]

" 'Tis said that to the brow of yon fair hill
Two Brothers clomb ; and, turning face from face,
Nor one look more exchanging, grief to still,
Or feed, each planted on that lofty place
A chosen Tree. Then, eager to fulfil
Their courses, like two new-born rivers, they
In opposite directions urged their way
Down from the far-seen mount. No blast might kill
Or blight that fond memorial. The trees grew,
And now entwine their arms; but ne'er again
Embraced those Brothers upon earth's wide plain;
Nor aught of mutual joy or sorrow knew
Until their spirits mingle. - Eternity!" - WORDSWORTH

Keepsake, 1838[1]


Timothy Spencer Hall made a similar observation to Adam in 1863:

"We spoke just now of Oaker Hill: what an interesting feature in the landscape it is, with its beautiful peak, and its coronal of trees - two trees, but at many points of vision so united that no one could imagine them two[2]".

A few years later, in 1868, James Croston wrote of the brothers:

"The top of Oker (sic) Hill forms a sloping plateau of some extent; near the southern verge are two sycamore trees, which are said to have been planted by two brothers, who, separating here, resolved that they would part for ever. The tradition states that such was the case, for each taking a different direction, they never met again[3]".

Both Hall and Croston quoted from the Wordsworth sonnet.

The photograph above, probably taken between 1900 and 1910, shows just one tree remained, also confirmed by the late Leonard Potter[4]. The picture still belongs to the Potter family, whose ancestors lived in a Georgian house below the hill at the beginning of the twentieth century. The image also shows a close up of a dry-stone wall, a method of wall building commonly used in Derbyshire.



Oker (or Oaker) Hill with the hamlet of Oaker at its foot.
Four young boys were paddling in the river.
Of the properties in the hamlet, the house immediately below the tree is almost certainly
Baslow Cottage where the web mistress's great aunt lived in the late 1940s.

The picture below is part of a multiview card in the Matlock section of this site.

Part of a multiview card
Go to card


1. Photograph of One Tree Hill, Darley Dale kindly donated by Denis Potter © 2004..
2. "Oker Hill and R. Derwent, near Matlock". Published by C. Colledge, Stationer, Matlock [before 1918 and probably before 1911]. Unused.
3. Part of "Matlock". Published by The Loca-Vu Photo Co., Fargate, Sheffield. Not posted
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
With my grateful thanks to Ray Ash for providing the quotations from Hall and Croston. Intended for personal use only

References:

[1] Adam, W. (1840) "The Gem of the Peak" London; Longman & Co., Paternoster Row MDCCCXL
[2] Hall, Spencer Timothy (1863) "Days in Derbyshire ..." With sixty illustrations by J. Gresley (artist), Dalziel Brothers (illustrators). Simpkin, Marshall and Co, Stationers' Hall Court, London, and printed by Richard Keene, All Saints, Derby.
See the transcript of the Matlock and Matlock Bath section elsewhere on the site.
[3] Croston, James (1868) (2nd Ed) "On Foot Through the Peak; or a Summer Saunter Through the Hills and Dales of Derbyshire", Manchester: John Heywood, 141 & 143, Deansgate. London, Simpkin, Marshall & Co.
See the transcript of the Matlock and Matlock Bath section elsewhere on the site.
[4] Notes of his boyhood memories made by Leonard Potter, aged 74, owned by Denis Potter.




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The Potter family's story is in the Matlock section



From the Vernon Lamb Archive:

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Past Matlock & Matlock Bath photographers