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A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Darley Dale, The Warney Mill Estate (1)
Warney House in 1950

On 31st October, 1950 the auctioneers Marchant Brooks and Co. auctioned the Warney Mill Estate in Darley Dale for Miss Elizabeth Walton of Warney House, following the death of her brother James earlier that year[1]. Their family had occupied the premises for a little over one hundred years.

At the start of the nineteenth century Mrs. Allsop "of Darley Mill, Hackney Lane" sold furniture and household goods as she "wanted to leave the situation"[2]. Tenants of the corn mill included Joseph & Ellen Derbyshire who were there in 1830 and Joseph & Hannah Evans who lived at Warney in 1832 and 1833[3]. Stephen Glover (1833) quoted what was then a recent survey of Darley; it included amongst the proprietors "Mr. Josiah Allsop, a water corn-mill and 20 acres"[4]. The Evans' were still farming there in 1841; amongst their large family was their son John who was to become a miller at Alport[3].

Two photographs of Warney House.
No dates, but known to be old. Note the horse and cart in the first of the pair, almost where the
car is in the sale catalogue picture at the top of the page. This photograph was taken
by W. N. Statham of Matlock.

Warney House was built about 1824 as in early 1825, when the mill was offered for letting, the advertisement also offered "a convenient new erected dwelling house, with suitable outbuildings ... together with a piece of rich meadow land called Wharney... Now in possession or occupation of Mr Isaac Townsend, or his undertenants"[5].

The Else / Walton link to the Warney estate began in the late 1840s when William Else and his wife Elizabeth (nee Lomas) moved to Warney Mill from Lea with their youngest son John[6]. William died at Warney in April 1850 and Elizabeth died in February 1861; both were buried at St. Helen's[3]. John then ran the business, employing a total of eight men and boys, but he died in 1869[7] and his widow and five young children subsequently moved to Matlock[8]. However, Charles Else of Bull Bridge, John's nephew, took over the business for a time, so it remained in the family[9]. By 1881 three of John's children, his elder son William and daughters Elizabeth and Marina, were back at Wharney House[10].

Darley Mill (now the DFS warehouse) has an engraved stone with JE 1860 above an old door.

« John Else 1827 - 11 June 1869[7].

His Will was proved by his two brothers - Charles Else, miller, of Lea Mill and William Else, a farmer of Bull Bridge. An announcement of his death in a local paper said he "was much and deservedly respected".

Darley Mill receipt for goods bought by Jno. Millington, 1860

John Else kept a log book of the mill's reconstruction and the date stone photographed above was carved to commemorate the work. In 1859 he recorded that he had paid £3 for dinners for 50 workmen and had spent 6s. on ale for men at Pidcock's. He also paid 1s. 6d. for a sack of coke from M[atlock] Bath Gas Works. On August 30th the same year he received 20 kiln plates from Hill and Childs of Derby and noted that Jno. Goodall & Son had completed the kiln[11].

Elizabeth Else, John's eldest daughter, married James Walton at St. Giles, Matlock in 1888 with the bride's two sisters Marina and Martha and her two little nieces, Maggie and Lily Else, daughters of Mr. William Else, as bridesmaids[12]. By 1891 James had taken over the business from his brother in law[13]. The couple's son James was born in Derby in 1888 and their daughter Elizabeth was born at Warney House on 3 September 1889.

The Walton family at the wedding of Elizabeth (Lily) Else and Evelyn
Newbold that took place at St. Giles' Church Matlock
on 5 October 1910.
Seated (L-R), James Walton, snr. & his wife Elizabeth (Lily)[14],
the daughter of John Else whose photograph is above.
Standing (L-R), Elizabeth (Lily) Walton, daughter, & James Walton
jnr., son. The photograph could have been taken outside
Matlock Town Hall, where the reception was held.

James jun. and Lily both served in the First World War. Pre-war Lily had studied art, possibly at one of the London Art Colleges but it is quite possible she attended W. N. Statham's night school in Matlock. She became a VAD nurse during the war[15]. James enlisted on 11 Dec 1915 and joined his regiment, the Royal Garrison Artillery, for duty 3 May 1916 at Derby. He was a Gunner with 24th Fire Command, 155th Siege Battery and was wounded with a gunshot wound (GSW) to the head whilst in France in July 1918, suffering from headaches and a loss of energy. He was 30 disabled at discharge, but according to army records he had improved when he was re-examined the following year. His GSW was followed by influenza and the pneumonia, caused by "active service and exposure". James was transferred to the reserve on 3 October 1919. This photograph of the siblings was probably taken in late 1915 or early 1916. James, at 5' 10¾", seems to have been quite a bit taller than his sister[16].

This would have been the last photograph of James and Lily, seen here with their daughter Lily, in the garden of Warney House during the summer of 1940. They had celebrated their Golden Wedding on 1 June 1937[17]

James jun. was no longer at Warney. He lived in Two Dales with his wife Mercie, nee Swindells, whom he had married at Holloway Primitive Methodist Chapel in 1930.

At the end of her life Miss Walton lived at Claremont on Cavendish Road. She died there in 1981.

The Warney House estate covered an area of about 25 acres in total, including both the house and the mill. There was "a well stocked trout stream" running through the grounds and the greenhouse was described as a span roof vinery[1]. Behind the house were farm buildings including a Dutch barn, a cowhouse, a four box stable, a loose box and pig sties.

Closer view
A closer view of Warney House in 1950

There is more about what happened to Warney House and Warney Mill on the next page.

Note from the web mistress:
In April 2011 I was sent an early twentieth century photograph of what turned out to be Warney House by the English born great grand daughter of James Walton's elder brother, William Edward Walton, who emigrated to Canada. It was one of the few items she had of her father's, as he was killed in WW2. It took some time to realise the picture was of Warney House as there are very few pictures of it from that time but, with the help of the late Ken Smith, we finally identified the property. All my correspondent had originally known was the name of her great grandfather but not the names of his siblings, nor where the house in her photogrpah was. She did, however, also have a copy of the picture of the elderly James and Lily Walton with their daughter Lily (see above) which helped work out her Derbyshire ancestry. Please get in touch if you also descend from WEW (see footer to contact).

Photographs of Warney House from the Marchant Brooks sale brochure (1950) in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Else and Walton family photographs © Judy Cooper collection.
Research provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (the coloured links take you to on site transcripts):

[1] Marchant Brooks sale brochure, printed by Smith's Printing Works, Ltd, Bakewell Road, Matlock (with grateful thanks to Ken Smith for giving me a copy). The auction was held at Marchant Brooks' sale rooms on Causeway Lane.

[2] The Derby Mercury, 1 Oct 1807. Also advertised in 1808. The ownership of Wharney is first mentioned in the Will of Mr. Josia Alsop of Matlock, in 1722. See [Matlock] Pre 1858 Wills & Administrations in various UK archives, Surnames A but he had no sons to inherrit so it is difficult to see how he could be related to the later Alsops of Warney.

[3] St. Helen's Parish Registers and the 1841 census. Joseph Evans moved to Northwood shortly afterwards. He had been recorded as a miller & farmer in 1832.

[4] Glover, Stephen (1833) "The History and Gazetteer of the County of Derby ..." Edited by T. Noble. pub. Derby and London.

[5] The Derby Mercury, 9 Feb 1825.

[6] William and Elizabeth married at Matlock in 1808. They were living it Lea in 1841 (HO107/197/5 f5 p4), although their youngest son John was being educated at John Allen's school in Bonsall at that time. William Else's Will is at Lichfield.

[7] The 1861 census shows John and his family at "Wharney Corn Mill, Chesterfield Road, Darley". John had married Ann Naylor at Monyash in 1854. The couple had six children, one of whom died a few weeks after her birth. John Else was a churchwarden at St. Helen's when he died of pneumonia in 1869. He was also buried at St. Helen's.

[8] Ann Else and her family were living in Matlock in 1871 | in 1881 | in 1891 | in 1901. Ann Else, of Lime Tree House, was buried at St. Giles in 1909.

[9] The Derby Mercury, 22 Sep 1869. Sale of John Else's household goods and announcement that Charles was taking over "the business carried on by his late uncle, Mr. John Else, for the past 22 years".

[10] 1881 census, RG11/3449 f70 p1 s4. William, Elizabeth and Martha had all been born at Warney House.

[11] Information extracted from the log book owned by Judy Cooper.

[12] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 4 June 1887. Marriage of Miss Else of Matlock. Her home was then at Lime Tree House. It was a family affair as William Else was the best man.

[13] William Else was to encounter financial problems (London Gazette, 24 July 1888) and returned to live in Matlock: 1891 census | 1901 census.

[14] James Walton, a son of George and Mary Walton, was living in Matlock at the time of the 1861 census. Also see Matlock Strays (W) | Kelly's Directory 1891. James had been born in 1855 and died on 13 November 1940. His widow Elizabeth had been born in 1858; she outlived her husband and passed away on 6 July 1949.

[15] British Red Cross records show that she served as a nurse between Sept 1915 and June 1919. She was not paid for the work she did.

[16] Army information from the Burnt Documents, WO 363 held by the National Archives. Information about Lily, who remained a good amateur artist all her life, from Judy Cooper.

[17] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 4 June 1937. Golden Wedding. Walton-Else. On June 1st, 1887, at St. Giles, Church, Matlock by the Rev. A. Lowe, M.A. JAMES, elder son of Mrs. George Walton of Matlock, to ELIZABETH eldest daughter of the late Mr. John Else, of Darley Mill, and Mrs. Else of Lime Tree House, Matlock.

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John Else was educated at The Study, Bonsall

Coup-Else wedding 1890

Else-Marsh wedding 1915

Alport's water powered corn mill

Miller's Dale Corn Mill