Thursday, 16 May 2013


This is the magnificent edifice of Bolsover Castle, standing proudly on a ridge, not far from the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border.

Bolsover was where my maternal grandfather was born.... sadly, not in the castle! His family was, as far as I can tell, dirt-poor. According to his birth certificate, he was born in 1899 in 'The Huts, Underhill, Bolsover', which I suspect was a bit of a shanty town, probably situated below the castle. I scouted round to see if I could find any reference to it in the present day street/area names but I couldn't. One day (when I retire!) I will have to do some proper research.

When my grandad was a child, the town of Bolsover was developing fast as a coal-mining area. The Bolsover Colliery Company was set up in 1889 and secured leases to extract coal from land belonging to the Duke of Portland. My grandad himself became a miner. The local mine finally closed in 1993.

The castle itself harks back to a more elegant time .....


  1. I'm a big fan of Dennis Skinner!

  2. Wow that's a beautiful castle ! and as usual the poor people were living around in huts ! Fortunately times have changed !

  3. It is a fine castle. My ancestors would have been living in the same shanty town.


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