Sunday, 19 May 2013

New Bolsover


As a resident of the industrial village of Saltaire, I was interested to discover that Bolsover has its equivalent: New Bolsover model village. Most of Saltaire was built between 1850 and 1870, so New Bolsover, constructed in the 1890s, was perhaps inspired by the mill villages further north. Set below the ridge on which the Castle sits, the village was built by the Bolsover Colliery Company to house the coal miners and their families. It consists of about two hundred houses arranged in two rows, in a U-shape around a central village green. The houses, as in Saltaire, were built in different sizes to accommodate both large and small families, and the colliery officials.  The village also had a miners institute, school, co-operative store, orphanage for children of fathers killed in the employ of the company, allotment gardens, Methodist and Anglican churches and a large assembly hall and bandstand on the village green.

It also had an addition that Saltaire lacked... a small railway that ran from the colliery right round the village in a loop. This was used to deliver the miners' free coal for their homes' fires and to take away the 'night spoil' from the lavatories for disposal.

The former Co-operative store
The village is in good repair and is still inhabited, though the coal mine closed twenty years ago.  The houses are now either in private ownership or rented out by the local Council.

4 comments:

  1. We have a similar little town around an old mine. At least miners were treated as humans and not as working animals !

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  2. Those ranks of houses are incredible! I think there are some like that in north of France , but surely not here in south.

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  3. It seems enlightened of the company to build in a large green. It seems quite attractive.

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  4. Fascinating. A bit later than Saltaire. Made me wonder how many of these model villages there were in the UK. A quick search suggests around 20, depending on the criteria for inclusion, including obvious ones like Port Sunlight, Bournville and New Lanark.

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