Archiver > DERBYSGEN > 2001-02 > 0981318865

From: "Tim & Helen" <>
Subject: [DBY] Dbys Vill Bk: Breadsall
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 20:34:25 -0000

For Steve Greatorex:

Taken from 'The Derbyshire Village Book' published by the Derbyshire
Federation of Women's Institutes & Countryside Books, 1991. ISBN 1 85306 133

Breadsall village was once a small hamlet with a few cottages surrounding
the lofty Norman church. It is now a busy expanding village on the borders
of Derby Borough, a considerable number of new properties being added year
by year.
The church of All Saints, which has one of the finest spires in the county,
is steeped in history. When it was restored in 1877 an alabaster sculpture,
a Pieta depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary with the dead Christ on her knee,
was found beneath the flooring of the west end of the church. In 1914 the
church was burnt down, reputedly by suffragettes, being restored over the
next two years.
The Old Hall, an ancient building of stone and timber, dates back to the
l4th century, and was originally a manor house built for the lord of
Breadsall when the manor was divided into the Overhall and the Netherhall.
Over the years the building has been used as a farmhouse, hunting box,
school, village shop, public house, joiner's shop and post office. It is now
used for meetings of various organisations, parish meetings and for private
social functions. The Old Hall and garden belong to the church.
Breadsall Priory, the l3th century home of the Austin friars, became the
residence of Erasmus Darwin, the poet, physician and philosopher, in 1799
and he died there in 1802. The Priory is now a successful country hotel with
a country-wide reputation for its famous golf course.
Wakes Week was a great festivity, beginning on the first Sunday after lst
November (All Saints Day). Much drinking and feasting took place, pigs being
killed, the chief entertainment being provided by the Guisers who walked
into any house to perform. The play was acted by five blackened-faced
youths, depicting such characters as Bull Guy, King George, the Doorboy, the
Doctor and Belsie Bubb. On 2lst December, St Thomas's Day, the poor women of
the parish donned clean caps and aprons and went from house to house begging
for food and money.
Farming was once the principal occupation, but most of the working farms
have now disappeared, the area of agricultural land being drastically
reduced. Today most people commute into Derby for their employment.
The changes over the past 60 years have been great, and there are few people
remaining who can remember the village as it was before the Second World
War - a quiet, rural, friendly community, almost traffic free. It is
sincerely hoped that Breadsall will maintain its village status, and not, as
has happened with other villages in the vicinity, become part of the Borough
of Derby.

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