Urbex ~ Bridon Wireworks & Oakhurst House Ruins

Shining Cliff Woods are an ancient woodland, located on the west bank of the River Derwent near to Ambergate in Derbyshire England. In medieval times “Schymynde-cliffe” was one of the seven royal parks within Duffield Frith and, as such, belonged to Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster.
It was an estate within the manor of Alderwasley and in 1284 was given to William Foun who was given the job of maintaining the boundaries between the Pendleton and Peatpits Brooks.
They passed to Thomas Lowe by marriage in 1471 and in 1514 he was granted by Henry VIII the right to “empark and empale” his estate and enjoy “free warren” within it.
The woods include a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Some of the woodland is owned by Grith Fyrd Pioneers, but the Eastern part is (like Alport Height some 2 km to the west), in the ownership of the National Trust, and part of their South Peak Estate. The woodlands on a long lease to the Forestry Commission
& contained a popular Youth Hostels Association (YHA) residential centre, The lease has now been taken over by the youth development charity Lindley Educational Trust and after substantial modernisation was reopened in early 2009. This stands in the lee of the Shining Cliff itself, a low gritstone rockface.
Oakhurst House is a building located in the Shining Cliff Woods above the village of Ambergate in Derbyshire. The house was built in 1848 by industrialist Francis Hurt behind his wirework business in Ambergate. It was designed to house his three unmarried daughters, thereby freeing up Alderwasley Hall, his main seat, for his male heir. Francis (1801–1854) knew that his unmarried daughters, Emma, Elizabeth, Selina and Frances would have to leave Alderwasley Hall after his death because it would be needed by his heir, and next Lord of the Manor. He thought he would provide for them for when this happened. In 1848 he had built for them a rather grand house called “Oakhurst”. It was sited behind the Iron Forge he had at Ambergate near to the river Derwent.
Francis Hurt was born at Rock House Cromford, the son of Francis Edward Hurt and his wife Elizabeth Arkwright, the daughter of Richard Arkwright Junior.
Hurt married Cecilia Norman, daughter of Richard Norman of Melton Mowbray and niece to the Duke of ‘Rutland.
Although this mansion had been built for them , Emma Elizabeth, Selina and Frances, were having none of it and refused to move there. As a result their brother settled a generous amount on each of the four sisters to guarantee their “independence”. When Francis died in 1854, his son, also Francis (1803–1861), became the new Lord of The Manor. Sisters, Emma, Elizabeth and Selina moved out of Alderwasley Hall and into Rock House at Cromford which was owned by their mother’s family the Arkwrights. Their youngest sister, Frances, decided she did not want to live with them and went her own way. Their brother, Francis, was Lord of the Manor until his death in 1861. His two eldest sons, Francis and Henry, both died before him, (Henry being killed in the Crimean War); so it was that his third eldest son Albert Frederic Hurt became the new Lord of the Manor. It was Albert Frederic Hurt and his three aunts Emma, Elizabeth and Selina who were to become the most influential benefactors in the parish of Crich.
Hurt’s plans for Oakhurst never materialized, Instead it was bought by John Thewlis Johnson, as part of the wireworks business.
In 1876 Richard Johnson and Nephew opened the wireworks by the river & at its peak the site employed over 500 people. Oakhurst House remained a possession of the wireworks during the later 19th and early 20th centuries, with some alterations being undertaken during the 1890s.
The Wireworks was acquired in 1990 by Bridon and closed in 1996.
In the 1970s Oakhurst House was converted into flats; however, with the bankruptcy of the wireworks and the deteriorating condition of the building, the flats were abandoned in the late 1970s. Since then, the house has remained unoccupied and is now derelict and a state of utter ruin.
The Betty Kenny Tree: (not found)
There is a yew tree reputed to be 2000 years old and has a history attached to it which has come down the years and claims to be the origin of the nursery rhyme “Rock a bye baby”. The story has been well documented and relates to a family of charcoal burners called Luke & Kate Kenyon from the 1700’s. They lived in the woods and used the tree as shelter and brought up 8 children. This is where the rock a bye baby in the tree tops comes from. The Hurt family owned Shining Cliff Woods and they heard about the family and even commissioned the artist James Ward of the Royal Academy to paint their portraits. The tree was damaged by mindless vandals in the 1930’s and over times since, is slowly disintegrating.

Fuente – Source

Urbex ~ Bridon Wireworks & Oakhurst House Ruins

EN.- Urban exploration is usually about exploring areas away from urban centers, industrial zones, or abandoned areas. But also for ancient ruins and areas impossible to access, everything depends on each explorer.

ES.- La exploración urbana normalmente se trata de la exploración de zonas alejadas de los núcleos urbanos, zonas industriales, o abandonadas. Pero también por ruinas antiguas y zonas imposibles de acceder, todo depende de cada explorador.

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Saludos exploradores ! 😉

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