Provisional Report into the location of Darley Abbey

The platform upon which stood the Abbey has been hidden in full view as the village grew up around it. It stands at the bottom of New Road, the name of which is a clue of sorts in itself. Aligned East to West the remains of the platform are now the foundation of two substantial houses. These houses are the only ones in the village to be built on such a structure, all of the others being built directly onto the ground. It seem improbable that the builders of these properties would have gone to the trouble of constructing foundations on this scale when simpler solutions have presented themselves in the rest of the village.

 

 

This picture, left,  is a section from panel SK3538 and has been converted to black and white as well as adjusted for contrast. This shows the platform in greater detail.The platform is quite pronounced and it's East to West orientation is obvious.

 

 

 

 

 

Comparison with other abbeys, for example Dale, suggests that the platform is of the correct size and with it’s orientation of East/West would have been entirely suitable for the abbey foundations.

Picture right - Overlaying the map of Dale, (Dr Stukely), onto the platform at approximately the same scale shows a good fit. It also suggests that the human remains found in the square behind the Abbey pub lay within the cloisters. The reports of stone blocks being uncovered on New Road during the laying of utilities also fit’s the layout of Dale.

 

 

 

My 1826 map of Darley Abbey showing the extent of building at that date and the various arms of the river Derwent.

The cottages on the right of New Road, on the way up, have not yet been built and the same applies to the square behind the old abbey building that became the Abbey Pub.

The grass field known as Deans Field has yet to be created and on this map there is an inlet to the dock for boats using the Derwent to reach the paper mill. These features can still be traced in the field and on the bank side. Bear in mind that the level of the river was lowered as part of the constuction of the inner ring road so the levels at this location are somewhat lower than when this map was drawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provisional report dated 21 January 2020. This is a work in progress and further updates will be made as research progresses. comments, observations or suggestions should be addressed to ron.mckeown@btinternet.com

Revision 01 dated 28 January 2020


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