In 1820 Hasland was described as a hamlet containing 200 dwellinghouses and just over 900 inhabitants. The principal owners were Bernard Lucas, John Charge, William Drabble and EG Maynard. The main occupations were farming and coal mining.
Various surveys, maps and documents give some clue to early buildings that existed in the village and surounding countryside, most of which have now vanished.
If we could go back in time to this period for a walk, we would see a great difference. Starting at the Horns Bridge, this being the bridge over the River Hipper, we must visualise this area without its railways (or remains), just a wide open valley liable to floods by the River Rother, the River Hipper and the Spital Brook. Taking the left fork towards Hasland we leave on our right the Three Cornered Meadow and on the left a piece of land then known as Horse Croft.
At Stonebridge which spans the River Rother on the left would be seen George Elliott’s Steam Saw Mill, and on the right could be heard the clack and motion of White Banks Mill, a water driven corn mill. We might even see the miller James Oliver at work. Nearby, at Bank Close was William Drabble’s residence. At White Banks Cottage lived Cuthbert Oliver, a contractor, and here too were the cottages of Miss Grace Heamshaw and James Keeton.
As the roadway climbs steeply out of the valley, to the east would be noticed a wooded area known as Penhurst (meaning an enclosed woodland) and to the west were the mowing meadows of White Banks and Fair Field. Heading southwards along the then winding road, both sides were covered by lush grass lands farmed by John Heath, James Rice, Samuel Denham and George Hopkinson. At Penmore, well back on the left was Bunting’s Close, the residence of John Bunting, who ran a wine merchant’s business on Burlington Street, Chesterfield.
The roadway now travels along a wide ridge, but climbing more slowly, with open land falling towards the Spital Brook on the left and towards the River Rother on the right. Before reaching the centre of the village, the traveller would then have passed a narrow driveway on the north of the park. This led to Hasland House, almost hidden by tall trees, and the home of Josiah Claughton. Claughton was a druggist with a shop in Chesterfield High Street and a warehouse on Low Pavement. On the opposite side of the road was a six acre agricultural plot known as Brookshawe Close.
(To be continued…)