The tendinopathy in my left Achilles' seemed to have sorted itself so it was time for a little bit of training. I mean, if I harbour any ambition at all to race again next season, after having effectively having had five years away, I need to do something about my fitness levels and the odd kilogram or two of additional adipocytes that seem to have decided to house themselves around my midriff in the interim. A ride out to a bygone boozer on a dry, reasonably mild and still morning would seem to be a sensible start to proceedings.
I'd spotted my quarry for the day, or in reality the first of my quarries for the day, marked as the New Inn near the top of this extract of the Ordnance Survey's1898 mapping, a while ago whilst just having a general trawl over the old maps of the area.
A visit to it would fit into an hour and a half's ride, with an hour of it being around racing intensity, albeit with a short break or two to get a few photographs. So off down the A6 it was, with the added benefits of a reasonable road surface and an absence of hills so the tendon wouldn't be unduly tested.
An early Saturday morning start meant that there was nobody around as I pedalled past the former Homesford Cottage pub at High Peak Junction, with a only few other early risers going about their business as I made my way through Belper. Arriving in Duffield I turned right into what is now King Street, and its extension Hazelwood Road. Turnpiked in 1753 –can 'turnpike' be used as a verb? – this used to be the old route between Duffield and Wirksworth and after a few hundred yards this property hove into view.
A while ago it looked like this. Essentially the same, other than the growth of vegetation, the gaining of a lamppost and the loss of a pub sign.
Rob Lowe, the house's first occupier after the pub was lost, believes it was operating as early as 1745, which could well be the case, but the earliest record that I've managed to dig up is from the 1841 census in which Sarah Calton is shown as a victualler in a property on the Old Turnpike Road...
...and she was still there, along with brother Thomas, a decade later.
Sarah was buried in Duffield churchyard on Christmas Day 1858, and whilst she breathed her last breath in 1858 the New Inn lived on, before finally serving its last pint in 1999. Its former role is recorded in a house nameplate.
Around a century after Sarah Calton was being laid in the ground, the village saw a degree of expansion taking place. One of the buildings erected was the Scarsdale, or sometimes the Lord Scarsdale, built to serve the residents of the new housing stock in the New Zealand Lane area.
With its original title taken from the baronial name of the Curzon family from nearby Kedleston Hall, the Lord Scarsdale evolved over time becoming Fiddlers Bar & Grill in the autumn of 2006, then O-kra – an Indian restaurant by 2009...
...and finally Il Forno – an Italian eatery by April 2013. The Italian Job didn't last long, for by 2016 the building had been demolished and today the site is occupied by housing.
With this pair, the old New Inn and the new, not so old inn, having both been in operation whilst I've been living in the area and with neither having had a visit from me, I feel that I really need to try to get out and about more in my supping sessions.
If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.