Ironville is the best example of a mid nineteenth century company model village in Derbyshire and although now much altered and redeveloped the essential characteristics of the original village are clearly visible. The village, built between 1834 and 1860, was the creation of the Butterley Company. The physical and spiritual welfare of the employees of the Company was reflected not only in the provision of a church and a school by the Company, but also with the provision of a complete range of public services for the village. These included its own gas and water works, a Mechanics' Institute containing 'an artisans' library' and swimming bath. Codnor Park, once a deer park is home to the ruins of Codnor Castle circa 12th century (recently featured on the Channel 4 programme 'Time Team') and Jessop Monument (a 70ft high stone tower built in 1854 to commemorate the work of William Jessop Jnr who was a partner in the Butterley Company). The development of Codnor Park is due to the formation of the Butterley Company and the opening of the Cromford Canal. By 1800 the Butterley Company had built four limekilns at Codnor Park, followed by two blast furnaces and the puddling forge, the latter surviving until 1965. The puddling forge produced high quality wrought irons used for anchor chains, floating harbours and lightships. Close by is the Codnor Park Reservoir a popular spot for anglers and a haven for a variety of birdlife.
SK 435515 53.05897 -1.35238
From Ripley take the A610 in the direction of Nottingham, turn off into the Codnor Gate Industrial Estate (Britain Drive), then first right on to High Holborn road, at the T junction turn left on to Alfreton Road, follow the road down the steep hill (Codnor Lane). At the staggered cross roads turn right into the Coach Road. This road goes straight into the village, passing Codnor Reservoir along the way. At the T junction either turn left for Ironville or right for Codnor Park.
: 4 miles from Alfreton station