Handley is an ancient settlement whose name is derived from Anglo-Saxon origins meaning 'high wood or clearing'. There are 3 tiny hamlets in a close cluster, surrounded by pretty countryside - West Handly, Middle Handley and Nether Handley.
Handley appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Henlege and was owned by Ralph Fitzhubert who was the ancestor of the Frechevilles. Handley, however, came into the ownership of Sir Francis Rodes around 1577. Rodes took part in the trial of Mary Queen of Scots but built a hall at Barlborough as the family seat. The hamlets later came into the ownership of the Dukes of Devonshire from nearby Chatsworth.
Ash Lane Farm in West Handley is a thatched house of cruck construction dating from the late 16th Century, now beautifully restored. The Devonshire Arms in Middle Handley bears witness to previous land ownership in the area as the village formed part of the 1st Duke of Devonshire's estate. Indeed, much of the land today still belongs to the current Duke of Devonshire from nearby Chatsworth.
For a walk around the area, pick up the Countryside Walks in Derbyshire leaflet number 8 - Whittington and the Handleys.
SK 404779 53.29651 -1.39531
Leave M1 motorway at junction 29 and follow A617 to Chesterfield (approx 4 miles). At roundabout select right-hand lane and take 4th exit (A61). At traffic light controlled roundabout (Tesco) select middle lane and take 2nd exit (A61). At next roundabout (Little Chef) select right hand lane and take 4th exit (B6052). Go under bridge and follow road up hill into Old Whittington, passing Revolution House on left. Continue to follow road for approx 2¼ miles and turn left onto Westfield Lane. Follow road into Middle Handley.
Follow A617 to junction with M1 motorway, then follow route from North/South.
Follow A619 into Chesterfield. At traffic light controlled roundabout (Lidl on left) select middle lane and take 3rd exit. Keep in left lane and, at traffic lights go straight on. Stay in left lane and, at roundabout, select middle lane and take 2nd exit (A632). Turn immediately left into slip road to A61. At traffic light controlled roundabout (Tesco) take 2nd exit (A61), then follow route from North/South.
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Children welcome
- Dogs accepted