Aboutonce a tiny village, Old Whittington is now a suburb of Chesterfield but has a church of its own and a thatched cottage that goes by the unusual name of Revolution House.
Three hundred years ago this cottage was an alehouse - the 'Cock and Pynot' (pynot is a dialect word for magpie) - and it was here that three local noblemen: the Earl of Devonshire (from nearby Chatsworth), the Earl of Danby and Mr John D'Arcy, met to begin planning their part in events which led to the overthrow of King James II in favour of William and Mary of Orange.
A waymarked walk around Whittington and the Handleys starts outside the Revolution House. Marked by the cavalier's head, the walk is 8 miles long with the chance to take short cuts if you don'twant to walk that far. The walk takes in Brearley Park, which was named after the inventor of stainless steel, Harry Brearley, and is Chesterfield's first Local Nature Reserve.
The walk also passes the entrance lodge to Whittington House. Although since demolished, this was the home of Frederick Swanwick, Chief Engineer to George Stephenson. It was Miss Mary Swanwick who offered to find local painter Joseph Syddall a place at art school and, under her patronage, he went to Bushey where he studied under Sir Hubert von Herkomer. Syddall illustrated Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbevilles when it appeared in the Graphic Magazine and he was called 'the best draughtsman in England'.
After art school, Syddall returned to Old Whittington where he earned a living by taking portrait commissions and giving drawing lessons. Today, his art is on show in Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery.
- Dogs accepted
- Public toilets
- Children welcome
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
Map & Directions
Leave M1 motorway at junction 29 and follow A617 to Chesterfield (approx 4 miles). At traffic light controlled 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.
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. At traffic lights go straight on. Keep in left lane and, as approach 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.
Accessible by Public Transport: Chesterfield station is 3 miles away.