Brackenfield in Derbyshire is a scattered village centred on Brackenfield Green, part of a parish that covers an area of about 1500 acres and a population of around 250. Within the parish also lies Ogston Reservoir, Ogston Hall and park, and the tiny hamlet of Wolley.
Brackenfield, meaning 'bracken clearing', first occurs in written records as Brackenwaite during the 12th century when it appears to have been an area of rough grazing land lying between Ogston and Wessington. Agriculture has always been the main economic activity.
Brackenfield has a number of fine 17th century houses and others that were substantially rebuilt during the 19th century.
Brackenfield parish hall on the north side of the green was built in 1845 as a village school which was closed soon after WW2. Two methodist chapels were also built in the parish in the 19th century, one of which on Brackenfield Green, is still in use.
A chapel of ease called Trinity Chapel was built around 1500 but now lies in ruins, hidden by trees. A pilgrimage from the village to this chapel is still held on Trinity Sunday to commemorate its historic place in the community. A new parish church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was built in 1857. It contains the 15th century screen from the ruined church.
Ogston Hall has a long history and first features in Domesday as part of the manor of Morton which was the property one, Walter Deincourt. It passed to the Warwickshire family of Revell through intermarriage with the Deincourts. The Revells are listed as Derbyshire landowners as early as 1433. The earliest part of the present house was from the tudor times. A new block was added by William Revell and his wife Mary, daughter of George Sitwell of Renishaw Hall, in 1659 and a new stable wing was added by J. Revell in 1695.
As the Revell line died out the estate passed into the hands of the Turbett family who carried more work on the house and gardens.
Ogston Reservoir was formed in the years of 1957/58 by damming the River Amber at the south end of the valley adjacent to Ogston Hall. Originally its purpose was to meet the demands and requirements of the now closed Avenue (Carbonisation) Plant at Wingerworth. The reservoir now serves the whole of North East Derbyshire with domestic water. The reservoir covers some two hundred acres and is bound by steep banks on the eastern side, the dam wall and by shallow banks along the rest of its perimeter. There are picnic areas, which include tables, toilets and car parks and many leisure facilities including club sailing, windsurfing, trout fishing and two observation hides for local birdwatchers. Many species of birds have been recorded at Ogston.
For a history of Woolley Moor and a village trail see Woolley Moor
Ogston reservoir photographs Derbyshire Photographs
Ogston reservoir information Ogston Reservoir